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Why Folic Acid is Good For Everyone

Women, especially those of a child-bearing age, have been told to take their folic acid for ages, but what are its true benefits? It turns out that folate, a water-soluble B vitamin, can help protect against heart disease, memory loss, and cell degeneration. It can also promote hair and nail growth, making this vitamin popular among young women. Be advised though: there can be too much of a good thing. The recommended daily intake of folic acid varies from person to person, so you should find out how much is right for you before you buy.

As mentioned previously, folic acid is important for pregnant women as the nutrient promotes healthy fetal growth. Folate helps to reduce the risk of certain birth defects in the brain and spine, also known as neural tube defects. The proper daily intake of folate for pregnant women is 600 micrograms. The same daily dose is recommended for breastfeeding women in order to give their baby important cell building nutrients.

For healthy adults, folate can offer protection from a variety of ailments. The recommended daily dose is slightly less than for pregnant women, at only 400 micrograms. However, too much folic acid can lead to issues with mental impairment, so don't go overboard. When used correctly, folate can help reduce instances of heart issues and stroke in otherwise healthy adults.

For children, the recommended daily dose of folic acid is anywhere from 150-400 depending on age. Many baby formulas and foods are fortified with folate to help promote cell and brain development. Again, too much folate can be risky for children down the road, so stick to the recommended doses.

Folate can be found not just in folic acid supplements but also in many healthy foods. Lentils, asparagus, and spinach are all great sources of folate. Chickpeas are also high in folate, so why not make a delicious homemade hummus dip? Kids love dipping veggies and bread in hummus, and it’s always popular at potlucks. There are tons of great recipes online for folate-rich foods that are low-fat and totally delicious.

Folic acid has always been a go-to supplement for child-bearing women, but the fact is that everyone can benefit from folate intake. The vitamin B derivative can promote heart health and cell growth while helping to prevent certain types of cancers and birth defects. So take that daily vitamin or cook up some sautéed spinach and get your folic acid going!

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