Did you know that 13 vitamins are essential for your survival? These include B vitamins such as thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3). Another essential vitamin is folic acid.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid is generally known for its key role in the normal development of the baby’s nervous system. However, no matter what stage of life, this vitamin is vital to our health.
Folic acid is the main nutrient of methyl in the human body. It consists of one carbon atom and three hydrogens (CH3). These are not chemically complex substances, but they are essential for the production of our DNA to the production of key brain neurotransmitters.
Folic acid is also necessary for the recycling of homocysteine, which is a potentially deadly toxin naturally produced in the body. Folic acid can be removed from the body through alcohol, smoking and various drugs.
The body needs folic acid, but it cannot start from scratch. It must obtain folic acid from food or dietary supplements. Folic acid vitamins are most active when they are converted into methyl folate (MeF).
What is methyl folate?
Methyl folate (technically methyl tetrahydrofolate) is the pre-activated and easiest form of folic acid vitamins. Enzymes in the human body are particularly dependent on the methyl group of MeF, which is essential for a wide range of brain functions.
The methyl chemical group produced by folic acid is actually the basis of our entire life process. This is essential for the survival, growth, operation and maintenance of structural integrity of all our cells, tissues and organs.
The brain needs folic acid to maintain mood, memory and other cognition, behavior, and overall brain and physical health. MeF also supports the full function of bone marrow, liver and all other organs.
All our cells need methylfolate to make their DNA, package it into genes, repair it when damage occurs, and regulate its overall gene activity (epigenetics). The nerve cells of the brain also need it to electrically insulate (myelin), produce neurotransmitters for serotonin and dopamine, and even make the sleep hormone melatonin. MeF can also detoxify homocysteine together with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
Folic acid vs folic acid
When comparing folic acid and folic acid, it is important to know that folic acid is a vitamin we need, and folic acid is an artificial chemical substance that is only useful after it is converted into methylfolate through a three-step enzyme. MeF is better absorbed and utilized than folic acid or food folic acid.
Most multiples provide folic acid as folic acid. But folic acid is chemically completely different from natural folic acid. It can only be transformed on a limited basis, and will “increase” our folate enzyme, thus impairing our use of natural folic acid in food. Studies have shown that more and more Americans have a large amount of unconverted folic acid in their blood, which has no useful function and may be harmful to their health.
To make matters worse, a large proportion of people have genetic mutations that impair their use of folic acid. As many as a quarter of people have the C677T mutation in the MTHFR enzyme, which makes it difficult for them to convert folate to methylfolate.
Children and folic acid
Due to the standard American diet (SAD), many Americans do not get enough vitamins and minerals every day. This also applies to children.
Sadly, many supplements for children do not provide enough vitamins, including B vitamins. Vitamin B is very important to the nervous system. Vitamin B6 and B12 play a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. A study of children showed that it was statistically significantly associated with cobalamin (vitamin B12) and folic acid supplementation and improved cognitive ability.
In addition to taking a multivitamin with folic acid or a separate methylfolate supplement, it is also important for you and your child to get folic acid from your diet. These are some nutritious and delicious foods rich in folic acid.
5 foods rich in folic acid can enhance mood and memory in adults and children
1. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli and Brussels sprouts, are rich in folic acid. They also contain sulforaphane, which our friendly intestinal bacteria can transform into substances that help the body detoxify various potential toxins. They are also rich in carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help our vision and brain function.
This underrated fruit is rich in healthy fats, which helps maintain blood flow in the brain and keep blood pressure within normal limits. Avocados are rich in many vitamins, including folic acid.
This nutritious vegetable is a good source of fiber, rich in magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and K. Spinach also contains a lot of folic acid, which may help relieve emotional problems. In fact, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that increasing the folate levels of depression patients can help improve their mood.
Asparagus generates energy for your brain and body, and is an incredible source of fiber and folate. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, E and K. Asparagus is rich in polyphenols and provides a lot of phosphorus, iron and chromium.
5. Leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables have great health benefits. They provide a variety of vitamins, essential minerals, carotenoids and free radical antioxidants to help protect the brain and body from toxins. One of the vitamins rich in these nutritious vegetables is folic acid.
Certain processed foods are “fortified” with synthetic folic acid. Instead of eating these malnourished foods, it is better to get folic acid and many other nutrients from these 5 foods, which is much better for your family’s health. Make sure you and your child eat enough available vitamins, including natural folic acid, in their diet every day.
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These are 5 foods rich in folic acid that can enhance your mood and memory. This article first appeared on the BrainMD Health blog.