Happiness is. . . Folate & Fruit January 2, 2007

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Well you made it through the holidays. Mom assured you that she would be "just fine" on the floor of the guest bedroom while dad noted that the blow up camping mattress smelled like the battleship he served on in 1965. Across the hall your aunt wondered loudly where the nice lace doilies were that she sent you - "FedEx by the way" - for the top of the toilet tank. It's been a busy and sometimes bumpy two weeks. But whatever the stress point is, remember this: get your folic acid, it may make you happier.
Folic Acid: Folic acid (Folate) is a part of the B complex set of vitamins. It is necessary for the formation of blood cells and it may also reduce the risk of heart disease and many cancers. Folic acid is also responsible for helping women have healthy babies. According to some research, supplementing with Folic Acid before and during pregnancy appears to reduce birth defects (spina bifida) by as much as 50 percent.
Folic Acid & depression: Lately, there is renewed interest in using FA to prevent depression. Here's a quote from the University of Maryland Medical Center's website: "Studies suggest that vitamin B9 (folate) may be associated with depression more than any other nutrient, and may play a role in the high incidence of depression in the elderly. Between 15% and 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies and those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed."
Fruits and Veggies: The word Folate, or Folic Acid, comes from the word foliage, meaning green leafy vegetables. Spinach, broccoli and peas are great sources of FA. But most of us cook these foods before we eat them and that can destroy almost half the amount of FA. It's very important to get FA from a variety of food sources, some of them being raw foods. Beyond green leafies, another way to get more FA into your diet is by increasing the amounts of oranges, bananas, grapefruits and strawberries you eat. If we eat a couple of servings of fortified cereals a day, along with five-six servings of fruits and veggies, we should have no problems reaching the RDA of 400 mcgs per day.
Enjoy and be fruitful!


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