Folate, and its synthetic counterpart folic acid, are also known as vitamin B9. This vitamin is essential for forming and repairing our DNA and producing red blood cells. Not getting enough folic acid in our diets can lead to a deficiency in a few weeks.
Folic acid can be taken as a supplement, also it’s found in a wide range of foods. It can be found in: –
Leafy greens – broccoli, spinach and lettuce
Fruits – bananas, lemons and melons
Vegetables – asparagus, okra, Brussel sprouts
Dried beans, peas, lentils and nuts
The average adult needs around 400 micrograms of folate each day, however, in pregnancy this should be increased to 600 micrograms daily. Folic acid is recommended for all women who wish to conceive and those early stages of pregnancy, as it helps prevent neural tube defects such as Spina bifida. The results of studies have shown that taking the prescribed amount of folic acid before and during early pregnancy can prevent up to 70% of neural tube defects.
Folate Deficiency Anaemia
Folate deficient anaemia can naturally occur in people who are suffering from malnutrition and those who don’t follow a healthy diet. It can also be a problem for people who have malabsorption issues, such as those with coeliac disease and IBS. Patients on kidney dialysis and those with sickle cell anaemia.
Folic acid is thought to be especially helpful in cases of memory loss and Alzheimer’s. It is also recommended for those people suffering from age-related hearing loss and preventing macular degeneration. Folic acid plays a positive role in helping to prevent osteoporosis and restless leg syndrome.