What the Folate?!

Folate is an essential nutrient that most of us in the US aren't getting enough of. We need folate for protein synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and DNA synthesis, replication, and repair. We also use it to make myelin (which insulates neurons) and the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. It’s not surprising that folate deficiency can decrease your energy and hamper your mood. Moreover, folate is especially vital during pregnancy to decrease the risk of neural tube defects. Also, any woman on birth control should monitor her folate levels and consider a supplement, as synthetic hormones interfere with the body's folate production. 

What plant-based foods contain folate? When you think of folate, think of FOLIAGE. Green leafy vegetables (like spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts), along with citrus fruits, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and asparagus are good sources of folate. Because folate is sensitive to light and heat, cook greens quickly or consume them raw for the most potent folate punch. 

Another win for dark leafy greens, lentils and beans! Eat these foods daily and your brain will thank you.