Are you getting enough folic acid and folate?
Folate is a B vitamin that helps the body make new cells; it’s especially crucial for women of childbearing age or who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, because adequate intake can prevent major birth defects. This group should consume 400 to 800 mg of folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) a day. But the benefits of folate go beyond pregnancy: researchers have discovered that folic acid may help prevent certain cancers, such as those of the colon cancer and stomach, and maintain brain health, according to Health.Discovery.com. Aim for 400 micrograms of folic acid or less—just because some is good doesn’t mean more is better. Here, the best sources of folate and folic acid in your diet.
Since 1996, the government has required that all “enriched cereal grain products” including flour, cornmeal, and rice, be fortified with folic acid to help reduce birth defects. The CDC has a list of cereals that contain 100 percent of the daily value of folic acid per serving. Have a bowl of cereal in the morning with low-fat milk, or use dry cereal as a yogurt topping.