Folate Deficiency Symptoms - What are signs of Folic Acid Deficiency?

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Folate Deficiency Symptoms - What are signs of Folic Acid Deficiency?

Folic acid is a vitamin that plays a vital process in the body’s production of healthy new cells. Studies have shown that this specific segment of B vitamins encourage a healthy heart, and can help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s and even lower the risk of developing cancerous cells. Some recent research has suggested that folate can provide aid to those that struggle with mood and anxiety disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Folic acid, or folate, is part of the B vitamin complex and is especially important for pregnant women, who have a higher daily requirement for the vitamin. Women who plan on trying to get pregnant should begin taking a B vitamin complex before they actually begin trying to conceive as it plays a crucial role in the development of the baby’s brain and spine.

Folate deficiency symptoms will begin to appear when an individual’s diet does not have enough natural folic acid sources, and if there is no supplement added to otherwise bridge that deficiency. There are some instances in which an individual’s body does not properly absorb the vitamin as it should, which can also lead to a nutritional deficiency.

What are signs of deficiency?
• Weakness
• Depression
• Mental confusion, feelings of being disoriented
• Appetite changes
• Dizziness and fatigue
• Heart palpitations and otherwise irregular heartbeat
• Moodiness

As you can likely guess from the list above, the signs of folic acid deficiency are not pleasant to experience, but more often than not, the symptoms are subtle. If you have had a combination of the warning signs, talk to your doctor to find out whether or not that may be the root cause of your complaints.

What are the best food sources of folate?
Leafy green vegetables – Iceberg lettuce doesn’t count! Choose dark green vegetables for the highest folate content; spinach is an excellent example, but asparagus, beets, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are all options that are just as nutritious.

Beans – You don’t necessarily have to eat like a rabbit in order to get your folate from foods; beans are a heartier way to get your daily dose. Pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzos and navy are the best options.

Meat and animal products – Liver is the highest food source of folate but that doesn’t always sound appetizing when sitting down with a cup of coffee for breakfast in the morning. Eggs, poultry, and fish are good, lean food sources of folic acid.

Seeds and nuts – Peanuts and peanut butter are a good way to supplement your diet to get enough folic acid but they are not enough on their own. Sunflower seeds are another good source.

Fruits – The fruits that are highest in this B vitamin are melons, grapes, oranges and strawberries.

Grains – There are a few different whole grains that provide a small amount of B vitamins, and there are many man-altered grain products (such as cereals) that have been fortified with the vitamin. Your healthiest options for B vitamin food sources, however, are going to be the ones that don’t come from a box, bag, or package. Select from the categories above for the most nutritionally sound choices.

If you think you have a folate deficiency, talk to your doctor to find out whether diet changes or supplements might be the best option for you.

Want an easier, tastier way to consume all of those leafy green vegetables? Check out this Spinach Apple Carrot Juice.