Folic acid and Vitamin B12 are two very important vitamins for human health, but many people don’t know much about them. If you’ve ever wondered what the main benefits of folic acid and Vitamin B12 are, then you’re in the right place. This blog post will discuss the benefits of these two essential vitamins and why it’s so important to get enough of them in your diet.
From reducing your risk of certain diseases, to boosting energy levels, there are several reasons you should ensure you’re getting enough of these two vitamins every day.
What Is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is a B vitamin. Just like its nickname suggests, it’s a “folate” superstar! Folic acid helps your body make new cells and keeps them healthy. Folic acid is especially important for pregnant women, as it can help prevent birth defects in babies. It also helps your body break down, use, and create new proteins.
If you want to ensure your body is running at peak performance, you’ll need a good supply of folic acid in your diet.
What Foods Are Rich In Folic Acid?
Folate, also known as folic acid or Vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient that helps your body make new cells. It’s found naturally in some foods and added to fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals, and even enriched grain products.
If you need folic acid daily supplementation, clinical trials suggest that foods rich in folic acid include dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. Other sources include legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), nuts and seeds, fortified cereals and grains, citrus fruits and juices, beef liver, asparagus, and broccoli.
If you’re not getting enough folate from your diet alone, vitamin supplements can be taken to fill the gap.
While it’s important for everyone to get enough folic acid, it’s especially important for pregnant women because it helps prevent congenital disabilities. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about a supplement or a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid.
What Is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps keep your body functioning properly. This vitamin helps produce healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body, and also play a role in nerve function and DNA synthesis.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common than you may think. Many observational studies in the United States suggest that up to 15% of the population may be deficient in this nutrient. However, it’s unclear how many of those cases are due to a lack of dietary intake.
Some people may be at higher risk for developing a vitamin B12 deficiency, including those over 50 who have had gastrointestinal surgeries or follow a vegan diet. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, shortness of breath, and cognitive changes in elderly subjects.
You must speak with your healthcare provider if you suspect you may be deficient in vitamin B12. They can order laboratory tests to diagnose the issue and recommend a course of treatment. Treatment typically involves taking a supplement or eating foods rich in vitamin B12.
What Foods Are Rich in Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient and can be found in animal-based foods. Some of the best dietary sources include shellfish, beef, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. In particular, foods such as clams, liver, salmon, tuna, and fortified breakfast cereals are especially high in vitamin B12.
Vegetarians and vegans should take special care to ensure their diets include a reliable source of vitamin B12, as this nutrient is not naturally present in plant-based foods. Fortified nutritional yeast, miso, and tempeh are some of the best vegan options for getting vitamin B12.
What Are the Main Benefits of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12?
Folic acid and Vitamin B12 are essential for our health, as they are the key to many important benefits that help us stay in tip-top shape. Together with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids, they can act as excellent dietary supplements.
Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps your body make new cells, especially red blood cells. It is also important for pregnant women, as it can help prevent certain birth defects. Foods rich in folic acid include dark leafy greens, beans, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, and fortified cereals. Supplements are also available if you need to increase your intake of folic acid.
Vitamin B12 is another important B vitamin that helps keep your red blood cells healthy. It’s also important for nerve cell functioning and the production of DNA. Foods that contain Vitamin B12 include fish, poultry, eggs, fortified cereals, and dairy products. Supplements can also help you get your daily dose of Vitamin B12.
The main benefits of folic acid and Vitamin B12 are that they help our bodies create new cells and maintain healthy red blood cells. Folic acid is especially important for pregnant women, as it can help prevent certain birth defects.
In addition, these vitamins are essential for a healthy lifestyle, and getting enough of them through diet or supplements is crucial to keeping your body functioning properly.
Folic Acid Pros
- Folic acid helps to form new cells in the body, making it a vital nutrient for growth and development.
- Helps prevent anemia by aiding in the formation of red blood cells.
- Breaks down and uses proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
- Plays a role in DNA and RNA synthesis, which is important for cell division.
- Protects against congenital disabilities such as spina bifida and neural tube defects.
- Folic acid may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline in the elderly.
- Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should take folic acid supplements to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in their babies.
- Helps reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood, which can increase the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
- May reduce the risks of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
- Might improve cognitive function and reduce cognitive impairment.
- Medical records show it might decrease the risks of coronary heart disease.
Vitamin B12 Pros
- Vitamin B is essential for the formation of red blood cells.
- Aids in the production of energy in most of the studied population.
- Promotes healthy nerve function.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Improves concentration and mental focus.
- Helps to prevent anemia.
- Reduces the risk of birth defects in pregnant women.
- Supports a healthy cardiovascular system.
- May reduce homocysteine levels, which are linked to stroke and heart attack risk
- Helps to protect against macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older adults.
- Might reduce the risks of ischemic heart disease.
- Can treat elevated homocysteine levels.
- Can improve end-stage renal disease.
- May influence the risk of prostate cancer.
- Lowers the risk of colorectal adenoma/ colorectal cancer risk.
- Might relieve impaired vascular endothelial function.
In conclusion, folic acid and vitamin B12 are essential nutrients for the body. Folic acid helps the body create new cells, while vitamin B12 is necessary for proper nerve function and red blood cell formation. Together, these two vitamins play an important role in keeping pregnant women healthy.
While it is possible to get these vitamins from food sources such as fortified cereals and green vegetables, it is often difficult to get adequate amounts from diet alone.
For this reason, many healthcare providers recommend taking a supplement containing folic acid and vitamin B12. Doing so can help ensure that you and your baby get the necessary vitamins for a healthy pregnancy.