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Folic Acid Rich Foods
Folic Acid Rich Natural Products
- Promoting healthy total cholesterol levels starts with improving your heart health and reducing your risks for developing heart disease and other diseases that affect the circulatory system, such as atherosclerosis
- High cholesterol is often blamed for heart attacks and heart disease deaths. Folic acid has been shown to help reduce the risks of developing heart disease and the chance of having a heart attack
- Coupled with a low cholesterol diet, natural cholesterol supplements, such as folate, which comes from folic acid, can help promote good heart health
A debate has begun to rage over the benefits of folic acid in the diet. While some physicians and researchers have suggested that increasing our intake of folic acid can help protect us from heart disease, others recommend waiting for more research. However, there is no question that folic acid foods can have health benefits, especially for women. And, as always, eating foods that are naturally rich in folic acid is the best way to increase your overall intake.
Basics of Folic Acid
The term folic acid does not refer to a naturally occurring vitamin in the body. Instead, folic acid is the man-made version of a natural vitamin known as folate. However, you can find ways to increase your intake of folic acid. Many grain products are actually enhanced with folic acid to ensure that you have enough in your diet. Additionally, you could take vitamin supplements to make sure you consume enough.
When you have a diet high in folate or folic acid, you can actually decrease your risk of anemia. That means you don’t produce as many red blood cells as you should and without those cells your body won’t be able to transport sufficient oxygen to your body. The results of anemia include paleness, fatigue, and headaches. Additionally, if you don’t have enough folate in your diet and you’re a woman, you could increase the risk of birth defects in your offspring. Some of those potential defects include spina bifida and anencephaly. Other research has suggested that a diet rich in folic acid foods can also protect the body against colon cancer.
Most recently, some researchers in the United States have found evidence that folic acid can actually lower levels of homocysteine which is a chemical that can indicate a greater risk for heart disease.
Best Foods for Folic Acid
If you want to increase your intake of folic acid for any of the reasons above, your best choice to find foods that are naturally rich in folate. Some of the best choices are peas (most varieties, including green ones), most fruits and fruit juices, beans, nuts, almost any type of vegetable, peanut butter, and liver. Eating a balanced diet that contains some of these elements every day is going to be a good way to make sure you have the folate your body needs.
You’ll also find folic acid added to many of the most common food items in your home, including pasta, cereal, and breads. Just look at your food labels and you’ll see how much is contained in the products.
Potential Risks of Folic Acid
Although the government approved the fortification of grain products with folic acid to help prevent birth defects, some researchers are now questioning this decision. This B vitamin is essential to healthy cell growth but what some researchers now suspect is that increasing the amount of folic acid so drastically (thanks to the high consumption of fortified grain products) may have actually promoted the growth of cancerous cells, too. The final verdict is still out but for now most would agree the benefits of eating natural sources of folic acid outweigh the potential risks.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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