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What is the Deal With: Folate

I just learned something new and I thought I should share it with you: folate and folic acid are the same thing. Well not exactly the same thing. Although they are both forms of a water soluble B vitamin, folate naturally occurs in food and folic acid is its synthetic form found in supplements and added to fortified foods.

Folate and folic acid not only prevent anemia during pregnancy, they also help to produce and maintain new cells. These two reason are why it is essential to take folic acid before and during pregnancy. So if you are planning on becoming a mama soon, make sure you're getting your daily value (DV) of this vitamin, which is 500 micrograms if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. For all other adults the recommended DV is 400 micrograms.

Aside from pregnancy, folate is an important nutrient since it is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. The "C" word usually catches people's attention, so now I want you to know what to eat for your DV of folate.

Foods naturally high in folate are: leafy green vegetables like spinach and turnip greens (don't toss the greens when cooking with turnips you can sauté them with garlic just like spinach), citrus fruits and juices, as well as dried beans and peas. Since 1998, folic acid has been added to "enriched" grain products like breads and cereals. Many fortified cereals contain 100% of your daily folate needs. Ahhhh...another reason to read those labels.

Join The Conversation
cams cams 10 years
Its super hard to get it from foods like spinach which is why all women should take a vitamin with folate. The thing is though, whole grains are not fortified with folate and now that women are eating more whole grains their intake of folate is going down which could increase the risk of their babies being born with spinal bifida
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
OOO. this is confusing LOL
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Thanks for telling me the difference between DV and RDA. Folic acid is so important for ladies that are planning on getting pregnant or who are pregnant. I think this must be one of the reasons the FDA had folic acid added to the list of vitamins and minerals in fortified foods like cereal and bread.
cams cams 10 years
DVs and RDAs are NOT the same. the Daily Value is something that is strictly on a food label. The Reccomended Daily Values are what you are meaning to say. The RDA for folate for pregnant women is 600 mcg. It also prevents Spinal Bifida in babies (scary!) and those develop when there is not enough folate in a womans diet in the first few months of pregnancy (usually before a woman knows shes pregnant-thats why its so important for women who may get pregnant to be taking vitamins)
fatsister fatsister 10 years
I just learned that you are supposed to start taking folic acid supplements at least 4 months before you want to get pregnant (or start trying). The traditional woman's multivitamin only has 400 micrograms as Fit mentions. Prenatal supplements tend to have 800 micrograms. Or, I guess you could eat a lot of spinach.
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
I always wondered about that!!
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