While folate is found in foods such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, cereals, and eggs, you still need the folate found in your vitamins or vitamin B9. Folate is necessary to produce healthy white and red blood cells for immunity, and for the proper functioning of vital organs of the body, most especially the brain.
Learn the important benefits of taking folate in your vitamins for your overall health and well-being by continuing to read below.
Folate Taken in the Right Dosage Promotes Rapid Growth
For pregnant women, you and your baby need the right amount of folate to avoid neural tube defects and other congenital deformities that your baby could suffer from. This nutrient also plays a vital role in converting carbohydrates into energy, and the production of DNA and RNA for tissue growth and proper development, most especially needed by infants, adolescents, and pregnant mothers.
Here’s a guide for the recommended daily allowance or RDA of folate in different ages:
- 0 to 6 months: 65 micrograms
- 7 to 12 months: 80 micrograms
- 1 to 3 years old: 150 micrograms
- 4 to 8 years old: 200 micrograms
- 9 to 13 years old: 300 micrograms
- Over 14 years old: 400 micrograms
- During pregnancy: 600 micrograms
- During lactation: 500 micrograms
Take Folate in Your Vitamins to Avoid Deficiency
Folate deficiency occurs if you have an inadequate diet, drink too much alcohol, or are suffering from digestive problems. All of these factors lead to difficulty in absorbing nutrients. Your body requires converting folic acid to methylfolate, which is its active form, but genetics can get in the way, leading to folate deficiency.
Folate comes in different forms, and the majority are lost during the storing, cooking, or processing of food. The best sources of dietary folate include green vegetables, liver, and legumes.
Here are the other dietary sources of folate:
- Asparagus: 268 micrograms
- Beans: 784 micrograms
- Beef liver: 290 micrograms
- Lentils: 920 micrograms
- Spinach: 58 micrograms
- Egg yolk: 355 micrograms
- Banana: 45 micrograms
- Lettuce: 14 micrograms
- Avocado: 118 micrograms
- Mushrooms: 16 micrograms
- Broccoli: 28 micrograms
Folate Supplementation Lowers Your Risk of Depression
Folic acid supplementation improves response to antidepressants, like fluoxetine, most especially in women, which enhances their mood and helps them avoid fatigue. Folate supplementation can help reduce your risk of depression because low folate levels have been linked to poor response of patients to antidepressant medication and treatment.
Here are the findings of one study on the role of low folate in depression:
- Low plasma concentration of folate and vitamin B12 status have been found in depressive patients.
- Low folate in the blood has been found in patients suffering from recurrent mood disorders who are treated by lithium.
- There’s also a link between low folate and depression found in patients with alcoholism.
- Low serum folate levels are linked to a poor response to antidepressant medications.
Reduces Your Risk of Cancer
Through taking folate with your vitamins, you can lower your risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal, stomach, ovarian, and cervical cancer. Folate has protective effects against different types of cancers, most especially colorectal cancer.
Maintain Cardiovascular Health
Increased levels of homocysteine is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, most especially stroke.
Here are the good-to-know facts about folate and cardiovascular health:
- An independent risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease is high levels of homocysteine, which can lead to the hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis and dangerous blood clots.
- Lowering homocysteine levels using folic acid supplements is a safe and simple way to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Folate Supplementation Promotes Overall Health
Vitamins or food supplements with folate already assume the L-methylfolate (5-MTHF) form. By taking the active form of folate, it will ensure that your body metabolizes and uses folate properly. Pregnant women, the sick, and people who are experiencing a rapid growth spurt benefit from folate supplementation for tissue repair and for supporting overall health.
Here are some tips to ensure you’re getting the right amount of folate:
- Consume foods high in folate or folic acid, such as legumes, liver, and vegetables.
- Avoid overcooking vegetables and eat whole foods and unprocessed fruits with higher folate content than processed ones.
- Exercise every day to properly distribute folate in different parts of your body, most especially in your bones and vital organs.
Folate is essential for growth and development, tissue repair, and the proper functioning of the immune and nervous system, as well as mental health. That’s why you need folate supplementation with your vitamins to ensure that you’re not missing the best benefits of this nutrient for your overall health and well-being.