5 Simple Ways Folic Acid Is Great for Your Health
Most of us have been hearing about the importance of vitamins and minerals since childhood, yet we know surprisingly little about them. There are 13 vitamins that our bodies depend on, with the class of B vitamins representing 8 of them. Each of the B vitamins plays an important role in supporting optimal health – including vitamin B9, which many of you know as folic acid.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate. Folate can be found in a number of foods and is a key component of B complex supplements. Still, many people associate folic acid primarily with women’s health due to the fact that doctors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that women of childbearing age take in 400mg of folic acid daily.
Folic acid is incredibly important and beneficial for women and men of all ages. What exactly does folic acid do for you? Here’s what you need to know about the top 5 benefits of folic acid supplements and how to make sure you’re getting enough of this valuable B vitamin every day.
Top 5 folic acid benefits
1. Prevention of Birth Defects
One of the most well-known benefits of folic acid is the role it plays in supporting a healthy pregnancy by preventing certain birth defects. Adequate folic acid intake is connected with reduced incidences of neural tube defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida, which are initiated in the very early stages of pregnancy.
The protective benefits against neural tube defects is one of the primary reasons that doctors recommend folic acid supplements for pregnant women. However, because the changes that lead to these forms of birth defects happen within the first weeks of pregnancy, it’s suggested that all women of childbearing age take a folic acid supplement to maintain adequate levels, regardless of whether they’re planning on becoming pregnant.
2. Conversion of Homocysteine
Because of the strong connection between folic acid and healthy pregnancies, we often overlook the fact that folate is a vitamin that’s important for everyone – including men. Taking in adequate amounts of folate vitamins has been associated with a reduction of homocysteine, which is an inflammatory molecule that has been linked to the development of heart disease.
When it comes to the importance of folic acid for men, learning of folate’s effect on homocysteine is an important health development. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Why are folate supplements so important to men’s health? Currently, heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 male deaths, with more than 70% of sudden cardiac events occurring in men.
3. Prevents Premature Aging
There’s no way to turn back time, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do everything we can to slow the aging process. Oxidative stress, which results from the damage of oxidation caused by free radicals plays a significant role in how we age. Oxidative stress occurs as a result to pollutants, toxins and everyday cellular processes that burden the body’s ability to fight off free radicals.
Folic acid may help in keeping your skin looking more youthful and your body in peak physical condition as you age. Folate is recognized as a key antioxidant within the B vitamin family. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals and as a result, minimize their damage and slow down parts of the aging process.
4. Fights Depression
Low levels or malabsorption of folate have been associated with depression and may interfere with the effectiveness of medications used to treat depression. An article published by Harvard Medical School connects folate and depression through the vitamin’s ability to break down homocysteine, which has already been mentioned for it’s protective benefits for heart health. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of depressive disorders.
More long-term studies on how to best use folic acid for depression are needed. However, adding a folate vitamin to your daily routine is a good way to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to help it combat the effects of depression.
5. Builds Red Blood Cells to Prevent Anemia
Folic acid assists your body in making red blood cells. Individuals with a folate deficiency may be unable to produce the red blood cells they need to carry oxygen throughout the body. Without enough oxygen, it becomes difficult for the body to perform at peak levels. This is a condition known as anemia.
We often think of iron as being one of the key nutrients in preventing or treating anemia. However, certain vitamins – like folic acid – are equally important. Daily intake of folic acid can promote healthy cellular function and keep your body in peak condition.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining the mineral balance in the body.
Getting the folic acid you need
Folate is found naturally in a variety of nutritious foods. Some of the best folic acid foods include:
- Leafy greens, such as spinach
- Citrus fruits
- Beef liver
- Nuts, seeds and wheat germ
Folic acid is such an important nutrient that it’s also added to many commercial foods, including cereal, pasta and flours.
Foods that provide vitamin D include: fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel and salmon.
The essential vitamin for women
Codeage Women’s Fermented Multivitamin is a premium formula made with real whole foods, organic herbs and fermented essential vitamins for optimal hormonal health, energy and digestive support. We’ve also included your daily dose of boron and omega-3 from micro-algae as well as a synergistic blend of probiotics and enzymes.
Vitamin A palmitate or retinol palmitate is a form of vitamin A known as a retinoid (retinol) which is a bioavailable form of vitamin A meaning it can usually be used and absorbed by the body more efficiently than other forms of vitamin A.*
We have also added vitamin B into Codeage Women's Fermented Vitamin. Research has shown that Vitamin B can be great in helping the body convert food into energy. Vitamin C cannot be produced by the body and so it can be an option to add this nutrient through supplements. It is however found in many fruits and vegetables and gives your immune system the energy it needs to live good lifestyle. Lastly, vitamin E is available in many healthy foods, however it is hard to get enough through a daily regimen so we have packed this blend with vitamin E as well.
The important thing to remember about folic acid is that it’s a water-soluble vitamin. This means that your body has a limited ability to store it, so it must continually be replenished. One of the best and most reliable ways of getting your daily folate is through a folic acid supplement.
Doing the research and choosing the highest quality folic acid supplement is key for optimal results. Treat your body properly by supplying it with the nutrients it needs, including folic acid, and enjoy the benefits of living your healthiest, happiest life.