Many of us probably take a daily multivitamin to keep ourselves healthy and consume the essential vitamins we might miss during meals. One of these vitamins you might notice on the label is Folate or Folic Acid or Folacin. Folate is a B vitamin and in its synthetic form is called Folic Acid. While it’s great for both men and women, it can be magical for women who are pregnant or are of childbearing age.
So what does this B vitamin actually do? Folic acid aids in the rapid cell division and growth in your body which essentially helps your body produce healthy red blood cells. It also helps create and repair DNA which can decrease the chances of developing certain types of cancers like colorectal cancer.
Folate can help fertility not only in women but in men too. If you’re pregnant, it is used to help make the extra blood you need during pregnancy. If mom is getting enough folic acid, it can help prevent certain birth defects in babies including neural tube defects, which affect the spine, brain and skull areas, like spina bifida. But even if you’re not pregnant, it is recommended that women consume about 400 milligrams of folic acid a day (it’s also best to always ask your doctor about any supplement or vitamin you might be taking). And of course, these folic acid tablets can be purchased in organic form.
Besides being found in your multivitamins, folate is found in a lot of leafy greens that we consume like spinach, kale, collard greens and romaine lettuce. A large helping of these greens can contribute to nearly all of your daily recommended folate. It’s also found in avocados, beans, lentils, brussel sprouts, oranges, lemons, peas, beets, asparagus and broccoli. It’s no coincidence that these healthy vegetables contain folic acid. And like we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, some of these fruits and vegetables are best to purchase organic and others, you may not need to.