Vitamin B9 or folic acid (also called folate) is essential for cell renewal as well as fetal development in pregnancy.
Description of Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 or folic acid is one of the water-soluble (water-soluble) vitamins. It is also called “folates”, which refers to the fact that it is abundant in green leafy vegetables (spinach, salads …).
Roles of vitamin B9 in the body
It intervenes in the metabolism of amino acids (constituents of proteins), and the production of DNA (which holds the genetic information). It is therefore particularly important for cells with rapid renewal: red blood cells, white blood cells (involved in immune defenses), intestinal cells, skin cells …
In combination with vitamin B12, it reduces blood levels of homocysteine, a compound whose excess is considered to promote cardiovascular disease.
It contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system and to the production of certain neuromediators.
In women, the need is increased during pregnancy, due to the expansion of maternal tissues (blood, uterus …). It is essential, during the fourth week of fetal life, to close the neural tube, that is to say to the good formation of the nervous system of the fetus.
Food sources of vitamin B9
The foods richest in vitamin B9 are animal livers, dried nuts (walnuts, walnuts, almonds …), green vegetables (spinach, salads, sorrel …), some cheeses, chestnuts, Melon and eggs. The other fruits and vegetables bring in a smaller proportion.
Vitamin B9 is sensitive to oxidation in air, light and heat. Since it is water-soluble, it escapes into the cooking waters. To preserve it at its best, it is important to keep foods cool and protected from light, to cook just enough time, preferably steamed, and to avoid reheating them several times.