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What is folic acid for?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Folic acid is an essential vitamin for our body, since it is responsible for creating new cells and favors the growth of tissues; It belongs to the B complex vitamins and is also known as vitamin B9 . The deficiency of folic acid in the body, especially in pregnancy, is the first cause of abnormalities in the fetus and can cause diseases such as anemia , and symptoms present as diarrhea, ulcers and delayed growth and graying of the hair. This vitamin can not only be found as a supplement, there are also foods that we can include in our daily diet. At FastlyHealwe will explain to you what folic acid is for .

Health benefits of folic acid

There are countless benefits that come from folic acid , for both men and women, among them are:

  • It prevents anemia, since this condition is due to a deficiency of iron in the body.
  • It is very important in women of childbearing age and pregnant women, as it helps protect the fetus from malformations such as spina bifida, clefts in the lips and gums, and the chances of having a premature delivery will be lower.
  • It controls high blood pressure and reduces the risks of strokes and heart attacks.
  • It is effective for treating menopausal symptoms .
  • It reduces the risks of suffering from some types of cancer such as colon, cervix and breast.
  • It is involved in cell growth and in the formation of the central nervous system, helping in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and memory problems.
  • Prevents eye diseases.

The reserve of folic acid in our body is in the liver, once it enters the body the small intestine absorbs it and is distributed to the blood and tissues, there is also a small amount of this vitamin that is produced by the bacteria of the intestinal flora.

How much folic acid do I need

The amount of folic acid your body needs will depend on your age and your general health. In the case of pregnant women, they will need 600 mg per day, for people 16 years of age and older, the intake of foods with folic acid should be 400 mg and for lactating women, the consumption of this vitamin will be 500 mg. In the case of supplements that contain folic acid, the dose will vary depending on what you want to treat and the doctor will be in charge of giving you the appropriate guidelines to take them.

Foods with folic acid

It should be noted that to meet the needs of folic acid in our body it will be necessary to increase the intake of foods rich in this vitamin or supplement it with supplements, since its contribution is only 200 mg. Below we will list some foods that will provide you with the amount of folic acid that your body needs on a daily basis.

  • Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, chard, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
  • Legumes , especially lentils, are recommended for the daily diet of pregnant women, with half a cup we will be providing 50% of the amount that our body needs. Peas, beans, and beans are also an option.
  • Fruits like papaya, avocado, and citrus juices of strawberry and orange.
  • Cereals : brown rice, pasta flours. These are generally fortified with folic acid, that is, they do not have it in its natural composition.
  • Meats : chicken thighs, chicken, beef and turkey livers, veal and sardines.

Try to eat a daily diet that includes all these foods in order to reach the levels of folic acid that your body needs.

Contraindications and recommendations

If folic acid comes from food, there is no risk or contraindication, since if there is an excess of it, in our body, it will be discarded in the urine. Keep in mind that anticonvulsants prevent the absorption of folic acid .

It is important to note that folic acid is sensitive to heat and light, so the way you cook food will also influence their vitamin intake. If you boil the vegetables, it is preferable that you do it for 3 to 5 minutes, with little water and covered, place them when the water is boiling. You can also choose to sauté them or steam them, this will help them maintain their texture and protect the vitamin.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is folic acid for? , we recommend that you enter our Wellness category .

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