Folic Acid (Folate)
Folate is a vitamin B9 and important for proper DNA and red blood cell formation, as well as maintenance of homocysteine levels. For pregnant mothers, infants and adolescents, adequate intake of folate is extremely important during these growth periods.
As the body is unable to store folate, it has to be obtained from diet daily from foods or supplements. What's more, alcohol, smoking and medications such as antibiotics and painkillers deplete folate. With that, it is important to supplement sufficient amounts of folate; especially for pregnant women as the demand for folate increases to develop a healthy baby.
Insufficient intake of folate may present symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath and irritability.
Common food sources include vegetables (e.g. spinach, broccoli), legumes, cereals, eggs, and liver.