The first question that comes to our mind is what is folic acid and why is it so necessary, right?
Folic acid is also known as Vitamin B9 or folate. Folic acid is important for tissue growth, cells development, and healthy brain development. It is a vital element for cell division, which is necessary for producing the genetic material, the DNA. Hence, the level or status of folic acid in body plays an important role in division of cells and tissues.
Let us quickly see the top folic acid uses.
But before that here is a small list food sources that are rich in folic acid.
Folic Acid Rich Foods:
Folic acid can be obtained from foods like bananas, broccoli, leafy greens, strawberries, oranges, pastas, beans, tomatoes, fish, meat, asparagus, eggs, legumes, yeast, cereals, mushrooms and dairy products.
|Spinach, cooked (1 cup)||230 mcg|
|Lentils, cooked (1/2 cup)||180 mcg|
|Papayas (1 medium)||116 mcg|
|Artichokes, cooked (1 medium)||107 mcg|
|Asparagus, boiled (4 spears)||89 mcg|
|Avocados (1/2 medium)||81 mcg|
|Raspberries (1 cup)||65 mcg|
|Black-eyed peas, canned (1/2 cup)||61 mcg|
|Red bell peppers (1 medium)||55 mcg|
|Oranges (1 medium)||39 mcg|
|Shiitake mushrooms, cooked (1/2 cup)||15 mcg|
And now for the benefits of folic acid
Folic acid Benefits:
The first step of medication to conceive, or the care during pregnancy is advised with folic acid. This is widely used to prevent any birth defects and to enhance fetus development, and conceiving.
Folic acid is used to cure depression and enhance mood regulation. Adequate folate level is necessary for proper brain functioning.
Folic acid works with B12 and Vitamin C to help the body utilize and digest proteins.
Folic Acid with other important antioxidants helps in eliminating toxins from the body, which can reduce acne on the face. But we should also note that the overdose of folic acid can lead to more acne, patchy and dry skin.
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5. Hair growth:
Folic acid plays an important role in hair growth. It renews the cells that aid the growth of hair. Folic acid deficiency can lead to premature graying and hair loss.
6. Red blood cells:
Folic acid has important function in red blood cells. White blood cells are also produced with the help of folic acid supplements.
7. Healthy glow:
Proper intake of folic acid can give one’s skin a natural, healthy and moisturized glow.
8. Heart disease:
Folic acid along with Vitamin B12 helps heart in many ways. They help to reduce blood clotting; blood clots lead to cardiovascular disease. Hence, it helps reduce the chances of heart attacks.
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Folic acid can prevent cancer cells from multiplying. You can be protected from colon cancer by consuming folic acid supplements. Prevention of cervical cancer and pancreatic cancer is also observed.
10. Firm Skin:
Folic acid helps improve the firmness of human skin. It also helps reduce the signs of skin aging.
Adequate amounts of folic acid may help the patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Folic acid also helps in preventing memory loss due to aging.
Folic acid can reduce the fat content in blood. This may help in handling obesity and thus, prevent type-2 diabetes.
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13. Male fertility:
Folic acid is also important for dads-to-be. It helps in conception by correcting the sperm counts and motility.
14. Gum infection:
Folic acid can be directly applied to the gum to cure gum infections.
Some important tips for consumption of Folic acid:
- Avoid over dosage.
- Consume only after proper consultation, or if advised.
- Folic acid deficiency can lead to diarrhea, gingivitis, irritability, forgetfulness, poor growth, tongue inflammation, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, seborrhoeic dermatitis and sluggishness.
- Birth control pills can lower the folic acid level in body.
- Tobacco and alcohol reduce folic acid levels and thus, high intake of coffee, alcohol, and smoking leads to folate deficiency