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5 Healthy Folate Foods Women Should Have | Hea Boosters

Folate, a natural form of vitamin B9, is found in many types of fruits, vegetables and nuts. It also has a synthetic form contained in vitamins and fortified foods that is called folic acid. This vitamin is water-soluble, and helps in the production of healthy red blood cells. It is also involved in making DNA and other genetic material and is essential during pregnancy and fetal development. 

According to the FSSAI, women need 200 micrograms of folate every day. This requirement increases significantly to 500 and 300 micrograms per day during pregnancy and breastfeeding respectively.

Folate and other B vitamins are added to food and in supplements in the form of Folic acid.

Here are 5 folate foods that women should have:

1. Spinach:

This is an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and folate. Spinach also contains antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress and help reduce the damage it causes. A bunch of spinach which is approximately 340 grams contains 659 micrograms of folate, (equivalent to 131% of the daily nutritional requirement for pregnant women).

       2. Legumes:
These include different types of beans, peas and lentils. Legumes are also a high source of protein, antioxidants and fibre and help reduce cholesterol, decrease blood sugar levels, and increase healthy gut bacteria. They are a good substitute for animal-based protein.

      3. Eggs:
Eggs are practically a superfood and are filled with vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B12, phosphorous, selenium and antioxidants. They increase the good cholesterol in the blood and have a high protein quality, which can help you feel full for longer. An egg has 19.4 micrograms of folate, (3% of daily nutritional requirement).

      4. Fruits:
Aside from being filled with vitamin C and antioxidants, an orange has 40 micrograms of folate, which is 13% of your daily folate requirement. A cup of strawberries has 37 micrograms of folate, which is equivalent to 12% of the daily requirement. Lemon has 10 micrograms of folate. Equivalent to 3% of daily folate requirement.

     5. Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are tasty, convenient to carry around, and are a good source of healthy fats. A cup of almonds has 44 micrograms of folate, equivalent to 14% of your daily requirement. A cup of walnuts has 114 micrograms of folate, equivalent to 38% of your daily requirement. A tablespoon of flax seeds contains 6 micrograms of folate, equivalent to 2% of your daily requirement. A tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 micrograms of folate, equivalent to 1.6% of your daily requirement.

If you lead a hectic lifestyle and aren’t able to plan your diet according to your nutritional needs, then taking supplements rich in folic acid can help. Supplements come in handy when you have a hectic schedule and aren’t much into planning and prepping meals but still want to stay healthy.

Fortified foods rich in folic acid may seem like a lucrative option when you don’t have the time to cook or plan your meals but be mindful of the amount you consume. Fortified food may have detrimental to your health too. 



Studies:
Folic acid and why is it important during pregnancy:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3218540/

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin and its functions:
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/

Difference between folic acid and folate:
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/faqs/faqs-general-info.html

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