Friday, November 11, 2022

Food sources of vitamin B9

Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 and it is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. The vitamin is water-soluble and naturally found in many foods. The synthetic form of folate is folic acid.

Folate plays an important role in protein metabolism and helps to form DNA and RNA. It plays a key role in breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that can exert harmful effects in the body if it is present in high amounts. It’s also necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth, such as during pregnancy and fetal development.

Folate is found mainly in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and nuts. Fruits rich in folate include oranges, lemons, bananas, melons and strawberries.

One cup (177 grams) of cooked kidney beans contains 131 mcg of folate, or about 33% of the Daily Value (DV). Meanwhile, one cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils contains 358 mcg of folate, which is 90% of the DV.

In January 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required food manufacturers to add folic acid to foods commonly eaten, including breads, cereals, pasta, rice, and other grain products, to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

A diet lacking foods rich in folate or folic acid can lead to a folate deficiency. Folate-deficiency anemia is the lack of folic acid in the blood. Folate deficiency can also occur in people who have conditions, such as celiac disease, that prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from foods. Low levels of folic acid can cause megaloblastic anemia. With this condition, red blood cells are larger than normal.

Men and women ages 19 years and older should aim for 400 mcg DFE. The CDC recommends that all women get at least 400mcg of folate a day, whether or not they plan on becoming pregnant. Pregnant and lactating women require 600 mcg DFE and 500 mcg DFE, respectively.
Food sources of vitamin B9

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