Think green Folate is a B vitamin found in green, leafy vegetables and other food sources, added to vitamin and mineral supplements like folic acid.
Why Folate? Folate helps synthesize certain amino acids, also needed for the formation of hemoglobin in the blood. It produces DNA and RNA, crucial for periods of rapid cell division and growth like pregnancy and infancy.
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It reduces premature birth and low birth weight, anemia, and “neural tube defects” like anencephaly and spina bifida. Anencephaly hinders brain development, causing stillbirth. Spina bifida produces spinal column defects, resulting in handicap.
The good news! Folate sources are easily found in dark-green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and juices, whole-grain products, and chicken or beef liver. Some breakfast cereal products are fortified with folic acid, with various vitamin and mineral supplements to augment daily intake.