We’ve probably all heard that iron and folic acid are great for women in particular, but why? Iron is a mineral that helps us form red blood cells and helps those red blood cells transport oxygen throughout our bodies. The daily value required is 18 mg. You can get iron from vitamins or foods including red meat, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, lentils, beans, eggs, cashews, dry fruits and wheat.
Folic acid is a B vitamin, also called Vitamin B9. It also occurs in green leafy vegetables and many fruits. We need it for cell division and it is essential for forming DNA. Our daily requirement is 400 micrograms.
Here are some reasons you need iron and folic acid in your diet:
1. It prevents and cures anemia. Anemia occurs when you don’t have enough red blood cells and having anemia can make you tired, pale, dizzy, have difficulty breathing, give you pain in your chest, headaches and heart palpitations. Getting plenty of iron and folic acid can prevent anemia or help cure it if you have it. See your doctor if you feel you might have anemia.
2. It is essential during pregnancy. Iron and folic acid are very important for the health of the fetus and reduces the risk of birth defects. Lack of proper blood circulation can lead to a premature delivery, underweight baby or stillborn child.
3. It helps when you’re on your period. If you bleed heavily on your period and experience fatigue, you may need to up your iron and folic acid intake.
4. It keeps your heart healthy and reduces your risk for heart disease.
5. It reduces your risk of colon cancer.
6. It improves your chances for conception by improving fertility.
7. It helps keep your brain functioning properly and can even prevent depression, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues. Iron and folic acid are two essential nutrients for your brain.
If you are unsure if you need more iron or folic acid in your diet, see your doctor to determine if you have a deficiency. They may recommend supplements if you aren’t getting enough in your diet. Remember to take only the prescribed dose.
Have you ever found out you needed more iron or folic acid? Do you take supplements or eat enough foods with these nutrients in them? Share with us!
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