Whether you’re an individual looking to become pregnant, going through chemotherapy, or have diabetes and are taking the drug Metformin, it’s crucial to stay on top of your nutrition and essential minerals and vitamins.
While there are a variety of essential vitamins that you can get from foods, superfoods, and supplements, did you know that some nutrients are more important than others? For example, depending on your specific needs, some nutrients like turmeric are known to boost the immune system, and others help strengthen the bones of the body.
One of the more important of all nutrients is the B vitamin. The benefits of B vitamins are that they help aid in the production of DNA and RNA in the bone marrow and transform carbohydrates into energy.
B 9 Vitamin, also known as Folate, is naturally found in some foods. It is a critical nutrient for anyone to experience rapid growth from adolescence to pregnancy. In pregnancy, folate plays a central role in developing cells in the fetus.
In the case of pregnancy, Folate is crucial to prevent congenital disabilities of the brain or spine, and it is one of the recommended vitamins to increase intake during pregnancy.
Understanding the benefits of Folate in the body and the risks that come with deficiency is critical in maintaining optimal health, especially in individuals looking to become pregnant.
What Folate Does for the Body
Folate, or folic acid, is crucial in red blood cell development and helps the body produce both DNA and RNA, which are essential building blocks for the body. Folate also performs other functions in the body, including preventing anemia, especially in pregnancy and for fetuses.
Additionally, Folate in the body helps break down carbohydrates for energy, providing the body with the fuel needed for short-to-long-term tasks. In other words, Folate aids the body with energy production and digestion. A more efficient body that can burn calories has an easier time maintaining weight, appetite control, enhanced cardiovascular process, boosted moods, and lowered blood pressure.
There are significant benefits of Folate in the body, especially for people that are compromised, expecting, or planning on having a baby. Some side effects come from being deficient in Folates, which you need to be aware of for optimal health. Deficiencies of Folates in the body may contribute to anemia, preventing neural tube brain and spinal defects, and increased risks of cancer, strokes, dementia, and depression.
Natural Sources of Folate Found In Food
There are natural foods that are good sources of Folate that you can select to add to your diet.
Foods that are high in Folate include:
- Dark, leafy greens such as turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, and Brussel sprouts.
- Sunflower seeds and peanuts
- Whole grains
- Fresh fruit such as oranges, lemons, bananas, and melons
In order to get the proper amount of nutrition from these foods, you’d need to consult a dietician for the serving sizes required. Of course, serving sizes may vary. In addition, getting the recommended amount of a nutrient requires eating a large amount of a specific vitamin a day, which is nearly impossible, so supplements may be needed.
With large serving sizes balanced with the need for the proper amount of nutrition, what does a person looking to become pregnant do?
Eating a ton of vegetables and fruits that provide enough B 9 vitamins is entirely unrealistic, so finding supplements such as a MTHF supplement to replace the consumption of large quantities of leafy vegetables is a good suggestion.
Some medical conditions such as celiac disease and people undergoing chemotherapy are at greater risk for Folate deficiency than pregnant individuals. To get the proper amount of nutrients, especially for people in specific risk categories, they must take supplements to aid their nutritional wellbeing.
Knowing the benefits of Folate, or folic acid, in the body, especially for pregnant individuals, is essential to understanding and helpful in preventing severe congenital disabilities. For all others, understanding the role Folates play in the body and how deficiencies can impact your health is crucial to your wellbeing.