Folic Acid and its function
Folic acid is part of the B-vitamin family. . It is used to create new cells in the body, such as skin and nails. Women need about 400 mcg of folic acid daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but everyone needs some folic acid in their diet. While this may seem like a lot of folic acid, it can be found in many foods, some 100 percent of a daily serving.
Foods with Folic Acid
While 400 mcg daily may seem like a large amount, many common foods hold folic acid. Folic acid is found in fruits and vegetables along with peas, beans, soy milk, nuts, peanuts and peanut butter, pasta, white rice, bread and flour. Cereal is another good way to get vitamin B. Some cereals even come with the complete daily amount per serving. Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Wheat Chex, Cinnamon Crunch, Special K, and Cap’n’Crunch includes a total daily servings, but check the labels on food products, because there are others.
Folic acid also helps speed up your metabolism, so if you must take a few extra calories to get the daily serving, do not fret too much.
What Folic Acid Prevents
Folic acid is important for pregnant women, or for women who are thinking about getting pregnant because it prevents spina bifida and anencephaly. Folic acid needs to be included in everyone’s diet because it also helps with homocysteine in the blood, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It may help prevent some types of cancer, Alzheimer’s and hearing loss as you get older. There is some evidence that folic acid may help prevent megaloblastic anemia.
Spina Bifida and Anencephaly birth defects
Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States according to the Spina Bifida Association. About 3,000 children per year are born with the disease, meaning that their spikes do not close properly. Although not all people with the disease have any problems, any side effects of the disease is the inability to walk, hydrocephalus or a buildup of fluid around the brain, problems look up and break, deterioration of brain functions, difficulty staying awake and swallowed. Some may not be able to control their bowels right. Spina bifida can also lead to depression and anxiety throughout his life and is incurable.
is Anencephaly a defect in the closure of the narrow channel which forms the brain and spinal cord in early pregnancy. Babies are born without front their bran or cerebrum, the part of the brain that helps with coordination and thinking. The rest of the brain is usually left exposed. When born, the child is usually blind, deaf, unconscious and unable to feel pain. If they are not stillborn, the life expectancy of a baby with anencephaly usually a few hours or days.