List of Foods Containing Folic Acid and Its Benefits for the Body

Not only pregnant women, everyone needs to meet their daily folic acid needs. The reason is, this nutrient has an important role in the body, starting from the formation of genes, protein metabolism, to mental health.

Each person's daily needs for folic acid or vitamin B9 are different, namely 150–200 mcg for those aged 1–8 years, 300 mcg for those aged 9–13 years, and 400 mcg for those aged 14 years and over. Meanwhile, pregnant women need about 600 mcg of folic acid per day and nursing mothers need about 500 mcg.

Food Choices Containing Folic Acid

To meet your daily needs for folic acid, you need to eat foods rich in these nutrients, including:

1. Green vegetables

One way to meet daily folic acid needs is to eat vegetables. Green vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, radishes, lettuce, chives, or broccoli can be options because these vegetables contain high enough folic acid.

2. Fruits

Fruit can also be a good source of folic acid. Fruits that contain lots of folic acid are fruits that are included in the citrus family, including oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. Apart from that, avocados, tomatoes, beets, papayas, bananas and orange melons are also fruits that are rich in folic acid.

3. Nuts

Apart from vegetables and fruit, you can also get enough folic acid from various types of nuts which are suitable for making healthy snacks. Examples of nuts that are rich in folic acid are peanuts, kidney beans, tolo beans, green beans, peas, and walnuts. Because they contain lots of folate, these nuts, including red beans, are good for consumption by pregnant women.

4. Foods high in protein

Some foods that are high in protein are also rich in folic acid. Examples are poultry, beef liver, red meat, chicken liver, seafood and eggs. Eating 1 serving of beef liver, which is about 85 grams, can meet half of the daily requirement for folic acid.

5. Folic acid fortified foods

Some processed food products, such as bread, cereals and pasta, are also fortified or given additional folic acid. Read the label of the food packaging you are going to buy to find out the folic acid content in the product.

Benefits of Folic Acid for Health

As explained above, well-fulfilled folic acid needs will bring health benefits, including:

  •     Maintain cell function in the body
  •     Helps form red blood cells and DNA
  •     Prevent anemia and heart disease
  •     Prevent cancer
  •     Reducing the risk of dementia or dementia
  •     Improve mental health
  •     Maintain healthy skin, hair and nails

In pregnant women, adequate folic acid consumption can reduce the risk of the fetus experiencing birth defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, being born prematurely, or born with low birth weight.

You can get folic acid from food. However, in some conditions, the body's need for folic acid can increase so that additional supplements are needed. Talk to your doctor about the amount of folic acid you need and whether or not you need to take supplements to meet these needs.

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