Fruit Salad for Folic Acid

I have been reading “It Starts with the Egg” and currently on the chapter on supplements. I had no idea that it was not until the early 1990’s that medical professionals were recommending folic acid supplement for all women prior to and during early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in the developing embryo. That’s only 30 years ago! Either way, nowadays, most women trying to conceive are taking a prenatal vitamin that has at minimum 400ug folic acid.

Then the book starts to talk about genetic variation in people for folic acid metabolism. If you have a certain genetic variant of the MTHFR gene, you have trouble converting the vitamin folic acid to the active form needed in the body called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. I had done the Ancestry DNA and downloaded that raw data, inputting it into Dr. Rhonda Patrick‘s website Found My Fitness and it spit out a report. So when the author Rebecca Fett mentioned take your raw data and enter it into Genetic Genie, I was on it! Of course, it’s not very user friendly, and actually difficult to interpret. So I think I prefer Dr. Patrick’s report. But I’m heterozygous for the gene, suggesting I have normal folate metabolism.

But this idea of the vitamin not being as good as folate in food, I started looking up the different levels of folate in food. If you each enriched pasta or cereals, then you are pretty much golden. But if you are trying to limit your processed foods, you may want to dive into the list and start adding some of these into your diet.

I compiled a few of the things I eat and a few I may start incorporating more of. This is not a complete or extensive list, because I excluded things I don’t like, like okra.


Foods with Folate


Fruit

Avocado 1/2 = 82ug

Mango 1 cup = 71ug

Orange 1 large = 55ug

Papaya 1 cup = 53ug

Strawberries 1 cup = 36ug

Raspberries 1 cup = 28ug

Banana 1 medium = 23ug

Kiwi 1 medium = 17ug

Pear 1 medium = 12ug


Veggies

Asparagus 1/2 cup cooked = 134ug

Broccoli 1/2 cup cooked = 84ug

Brussel sprouts 1/2 cup cooked = 80ug

Beets 1/2 cup cooked = 68ug

Spinach 1 cup raw = 58ug


Starches

Lentils 1/2 cup cooked = 179ug

Chickpeas 1/2 cup canned = 80ug

Kidney beans 1/2 cup cooked = 65ug


Fortified Starches

Instant oatmeal (fortified) 1 package = 125ug

Pasta 1 cup cooked = 150ug


Meals in a day:

Breakfast

Fruit salad with 1 cup papaya, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 pear = 77ug folate


Lunch

Salad with 1 cup spinach, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup canned chickpeas = 220ug folate


Dinner

Pasta 1 cup cooked with 1/2 cup lentils and 1/2 cup cooked broccoli = 413ug folate

The book also mentions that if you do have the MTHFR gene variant that makes it difficult to process folic acid then you should take the active form of the supplement often called methylfolate.

Baby dust to all!


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