All You Need to Know About Folate

Folate is a part of the Vitamin B group and it is water soluble. In spite of which, the role it plays is different – it does not partake in metabolising energy.

The primary objective of folate is to help the body make new cells, specifically, it copies and synthesizes DNA. It also assists the body absorb and make use of Vitamin B12 and amino acids. Deficiency of folate can cause anaemia, poor digestion and poor immune function. 

People who are at the risk of deficiency include:

  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • Pregnant women
  • Alcoholics
  • Individuals with liver disease
  • Those on kidney dialysis
  • Individuals who are on medications for diabetes, diuretics and methotrexate

To overcome deficiency, these foods which are a rich source of folate can be added to your diet:

  • Chickpeas
  • Liver
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beetroot
  • Black eyed peas
  • Broccoli

Benefits of Folate

Have a Healthy Pregnancy

Acceptable amounts of folate help reduce the danger of neural tube defects like spina bifida or anencephaly. Deficiency of folate can also lead to other birth defects like malformation of heart and limbs. Folate is vital for DNA replication and without this; the foetus’ cells will be unable to grow in a proper manner. One of the most essential vitamins for a healthy pregnancy is folate. 

You can Prevent Cancer

One of the causes of cancer is DNA damage in individual cells. As the role of DNA replication is played by folate, it can prevent DNA from becoming damaged and prevent damaged cells from continuing to replicate.

If folate levels in the blood are low, then the risks are tagged with cervical, breast, colon, brain, and lung cancer.

Heart Disease

Homocysteine is a compound which is known to be associated with the amplified risk of heart attack and stroke. Folate helps in reducing the level of homocysteine in the blood.

In summarization

Just like other vitamins and minerals, folate too has its place in the list of nutrients which benefit the body. The correct balance of all vitamins and minerals is sure to keep you healthy and happy. Start adding fruits, green leafy vegetables to your diet to increase the folate content.

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