I’m reading an excellent book called Getting Pregnant, from Neils H. Lauersen and Colette Bouchez. Not that I plan to get pregnant any time soon, my sister have finished reading it and she told me that there are many interesting nutrition information in it. One of the most recommended nutrient for a healthy pregnancy is folate. This inspired me to do some more research on the role of folate in health, and how it could benefit not only pregnant women but also the rest of us.
Folate, also called folic acid or folin, is a vitamin from the vitamin B complex. Folate plays a key role in red blood cells production and blood circulation. This is one of the highly recommended nutrients for pregnant women, as it drastically decreases the risks of birth defects, but it can also do wonders for general health.
Health benefits of folate:
- prevent birth defects during pregnancy
- help prevent anemia
- contribute to healthy looking skin
- support nerves health
- get bones stronger
- help prevent dementia and Alzheimer
- help prevent cardiovascular diseases
- help preserving neurologic health
- help prevent gingivitis
- help prevent cancers, especially of the esophagus lung, uterus, cervix and intestine
Best food sources of folate:
- chick peas
- black, navy pinto and kidney beans
- romaine lettuce
- sunflower seeds
Keep in mind is that foods containing folate does not contain it in the ready to absorb form; our body has to transform it first. But during this process, only around 50% of the folic acid contained in food can be absorbed. Plant-based folate is highly affected by cooking. So the best would be to eat your vegetables raw when possible.