Folic Acid: occurrence, function and more
Folic acid is mainly found in plant foods. Our main source is vegetables, especially all types of cabbage, spinach, asparagus or fennel and lettuce (corn salad, endive, lettuce). Especially a lot of them contain germ of cereals, legumes and soybeans. In addition – but only from late May to July – strawberry, folic our richest fruit at all. In the animal foods the vitamin is found mainly in the liver.
Folic acid is needed especially for cell division and cell renewal. In addition, the water-soluble vitamin is an important material in order to prevent an excessive homocysteine levels in the blood. This is a risk factor for atherosclerosis and heart attack. Also for the development of embryos vitamin plays an important role.
The Eorope Nutrition Society recommends for adolescents (from 10 years) and adults 400 micrograms (mcg) per day. Pregnant and nursing women should perform 600 micrograms daily.
Symptoms of deficiency
A folic acid deficiency becomes particularly noticeable there, where cells divide frequently. So there may be changes to mucous membranes (mouth, lining of the intestine and urogenital tract). A deficiency can also be reflected in an anemia or a reduced antibody formation. In addition, the risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart attack risk rises. In pregnancy, deficiency results in malformations and underdevelopment of infant lead up to the finish.
Features and facts
Folic acid is a very unstable vitamin. It is especially sensitive to light and heat. Therefore cook the vegetables with a little water and as short as possible, even better is damp. Even short, crisp frying is fine.