Folic acid is a water-soluble B group vitamin.specifically vitamin B9, also called folacin or folate.
It’s in the greenest leaves of vegetables where you can find higher doses of folic acidwhose name comes precisely from the Latin word foilwhich means “leaf”.
This name was given because the first food it was discovered in was spinach leaves, although it was later found to also be abundant in seeds such as sunflower seeds or in other foods such as legumes and egg yolks.
Who should take folic acid?
Known for his Importance in the prevention of fetal malformationstherefore, sensitivity to its intake is high, especially among women who are systematically prescribed folic acid before a possible conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy.
But folic acid should be present in every diet not only by women who wish to conceive. Its function is vital for the organism.
What is folic acid for?
In addition to prevents malformations, participates in the production of new cells, mainly white and red blood cells, and that’s it essential for protein metabolism (especially the amino acids glycine and methionine) and for the absorption of carbohydrates.
It also affects you antibody formation to protect the body from infection and also in the formation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine.
A folic acid deficiency can cause various disorders, from anxiety or depression to breathing difficulties, fatigue or digestive disorders, among many others. Therefore, it is important to include foods rich in folic acid in the diet, which will guarantee an adequate dose.
Low folic acid: what dose should be included in the diet?
Certainly most Mothers who are planning a pregnancy or are in their first trimester An additional daily dose of folic acid of approx 400 mcg/day (micrograms), but the standard dose for the majority of the population it is somewhere in between 200-300 mcg/day.
people who smokewho tend to consume large amounts of it alcoholthose who have immune or digestive problemsthe old woman and those who take one excess vitamin C(more than 2 grams daily) should increase their consumptionbut it’s worth knowing A higher dose than necessary can impair the absorption of zinctherefore, supplementation is not recommended unless medically indicated.
Definitely, By feeding and ensuring good assimilation, it is possible to obtain Also folic acid necessary to prevent disturbances related to its lack.
Balance folic acid with other vitamins
Folic acid interacts with vitamin C (unless very high doses are taken) and B12 to help the body digest and synthesize proteins. This shows once again the value of a varied and balanced diet.
- That vitamin C rich in citrus, cabbage or pepper.
- That B12 vitamin is found instead in animal productsincluding eggs and dairy products.
How to increase folic acid intake
knowledge Food selection, preservation, handling and combination It can be of great help when it comes to increasing your consumption of folic acid.
- Buy fresh. You must choose very fresh vegetables with green and smooth leaves. New legumes like peas have more folic acid, and if they’re dry they shouldn’t be very old.
- Raw or steamed. The best option is to eat raw vegetables without prolonging the soaking when washing. To cook it, the system that best conserves folic acid is steam.
- cooking water. If you want to cook the vegetables, you can use the water for broths or sauces.
- soups and creams. When preparing vegetable creams, it is important to cut the vegetables very finely and blanch them quickly in a short cooking time. Everything is ground with cooking water and olive oil and completed with sesame or yeast if desired.
- stir-frying. The vegetables are cut thinly at the last moment so that they cook in less time and do not lose as much vitamin.
- fruit. You must be mature. Ideally they are non-chambered and only recently matured on the tree.
- conservation. Folic acid is sensitive to light, so food should be stored away from light. After cleaning, leafy greens can be wrapped in kitchen paper or cotton cloth and covered with cling film to better preserve them, but it is better not to keep them for too long.
Which foods have folic acid
The best way to get enough folic acid is with a varied diet rich in whole foods, legumes and especially fresh vegetables and fruit.
That green salads with different types of lettuce contribute, combined with nutsgood doses of folic acid.
That steamed vegetablessuch as broccoli, leeks or asparagus, or omelettes with spinach, artichoke or spring garlic are also highly recommended.
A varied diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit, whole foods and legumes provides a good dose of folic acid (vitamin B9).
- Green leaves. Green leafy vegetables such as arugula, spinach, endive, lettuce, watercress, Swiss chard or cabbage are among the foods richest in folic acid. Parsley too, although consumed in smaller proportions. For example, preparing green salads with various leaf lettuce and spinach is a surefire way to get folic acid. In addition to flavoring meat and stir-fries, parsley can be added to vegetables and soups when chopped.
- other vegetables. Folic acid is also found in other vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, leeks or artichokes. Steaming is a good option because it’s quick and avoids contact of the water with the food.
- legumes. Beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peas are some of the legumes worth including in your diet if you want to increase your intake of folic acid, among other things.
- Fresh fruits. Avocado, orange, banana and melon stand out.
- Full grain. They have more folic acid than refined ones. Puffed wheat flakes stand out, but so does rye.
- nuts. Chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds also provide significant amounts of folic acid. In addition to being eaten as a snack, they can be added to salads or soups and creams when crushed.
- eggs. Vitamin B9 is concentrated in the yolk. Cut into strips, the tortilla can be used as a garnish for pasta, salads or rice dishes.
- dressings and dressings. Salads and vegetables can be flavored with brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, soy sauce, miso (fermented soybean pie), or gamasio (salted sesame). Crushed seeds, especially sunflower and pumpkin seeds, can be added to the dressing.
- fillers. The sandwiches can be spread with peanut or sesame butter or filled with lettuce, rocket or spinach.
Ranking of foods with more folic acid (in mcg per 100 g)
- Brewer’s yeast: 922
- Wheat germ: 271
- Sunflower seeds: 238
- Cooked Chickpea: 172
- Wheat Flakes: 159
- Yolk: 127
- Endive: 116
- Spinach: 134
- Liver: 108
- Broccoli: 103
- Soy: 94
- Beetroot: 74
- Brussels sprouts: 60
- Stud: 59
- Sesame: 58
- Pumpkin seeds: 58
- Walnut: 55
- kidney bean: 46
- Peanut: 40
- Sweet Potato: 36