Folic Acid Foods
It's good for babies
Folic Acid is that B vitamin that you often hear about with regard to pregnancy and its importance in helping to prevent birth defects, such as spina bifida.
Women who are of child-bearing age with the possibility of pregnancy, should be sure to get enough of this vitamin even before they conceive to insure their baby's good health.
However, it is also a necessary nutrient for good health at all stages of life.
Folic Acid has two major functions that we know about.
(1) It forms part of a coenzyme that is necessary for new cell formation, a process that occurs constantly throughout life.
(2) In addition, Folic Acid helps with the breakdown of the amino acid, homocysteine, which when it builds up in your blood is correlated with an increased risk of clotting and deterioration of artery walls. For this reason, folate is believed to be a factor in preventing heart disease.
Folate has been in the news recently, because current research suggests that it may have a role in preventing certain types of cancer.
Here is a list of foods that are good sources of folic acid.
Click here for a printable copy of this list.
Folic Acid Foods to Include in Your Healthy Diet
Lentils, Pinto Beans, Black Beans, Black-eyed peas
Liver, Chicken breast, Tuna, Ground Beef (lean)
Sunflower Seeds, Flax seed
Asparagus, Broccoli, Spinach, Carrots
Tomato Juice, Orange Juice
Fortified breads and cereals
Bananas, Strawberries, Watermelon
Cottage Cheese, Milk, Yogurt
Destroyed by Heat and Oxygen
Since folate is destroyed by heat and oxygen, using cooking methods such as steaming when preparing foods that are rich in folic acid, will help preserve the vitamin content of your meals. These foods should also be stored in airtight containers whenever possible.
The plant foods have it!
One of the areas of nutrition research that has really taken off in the last 40 years is the subject of phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals. The name gives you a clue about what these compounds are and their importance in a healthy diet. "Phyto" means "plant" and phytochemicals are plant nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, grains, spices and herbs, that seem to have a positive effect on your health.
In general, the presence of phytochemicals is indicated by the vibrant colors, flavors and aromas of plant foods. If you are eating a varied and colorful diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and spices, you are probably consuming an abundance of these beneficial compounds.
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