Also known as vitamin B9, folate has acquired the nickname “brain food” and may help depression and anxiety. Folate is extremely important during pregnancy and infancy as it is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells, especially during times of rapid cell division and growth. Folate is necessary to replicate DNA, energy production, for red blood cell formation and to prevent anemia. Folate is also important for proper formation and functioning of white blood cells. Folate may be the most important nutrient in regulating homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine have been found to be associated with an increased risk of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). When levels of folate, B6 and B12 drop in the blood, levels of homocysteine rise. Folate works best when taken with B12 and C. Microwaving and cooking vegetables destroys folate so vegetables are best consumed raw to gain maximum benefit.
Asparagus, barley, beef, bran, brewer's yeast, brown rice, cheese, chicken, dates, green leafy vegetables, lamb, legumes, lentils, liver, milk, mushrooms, oranges, split peas, pork, root vegetables, salmon, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains and whole wheat.
Symptoms include a sore, red tongue, anemai, apathy, digestive disturbances, fatigue, graying hair, growth impairment, insomnia, labored breathing, memory problems, paranoia, weakness and birth defects.