Folic acid also called folate is Vitamin B. Folate plays an important role in increasing red blood cells and helps baby’s neural tube to develop into the brain and spinal cord.
The rich sources of folic acid are asparagus, baker’s yeast, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, egg yolk, jacket potato (large), lentils, lettuce, papaya, kiwi, milk, oranges, parsnips, peas, spinach, sunflower seeds etc.
On a daily basis recommended eating levels of folic acid are as follows: Men 13 years and above – 400 micrograms; women above 13 years – 400-600 micrograms; pregnancy – all ages – 400-600 micrograms; breastfeeding women of all ages – 500 micrograms. The highest daily intake level of folic acid for an individual 19 years and older, (including pregnant or breastfeeding women), is 1,000 micrograms.
There are many benefits of folic acid. Let’s take a look at them:
- Folic acid is given to women who are planning to conceive and also during pregnancy. It is widely used to prevent any birth defects, improve the foetus development and also increase the chances of conceiving.
- Folic acid is also useful to cure depression and improve the mood parameter. An adequate folate level is necessary for proper brain functioning. So it also improves memory.
- Folic acid plays an important role in hair growth. It renews the cells that aid growth of hair.
- Regular consumption of foods rich in folic acid gives a glow to the skin. It also helps decrease the signs of skin ageing.
- Folic acid can decrease the fat content in the blood. It may also help in handling obesity and diabetes.
- It also increases male fertility by improving sperm count.
- It helps fight gum infection.
- Consumption of folic acid rich foods help increase RBC in anaemic patients.
- It is also helps reduce blood clotting; blood clots lead to cardiovascular infection. Therefore, it helps decrease the probability of heart attacks.