Most everyone knows that folic acid is important to good health, especially prenatal health. Folic acid deficiencies during pregnancy give rise to NTD’s (neural tube defects) such as spina bifida and anencephaly. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, women of childbearing age should consume at least 400 µg of folic acid every day. Folic acid isn’t just for women, however, as folic acid is used to make red blood cells and to produce and repair DNA.
So where might we obtain 400 µg of folic acid every day?
Can we get it from spinach (100 µg per ½ cooked cup)?
Can we get it from okra (135 µg per ½ cooked cup)?
From strawberries (80 µg in eight medium strawberries)?
How about from black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans (115–145 µg per ½ cooked cup)?
Avocado (90 µg per cup)?
No, I’m afraid not.
You see, the experts at the Wheat Foods Council have already answered that question for us:
“About the only way anyone can obtain 400 µg [of folic acid] per day through diet is by eating folic acid-fortified grains and breakfast cereals.”
Whew. I’m glad they cleared that up.