Folate is an essential nutrient which helps promote fertility in both men and women and is a very important nutrient in pregnancy to promote healthy cells and prevent birth defects. These ten fruits and veggies are rich in this nutrient.
Every year in the United States, about 7 million women ages 15-44 are dealing with infertility, this according to the national Survey of Family Growth, CDC.
Both men and women are affected by infertility. About 85% to 90% of cases can be treated with regular medical treatments such as medication or surgery, while in some cases, assisted reproduction procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) are used.
Hardly do we realize that our diet can even affect our ability to conceive. Folic acid or folate, also known as vitamin B9 and folacin is an important nutrient for fertility in both men and women. It contributes to spermatogenesis in men and oocyte maturation, implantation and placentation in women. Moreover, adequate folate intake during pregnancy is essential for normal tissue growth and helps protect against a number of congenital malformation including neural tube defects.
If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, be sure to include these folate-rich fruits and veggies in your diet.
Aside from being an excellent source of vitamin C, papaya is also a very good source of folate (115 mcg per cup) and the high blood pressure-slashing potassium. It is also a good source of fiber, a nutrient which has shown to lower high cholesterol levels, and rich in vitamins A, E and K, an essential vitamin needed by the body to aid in blood clotting and increase bone strength.
One cup of avocado supplies about 90 mcg of folate. It is a good source of vitamin K, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and copper. Eating avocado either straight or adding a few slices in your tossed salad will significantly increase your body’s ability to absorb its health promoting carotenoids, including alpha and beta-carotene and lutein.
A cup of strawberries contains about 90 mcg of folate; the cantaloupe about 27 mcg and oranges about 39 mcg. Each fruit can also the supply the body with more than 100% of the daily needed value of vitamin C. Strawberries are also excellent sources of manganese and cantaloupes are one of the highest natural sources of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, a carotenoid which has shown to be beneficial for healthy eyes and lungs.
Among fruits and veggies, asparagus and spinach are two of the highest sources of folate as one cup of each contains 262 mcg. Both leafy greens are also excellent sources of vitamins A, C and K. Plus, spinach is also loaded with more than 20 other vitamins and minerals including the B vitamins and other important nutrients for pregnancy such as iron, calcium and zinc.
One cup of boiled, sliced beets contains 136 mcg of folate. It is a very good source of potassium and manganese, a mineral which ensures healthy bone structure, bone metabolism, and aids in building essential enzymes for building bones. Manganese is also actively involved in forming connective tissues, calcium absorption and in regulating blood sugar levels. Beets are also rich in vitamin C, fiber magnesium and iron.
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are two of the most nutritious vegetables as both boast a long list of some of the most important vitamins and minerals that our body need to remain healthy and strong. One cup of each cooked brassiccas are excellent sources of vitamins A, C and K and very good sources of folate, about 93 mcg each. They are also rich in B vitamins as well as calcium, iron and zinc.