Vitamin B9, also known as foliate, is responsible for numerous functions in the body including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, production of red blood cells and cell growth. It helps in building of antibodies which prevent and heal infections.
Pregnant women require more vitamin B9 than a normal person to aid in the prevention of birth defects. It does this by lowering the risk of the following: neural tube issues (that is a structure that eventually becomes the brain and spine), cleft palate, and brain damage.
Some studies suggest that vitamin B9 (folic acid) may assist in lowering one’s risk for heart disease( may not sure), slow the progression of hearing loss, aid in keeping the eyes healthy, assist in treating depression, and protecting the body against various forms of cancer including colon, breast, cervical, pancreatic, and stomach cancer.
The main sources of folic acid are leafy greens such as spinach and turnip greens, fresh vegetables are better than cooked because heat destroys folic acid, broccoli, mushrooms, liver, dry beans and peas, fortified cereals and grain products, fortified juices, lentils, legumes, brown rice, poultry, pork, lamb, chard , cheese, asparagus, collards, brewer’s yeast and romaine lettuce are all high in folic acid. Organ meats including kidney also contain ample amounts of vitamin B9. Nuts, beans and shellfish, whole grains, citrus fruits, fruit juices and yeast are also good sources, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, egg yolk, jacket potato (large), many fruits have moderate amounts, papaya and kiwi have more. Milk, oranges, parsnips, peas and many more.