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What are folic acid foods and why do we need them?

Folic acid foods are rich in vitamin B9 (folacin, folate) and is important to plenty bodily functions. First of all, folic acid helps keeps your body healthy. If you are not getting enough folic acid, it can cause you anemia (having fewer red blood cells than normal), which means it is hard for your body to carry enough oxygen through. If you are feeling tired, if you often have headaches, sore mouth, or if you have pale skin, these are all signs you should have your blood tested because it is possible you are anemic. Some experts also believe that consuming enough folic acid could prevent hearing loss as you age, Alzheimer s disease and even some cancers. Other studies show folic acid might lower the risks of heart disease and stroke. Folic acid promotes healthy skin, and plays a vital role in preventing food poisoning and protection against intestinal parasites.

Mothers-to-be and folic acid

Folic acid is the vitamin that helps prevent birth defects, especially birth defects that are in connection with baby s spine and brain, such as spina bifida or anencephaly. Spina bifida is means nerves that control movement of legs and some other functions do not work, which leads to conclusion that children with spina bifida have lifelong disabilities. Anencephaly represents a condition when baby s brain does not develop.

Recommended daily amount of folic acid when trying to conceive

Since more than half pregnancies aren't planned, it is very important for every sexually active woman to consume recommended daily amount of folic acid, even if she isn't trying to conceive. Because birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly develop within first 4 weeks of pregnancy, it is essential that women who are trying to conceive have enough folic acid in their system. Pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should consume 400 micrograms of folic acid per day.

Folic acid and food preparation

Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin. Folic acid is also sensitive to heat, oxygen and ultraviolet light. For this reason cooking, preparation, processing, and storage easily destroys it. 400 micrograms of folic acid are found in: 4 enriched 8 wheat tortillas 15 whole 8 wheat tortillas 10 slices of enriched white bread 4 cups of cooked enriched pasta 2 cups of cooked lentils 2 cups of dried or cooked black-eyed peas 2, 5 cups of dry-roasted sunflower seeds 2, 5 cups of cooked chickpeas 4 cups of fresh orange juice 6 cups of raw spinach 15 spears of asparagus 0,25 cup of chicken liver 1 cup of braised beef liver 10 cups of cooked broccoli

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