Dietary Sources of Iron and Folic Acid

by Sam Malone


Folic acid is a collective term for pteroylglutamic acids and their oligoglutamic acid conjugates. Folic acid deficiency results in macrocytic anemia due to impairment of erythrocyte synthesis and is associated with elevation of plasma homocysteine levels, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including coronary atherosclerosis, stroke, and thromboembolism.

While the dietary sources of folic acid are in abundance, proper care should be taken while cooking. The more you burn the gas the less the nutrients so just try to steam the vegetables. One other way to save the folic acid content is through heating them with as little water as possible. Natural sources of folic acid include whole-grain breads and cereals, orange juice, kidney beans, yeast, liver, and dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach.

Folic acid and cobalamin (vitamin B12) serve as components of coenzymes in 1-carbon reactions such as the methylation of homocysteine to methionine. Other sources would include citrus fruits and juices, dried beans and peas, fortified breads, cereals, lentils, legumes, peanuts, whole grain products, beef, chicken, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spring greens, kale, okra and fresh peas and the pulses are chickpeas, black-eyed beans, and lentils. Neural tube birth defects during pregnancy are prevented by use of folic acid supplements.

Iron is a metallic element that occurs in the heme of hemoglobin, myoglobin, transferrin, ferritin, and iron-containing porphyrins, and is an essential component of enzymes such as catalase, peroxidase, and the various cytochromes. Its salts are used medicinally. Non-heme iron derives itself from plant and animal tissues and from hemoglobin and myoglobin.

Iron deficiency can result in anemia. Iron supplements form an important part of the diet in women during the pregnancy period. It is for a fact that the iron stores could be stabilized in the body easily by ingesting meat products than the vegetables, but still there are a lot number of iron resources than one could imagine in the vegan part too.

Natural dietary sources of heme iron would include beef, meat, fish, poultry, liver, eggs, pork, red meat, and turkey. To see it in a vegetarian way, non-heme iron would include whole meal breads, apricots, kidney beans, and spinach. Other sources of iron would include fortified greens, tomato, potato, green and red chillies, fortified breads, cereals, beans, and legumes. The following have the much-needed iron extracts to fill the iron reserves in human body and they include shellfish, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters, lean meats, beef, and liver, ready-to-eat cereals with added iron, turkey dark meat, sardines, cooked dry beans, pinto beans, peas, black-eyed peas, seaweed, dried fruits, pulses, wheat germ, bran, yeast, nuts, seeds, parsley, molasses, jaggery, and enriched and whole grain breads.


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