Have you had your foliage today?

It’s important to get in your daily dietary “green stuff.” Otherwise, you risk depriving yourself of folate, a key nutrient found in foods like spinach, turnip greens, bok choy, parsley, and romaine lettuce.

In recent decades, science has come to recognize the profound impact folate and folate deficiency can have on human development. Familiarity with this B-complex vitamin, especially if you or someone you know is pregnant or considering pregnancy, is common. Folate is essential. Folate deficiency can have long-term physical effects on the body or a fetus. Neglecting folate levels can lead to birth defects, blood diseases, and, in some cases, cancer. Here’s what you should know:

Brain and Nervous System Health

Folate has long been understood to support nervous system function, especially as it pertains to the messaging molecules that send signals to various areas in the body. Now, however, researchers also recognize that folate contains glutamic acid molecules that control absorption of folate in the intestines up into the body as well.

Overall Cardiovascular Support

The past decade has revealed the importance of folate to the cardiovascular system as well. Metabolic research has been devoted to investigating overlapping areas of folate-connected roles. Especially where they assist cardiovascular and nervous system health.

Specific Support of Red Blood Cell Production

Folate is also a key nutrient in the production of the body’s red blood cells. Folate deficiency can interrupt the process and hinder blood cell production.

Reproductive Health

Adverse effects on a developing child’s nervous system happen very early in gestation. Increasing levels of folate for women before they become pregnant is key. The neural tube birth defects that occur when a mother is deficient, happen because there is too little folate in her body ongoing before pregnancy begins.

Though much more research is required, there is some promising evidence indicating that folate may have some role in decreasing breast cancer risk and depression.

The best way to obtain appropriate types and amounts of folate is through healthy, whole foods. More good sources of folate include broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and beets.

Read the full article here: Folate