It's been a while since we last posted about our vitamins and minerals. I think we left off with riboflavin, right? So, let's pick back up and talk about yet another B vitamin: folate.

Folate's chief function is to help the body create new cells (new cell synthesis). Why is this important? Think about your hair or your nails, for example. Throughout our lives, they, well, grow. Folate is what helps us create new cells, so our hair and nails, and other parts of our body, can grow or regenerate. This hardworking vitamin also participates in the metabolism of vitamin B12 and some of our important amino acids. So, we need folate.

If we don't get enough folate, our bodies may tell us in a number of ways: anemia, compromised immunity, or even abnormal GI functioning. Many of you may also be familiar with neural tube defects, like spina bifida, associated with a mother's low folate intake.

The DRI recommended amount for adults is 400 mcg/day. If you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy, your doctor may recommend significantly upping that amount by taking a folic acid supplement (folic acid is the synthetic form found in supplements). Given folate's chief function of creating new cells, this makes perfect sense, right? So, lentil stew in the slow cooker, a bowl of enriched cereal in the morning, or a simple roasted asparagus are all delicious ways to get more folate. Eggs, beets, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, avocado, and leafy greens (folate is derived from the word foliage!) help you get there, too.

Be well, everyone!

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