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What is folic acid?

This week, January 7 ā€“ 13, is Folic Acid Awareness Week and we are here to tell you more about folic acid and how to make it a part of your lifestyle. Folic acid is a water-soluble B-vitamin that is necessary for cell growth. There is evidence that indicates that adequate folate intake might reduce the risk of some cancers and it may have a preventative effect on stroke. Itā€™s also very important during pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects, and itā€™s been shown that if taken before and during pregnancy, it can prevent up to 70% of these cases. It is recommended that women between the ages of 15 and 45 should consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, this is the same for men. This can be done through supplements or fortified foods. Folic acid can also be found naturally, as folate, in many foods, such as:

Leafy green vegetablesā€”spinach, collards, mustard greens, romaine
Other vegetablesā€”Brussel sprouts, avocado, broccoli, green peas
Fruitsā€”citrus, papaya, banana, cantaloupe
Dried beans, peas, and nutsā€”black-eyed peas, kidney beans
Seafood, eggs, poultry (smaller amounts)

To help you start including more folate into your diet, check out this yummy recipe!

Hot and Spicy Greens

DIIĀ® Food Grade:

Serves: 6

2 lb collard greens, coarsely chopped
1 Serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1-2 tsp grated ginger root
Olive oil


  1. Coat a Dutch oven with a light coating of olive oil.
  2. Add and cook remaining ingredients in the Dutch oven, stirring frequently, until greens and onion are tender; drain.
  3. Serve immediately.