Healthful Mondays: Folic acid – not just for preggers

 - by Sarah Lipoff

While I was pregnant, taking that super-huge prenatal was the worst part of my day. They made me gag, caused nausea (which I didn’t need any more of) and left a chalky taste in my mouth. YUCK. I spent hours researching other ways to get my daily dose of folic acid (while pregnant = 600+ mcg!) in any way possible. I found there are lots of foods full of folic acid, but that in order to get enough of the stuff to ensure a healthy bambino, the best solution is to swallow the nasty pill.

Here’s the other thing, folic acid isn’t just for preggers. The vitamin has tons of benefits for men and women of all ages from creating super healthy red blood cells (hello healthy heart!) to aiding with fighting depression and memory deterioration. Folic acid helps you to feel good, so finding ways to incorporate more into your diet is no brainer.

Instead of spending cash on boring supplements, try eating your daily dose of folic acid. Not only are foods that are full of folic acid yummy, they are a healthy way to get your daily-recommended dosage of 400 mcg.

Sunflower seeds: toss back a hand full of these fun little seeds and get half a daily recommended dose of folic acid along with vitamin E and lots of fiber, which helps you feel full.

Hummus: You can buy some at the store or buzz some up in your food processor. Either way, garbanzo beans are full of folate and if you add in some garlic, even better for your heart health.

Fresh citrus: An orange has lots of folic acid along with fantastic vitamin C. Tangerines, pineapples and also bananas have a good amount of folate, which makes grabbing one on the go another way to get a dose of folic acid.

Cereals: Many breakfast cereals are great sources of folic acid, but watch the sugar, salt and calorie content! Breakfast bars are also another option for a folate fix.

Anything green: Most green vegetables, such as spinach or beet greens, contain huge amounts of folic acid. It’s not often that you find a spinach smoothie or asparagus snack bar, so including green sides at meals provides your body with a full dose of folic acid.

So, pregnant or not, folic acid offers many health benefits and can easily be added into even a finicky eater’s diet.┬áNot only are you eating yourself toward a heart healthy life, you are providing yourself with other nutrients that will help you to feel satisfied, energized, and positive.

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