Folic acid may not be something you immediately consider when you think about what makes up a healthy diet. Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s something pregnant women need to ensure the health of their babies, but did you know that it’s also incredibly important for you as well?

Why Take Folic Acid?

Folic acid, which is a type of vitamin B, is actually found in many of the vegetables we eat, and in Western societies deficiencies are not that common. However, keeping your levels topped up is not a bad thing, and here are the reasons why:

  1. Folic acid is essential for DNA production and repair, and there is scientific evidence to suggest it may prevent the cell mutations that lead to cancer.
  2. Folic acid is involved with metabolism, and the production of energy in the body, making it essential for an active life.
  3. Folic acid keeps our red blood cells healthy, and is important in the prevention of anaemia.
  4. For pregnant women, it is a MUST, with evidence showing it lowers the risk of several congenital diseases in unborn babies, such as spina bifida, cleft palates, and anencephaly, a condition where the brain of the foetus does not develop properly.
  5. Folic acid can improve the health of those with liver disease, or who suffer from alcoholism.

There are very few reported side effects from the use of folic acid. But as with any supplement, do consult your doctor if you experience any of the following that may suggest an allergic reaction: a rash, trouble breathing, itching/swelling of the face or mouth and throat.

Folic acid can be taken in supplement form, and for women planning on becoming pregnant it is advisable to start taking supplements even before conception. The recommended dosage in these cases is between 400-800mcg every day. However, folic acid is also found naturally in the following vegetables, so make sure you pack these into your diet:

Folic acid natural sources
  1. Dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale
  2. Broccoli
  3. Asparagus
  4. Citrus fruits, in particular oranges
  5. A variety of beans and lentils, including pinto beans, black beans and kidney beans
  6. Green peas
  7. Avocado
  8. Papaya
  9. Okra
  10. Brussel Sprouts
  11. Sunflowers seeds
  12. Peanuts and Almonds
  13. Cauliflower
  14. Beetroot
  15. Carrots
  16. Celery
  17. Strawberries and raspberries

What the Papers Say:

BBC News: (Click article for full size)

The Guardian: (Click article for full size)

Mail Online: (Click article for full size)

Well Blogs: (Click article for full size)

Medical Studies Show:

  1. This study from the UC Davis MIND institute shows evidence that pregnant women who take the recommended dose of folic acid are less likely to have a child who suffers from autism in infancy.
  2. Research from the University of Minnesota and Washington University in St Louis suggests that folic acid could lower the incidents of certain childhood cancers.
  3. Research from the Wageningen University and Wageningen Center for Food Sciences in the Netherlands shows evidence that folic acid could be used in the battle against dementia, and that diets low in folic acid could contribute to the progression of the disease.

Testimonials from the Web:

It Helped My Anaemia!

I initially started taking it with iron and vitamin B complex to help my complete blood count. What I do not like is how I need to take one tablet with food. I wish I could take it without. My blood has never been healthier though, and I always had anemia.

– 19-24 Female on Treatment for 1 to 6 months

Folic Acid Helps Keep My heart Healthy!

I started taking folic acid 3 times a day, because of a heart detect I was born with. I had surgery as a small child to correct the defect. Two years ago my heart enzymes went up really high, because I have lupus. My doctor suggested I take folic acid to protect my heart from the lupus. Within a month my heart enzymes returned to normal and have not been high since.

– 25-34 Female on Treatment for 2 to less than 5 years

Folic Acid Helps Keep My heart Healthy!

It’s Got Me Back to My Old Self!

– 45-54 Female on Treatment for 6 months to less than 1 year

Michael Donelly

About Michael Donelly

Michael Donelly is Gnet's founder and occasionally posts information. If you'd like to get in touch about anything business related you can contact him on Twitter: @MichaelDonelly2. And if you like what you read here then why not sign up for our newsletter to get regular updates on your interests?

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