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June 24, 2009 at 8:07 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Folic Acid Can Help You Stay Focused

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

It's amazing what a deficiency in just one vitamin can do to the body; a folic acid deficiency can cause any number of problems including weakness, dizziness, and forgetfulness.

Folic acid, also called folate, is a B vitamin needed to produce red and white blood cells, as well as platelets. However, since the body doesn't store folic acid well, it's important that we consume enough through diet on a regular basis. Since red blood cells carry oxygen, folic acid is vital to maintaining levels of oxygen in the blood. Common symptoms of folic acid deficiency anemia include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Forgetfulness (brain fog)
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Paleness

And less common, but more severe symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain

Fortunately, these symptoms are easily avoided as there are many great food sources of folic acid including: lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, spinach, black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, collard greens, turnip greens, lima beans. It is recommended we consume 300 to 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, and pregnant women should consume almost double that number.

Supplements are another option, but the above foods have enough health benefits in addition to folic acid that you don't want to avoid them. Doctors are quick to remind us that supplements don't make up for the actual food. In other words, use supplements, but don't use them as food substitutes.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/folic-acid-deficiency-anemia-topic-overview

http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/Easyread/folic-etr.htm

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