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Chances are you have heard about the importance of folic acid in the health of pregnant women and the growth of a healthy baby.
Carrots and Folic Acid
While fruits and vegetables are generally rich in micronutrients, carrots are one of the highest sources of folic acid. And since it is a vegetable readily available in everyone’s home, including 1 cup of raw carrots (grated or chopped) can be the easiest way to increase the level of folic acid in the body!
About 1 cup of carrots can give 24.32 mcg, or 6% of the daily recommended intake, of folic acid. (1)
Why Is Folic Acid Important?
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is extremely important for many functions in the body: (2)
- It is involved in the production of hormones.
- It plays a role in the creation of new DNA.
- It reduces the risk of spinal birth defects in babies.
- It maintains healthy growth and body function.
Folic Acid Deficiency
Folic acid deficiency is very common and is an increasing problem. If unmanaged, it can cause: (3)
- Megaloblastic anemia, where the bone marrow produces extremely large red blood cells
- Pancytopenia, where there are low RBC, WBC, and platelet levels
- Glossitis, where the tongue becomes inflamed and swollen
- Angular stomatitis, which is the inflammation along the corners of the mouth
- Fatigue, psychosis, depression, irritability, and insomnia
- Pregnancy-related issues such as rupture of the placenta, neural tube defects, spontaneous abortions, and language defects in the child (3)
Carrots are a rich source of many nutrients including folic acid. Consumption of a single cup of shredded raw carrots daily can contribute 6% of the recommended folic acid intake, helping protect against deficiency symptoms of folic acid.