All mothers know: just learned of the pregnancy - or often even earlier, as soon as we talk about fertility - the doctor advises us to take thefolic acid every day and "please don't forget".
Never folate they are not only useful to present or future mothers: in reality they are indispensable vitamins to the health and well-being of all, young and old, omnivores or vegans.
But, precisely, what are folates? Let's get to know them better.
Crazy, what are they?
Vitamin B9, that's the real name of folate.
The term folate comes from the word folium, since they are found in green leafy vegetables and were first isolated from spinach leaves.
Folate is often confused with folic acidThere is a subtle difference between these two substances since folates are natural compounds found in food, while folic acid is a molecule, with the same composition, but of chemical synthesis.
Our body is unable to produce folates, therefore they are defined "essential" food and must be introduced only with the power supply.
The folates are water-soluble molecules, that is, they spread rapidly in water: therefore it is strongly not recommended to cook foods rich in folate by boiling, to prevent the folates themselves from being dispersed in the water if this is thrown away (it could be useful for making a risotto!).
Read also Ideal nutrition during pregnancy >>
The primary activity of folate is to act as a coenzyme, or a "key" that accelerates the body's chemical reactions. Without folate these reactions do not occur, so it can be encountered serious deficiencies and consequent diseases.
What are the activities of folate:
> Together with vitamin B12, folates are essential foruse of proteins introduced with food
> Folate is directly involved in cell division and carbon transport during the formation of hemoglobin.
> Folate is essential in process of growth and reproduction for all the cells present in our body.
> Folate is essential in correct replication of the genetic makeup
What are the possible consequences for one's health folate deficiency:
> Intestinal system: diarrhea
> Shortage in pregnancy: evolution in the fetus of spina bifida, cleft palate, brain damage
> Joint diseases: arthritis
> Skin and scalp problems: baldness, psoriasis
> Anemia: anemia hemolytic, pernicious anemia
> Disorders of nervous origin: depression, arteriosclerosis
Folate: where are they?
Since our body does not produce any on its own, it will be vitally important to take it in correct quantities with feeding.
- foods that primarily provide folate are: asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cereals and liver.
Folate is present in good quantities also in: broad beans, spinach, chard, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, kiwi, strawberries, potatoes, radicchio, grapefruit, avocado and some cheeses.
There are trust folate meat, fish, milk and yogurt.
Read also Supplements in pregnancy, what they are and what they are for >>