Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9) Is Important for Health
Folate (vitamin B-9) is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. A diet lacking foods rich in folate or folic acid can lead to a folate deficiency. Folate deficiency can also occur in people who have conditions, such as celiac disease, that prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from foods (malabsorption syndromes).
Folate is found mainly in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and nuts.Fruits rich in folate include oranges, lemons, bananas, melons and strawberries. The synthetic form of folate is folic acid. It’s in an essential component of prenatal vitamins and is in many fortified foods such as cereals and pastas.