Folate-Rich Foods for Your Diet
By Sara Butler
You probably know that folate is an important part of a healthy diet, but do you know why? Or even what folate is? It's recommended that you get at least 400 micrograms of folate per day to be healthy and there are plenty of foods out there that can provide that for you. Here's what you need to know about folate and where you can find more of it to boost your health and wellness.
Folate: What is it?
Folate is also known as folic acid and Vitamin B9. Your body needs it for several important functions such as:
- The formation of red blood cells
- DNA and chromosomal repair
- To prevent neural tube defects in babies in the womb
Folate works together with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 to help support heart health by curbing levels of homocysteine in your body. The levels of homocysteine are correlated to cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks.
While folate may also be called folic acid, they're a little bit different. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. They have an identical molecular structure but because folic acid is synthetic your body can't use it the same way as it does folate. That's why it's better to eat foods rich in folate instead of taking a supplement.
The Best Foods for Folate
If you're looking to increase folate in your diet, then you should add more:
- Bananas - One medium banana provides about 24 micrograms of folate
- Papaya - This tropical fruit provides 27 micrograms in one-half cup
- Peanuts - You'll find 27 micrograms of folate in one ounce of these nuts
- Turnip greens - This traditional southern fare provides you with 27 micrograms in one-half cup
- Oranges - Known for their Vitamin C, one small orange also delivers 29 micrograms of folate
- Dungeness crab - If you're a crab lover, then it's great new that 3 ounces of crab provides 37 micrograms of folate
- Tomato juice - Whether you use it in recipes or drink it straight, tomato juice provides 36 micrograms of folate in three-fourths of a cup
- Kidney beans - These beans are a great source of folate with 46 micrograms in one-half cup but they're also full of protein
- Brussels sprouts - One-half cup of these green beauties provides 47 micrograms of folate
- Green peas - One-half cup of boiled peas has a whopping 50 micrograms of folate
- Cooked spinach - The granddaddy of all folate-containing foods, one-half cup of cooked spinach provides you with 131 micrograms of folate. That's one-third of what you need in a whole day!
Getting enough folate in your diet is easy, so there's no excuse for you not to get the folate your body needs with a balanced and healthy diet.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Round Rock, Tex.