Friday, January 8, 2010

Folic Acid Fights Depression

Low levels of folic acid in the body are known to be directly linked to depression. Increasing your levels of folic acid will help fight depression better and faster. It has other health benefits too... read on!

Folic acid is one of the water-soluble B vitamins (B9), and we use it to build healthy red blood cells. Enough folic acid working with vitamin B12 can help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, strokes and colorectal cancer.

Interestlngly enough to me, short-term memory and mental agility are improved in older people when getting higher amounts of folic acid. The risk of macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis is also reduced. There is little risk of getting too much folic acid since it is water-soluble and we excrete any excess. The risk is that higher amounts may mask symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
. Higher amounts usually come from taking too many supplements; try getting your folic acid from foods instead.

Folic Acid is found in green vegetables (higher in green leafy ones like spinach), asparagus, wheat germ, dried or fresh beans and beans, peanuts, fresh orange juice, canned grapefruit or pineapple juice, and fortified cereals. Folic acid found in foods is susceptible to reduction by high heat, and exposure to light.

I have used wheat germ added to cereals and yogurt for years. Generally what is sold in the supermarket is toasted for a nuttier taste, but since heat reduces folic acid, I just use more. Yesterday I found a box of
Hodgson Mill wheat germ (un-toasted) on the shelf but I haven’t tried it yet. Bob’s Red Mill also sells it in bags like flour.

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