The reason why folic acid, one of the B vitamins, is so important is because it helps our bodies create new red blood cells; these are the ones that carry oxygen through the bloodstream. If this wasn’t happening, we would end up feeling tired and run down. Lower counts of red blood cells can also lead to anemia which, in turn, creates other issues. The good news here is that it is fairly easy to get all the folic acid that your body needs each day. There are two different ways that you can do this.

Fighting Folic Acid Deficiency

Eating the right foods can be an important part of optimizing the body’s folate intake.  Pinto beans and lentils as well as leafy greens like spinach are high in folate, even berries have a higher “active folate” content.  Be aware of eating a lot of “folic acid” which is found in fortified foods or vitamin supplements as that’s a synthetic/man-made substance which is not properly converted in the body to absorbable folate by most, so it cannot be directly used. If you do have a folic acid deficiency, your doctor can help you put together a food plan that will maximize your folate needs more quickly.

Of course, not everyone is going to like all the foods that are rich in folate, and some will need to use supplements alongside the food choices in order to get their required daily amount. Supplements can be an effective way to avoid folic acid deficiency, but only if you are taking the correct form of the nutrient, methylfolate, which the body does not have to convert, but can directly use as-is.

Again, this is something that your doctor can help with, based on your diet, mutation status, and lifestyle. You should not simply start taking supplements without consulting a physician.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of folic acid deficiency such as tiredness, mouth sores, tongue swelling, etc, you should visit your doctor.  Tests can be run to check your blood platelet,5-MTHF and vitamin B12 levels. If any of those indicators are abnormally low, your doctor should recommend a course of treatment that will most likely include a diet plan along with a required dose of ‘active nutrient’ supplements. If you are pregnant or planning on conceiving, you should have your levels checked as soon as possible.

Often discussions about folic acid concern woman who are pregnant or are preparing for pregnancy. While it is important that the pregnant women have enough folic acid to help reduce the risk of birth defects, it’s also something that everyone should have, and most of us simply don’t get enough of it. If you are suffering from a folate deficiency, you increase the risk of anemia as well as other significant health issues that tend to affect the central nervous and cardiovascular systems.  This is why you need to make sure that you are getting all the active folate you need in order to maintain and improve your health.