Folic Acid Essay

Words: 1732
Pages: 7

Folic Acid is a B vitamin, specifically B9. It is an essential nutrient required by the body to create healthy new cells. While we hear about it mostly in regards to pregnancy, it is important to understand that the need for folic acid goes even beyond this. Folic acid is essential for the body to create red blood cells which in turn prevents anemia. It is also plays an important role in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for all men and women 14 and older is 400 mcg. Men often don’t realize this as the benefits to pregnant women are more publicized, but any human being is in need of proper amounts of folic acid to insure the body is able to create new red blood cells to nourish the
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Over a period of time this can cause congestive heart failure and even death. Shorter term symptoms would be fatigue, headaches, and pallor. Recovering completely from anemia can take several months. (3)
The good news however is that folic acid is readily available. Beef Liver is a good meat source of folic acid with about 185 micrograms in 3 ounces. While liver is a great source, there are luckily many others for those of us that are not liver fans. Other natural sources are black eyed peas and spinach. Both have about 100 mcg of folate per 1/2 cup. Other vegetable sources are great northern beans (90 mcg), asparagus (85 mcg in 4 spears), vegetarian baked beans (60 mcg in 1 cup), broccoli (50 mcg in 1/2 cup), romaine lettuce (40 mcg in 1/2 cup), and avocado (45 mcg in 1/2 cup). If you prefer fruits, some examples of fruit sources are oranges, cantaloupe, papayas and bananas. A serving of each of these provides between 25-30 mcg of folic acid.
Besides folate occurring naturally in foods, some foods are fortified as a result of the folic acid fortification regulations published by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Foods that are folic acid fortified include cereal, pasta, and bread. Some cereals have 100% recommended daily value of 400 micrograms in 3/4 cup. One bowl of some cereals could provide your daily requirement of folic acid! Other cereals