Folate and folic acid are forms of B vitamins that are important in the production of red blood cells and are also necessary for the growth and function of healthy cells. Doctors emphasize the importance of folate and folic acid to pregnant mothers because the substances are crucial to decrease the incidence of brain and spine defects. Low folate and folic acid levels can lead to certain types of anemia and even increase the possibility of contracting cancer, infertility, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and depression. Folate deficiency can also happen to people who have coeliac disease.
Folate is mainly found in green, leafy vegetables and fruits, nuts, beans, and peas. Folate is also found in mushrooms, animal liver and kidneys, and orange and tomato juices. Meanwhile, folic acid is a man-made substance added to cold cereals, flour, bread, pasta, and other bakery items. Folic acid is also available as an oral supplement and is typically in combination with other B vitamins.
Doctors recommend getting 400 micrograms of folic acid for adults. They also recommend upping the consumption to 1000 micrograms of folic acid daily for pregnant women to ensure that they have an uncomplicated pregnancy.
Here are some of the symptoms of folic acid deficiency.
One of the most evident symptoms of folic acid deficiency is the lack of energy, overwhelming tiredness, and weakness resulting in extreme fatigue. Extreme fatigue is more than the feeling of being tired but the overwhelming sense of wanting to sleep to help get oneself get through the day. People who also suffer from extreme fatigue don’t feel refreshed even after long hours of sleep.
Folate is one of the B vitamins and is an essential component in converting carbohydrates into glucose. Carbohydrates are sugar molecules, and together with fats and proteins, they are the three primary nutrients in food and beverages. Folate, in tandem with other B-complex vitamins, transforms these nutrients into energy. They are also responsible for producing healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. If the body has red blood cells lacking in hematocrit and hemoglobin, they cannot effectively transport oxygen through the body. This leads to anemia, general malaise, and extreme tiredness.
Doctors recommend increasing the intake of folate-rich food such as beans, green, leafy vegetables, and lentils. A single serving of lentils contains 36 grams of carbohydrates, while beans are a terrific source of iron, folic acid, and magnesium which are necessary for energy production in cells.