Folic acid is a vital component that is of utmost necessary for numerous bodily functions. Folic acid which is the synthetic form of folate is a form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. It is extremely beneficial for human body especially for women of child-bearing age its deficiency can create serious repercussions.
It is very important in the development of new cells as well as for cell division and also for the growth of red blood cells thus helping in arresting anaemia. Folic acid is cardinal for nervous system, brain as well for spinal fluid. It also gives protection against heart disease by controlling the level of homocysteine (an amino acid). The deficiency of folic acid in human body creates numerous disorders. Folic acid is especially vital for new born babies as it helps to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) like anencephaly and spina bifida that occur generally during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is in fact, recommended that daily, every women of child bearing age should have at least 400 micrograms (mcgs) of folic acid to prevent any birth deficiencies and at the same time reduce the chances of miscarriage.
Thus there can be no doubt that requisite intake of folic acid rich food is of utmost beneficial for the growth of human body and for the conduct of its various functions. Food with adequate amount of folate should be a part of daily diet. Leafy and green vegetables like raddish leaves, spinach, peas, cauliflower, green peeper, beetroot, mustard greens, ladyfinger, fenugreek leaves etc. are a good source of content. Folic acid is found in plenty in legumes like soya bean, lobhia, kidney beans, dried peas, chickpeas and lentils. Other important sources for the same include egg yolk, meat products like liver, kidney, nuts such as almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds. In moderate amount fruits like strawberries, honeydew or cantaloupe melons, bananas, pineapple, papaya, oranges and raspberries contain it. In many countries it is added to grain products such as whole grain flour, whole meal bread and oats. Even some breakfast cereals are fortified with 25 -100% of the recommended dietary allowance but one has to check the nutrition label first before in taking the product.
It is important to remember that folic acid in food remains at a delicate level. Hence cooking vegetables rich in this vitamin has to be done carefully to maintain the nutrient value. It is advisable hence, to have these vegetables raw or at best stewed or you can microwave so that maximum benefits can be reaped. Some times however, food enriched with it is not enough and even after a well balanced diet the lacuna remains. In that case, vitamins have to supplement the diet.This is critical especially for women for whom a balanced dose of it on a daily basis is a must and the failure to replenish the adequate dose may lead to severe repercussions.