A member of the B group of vitamins, at first glance, it seems there is very little that folate or folic acid doesn't do for the body. The list is long and varied: cell division, growth and reproduction of cells, proper brain function, maintaining mental and emotional health, improving a depressed appetite, and it improves digestion and liver performance... As the name suggests 'folate' is found in foliage - otherwise known as green leafy vegetables, as well as a number of other sources.
- Essential for the body's growth and repair.
- It works with B12 in formation of red blood cells.
- Smokers need more folate.
Essential for the body's growth and repair. It works with B12 in formation of red blood cells.
Probably the most common of all vitamin deficiencies, a lack of folate produces irritability, forgetfulness, insomnia and anaemia. Health and medical authorities recommend that women planning a pregnancy increase their folate consumption in at least the month before and 3 months following conception This has been shown to reduce the risk of foetal neural tube defects (spina bifida). the recommended dose for women planning and for at least 3 months during a pregnancy is a minimum of 400ug folate per day.
Folate is lost during cooking and partly destroyed through canning and processing. Therefore, while plentiful in liver, kidney, eggs and wholemeal breads, it is best sourced from foods that can be eaten fresh like avocados, tomatoes, raw cabbage, bananas and nuts or vegetables that require only light cooking such as asparagus, spinach, broccoli, okra and peas, which are best prepared by steaming or stir frying instead of boiling. Many foods are now fortified with folate to help women planning a pregnancy to eat enough.
For adults, 200 mcg, 400mcg for pregnant women and 300 mcg for women breastfeeding.
Children from age 12 through to adults 200 micrograms per day
Women who may become pregnant or who are pregnant: 400 micrograms per day
Children aged 8-11 yrs: 150 micrograms per day
Are you eating enough folate? Put your diet to the test