Today I’m spotlighting Vitamin B9.
On my Facebook page this week we are talking about beets, a root vegetable that provides about a third of your daily Vitamin B9. It’s one of my favourite vegetables to roast and use in baking and cooking. They are naturally sweet, can be used to make your food pretty and pink, and taste amazing when used with many spices and herbs.
I’ll be sharing the recipe I created for a Moroccan-inspired lentil side dish on #testkitchentuesday that uses roasted beets as one of the main additions on #foodiefriday. I can’t wait to hear how you like it! Please feel free to comment on my recipes and let me know what you think.
Vitamin B9 plays a role in everything from healthy fetal development to mental wellness. In fact, it’s a major food additive here in the West, added to everything from cereals to bread. Neural Tube defects in the developing baby can be caused during pregnancy due to lack of folate, so pregnant women are usually encouraged to take a folic acid supplement.
Folate also plays a major role in reducing risk of heart inflammation as well as stroke. It has been studied to see whether it helps with mental wellness in terms of reducing anxiety and depression.
It works in the body to build muscle, improve hemoglobin levels, and aid in the production of DNA/RNA. Vitamin B9 also may play a role in protecting against hearing and vision loss.
You can get Vitamin B9 from many food sources, and as mentioned before, supplements. A deficiency of Vitamin B9 will look like shortness of breath, irritability, mental sluggishness, gingivitis, and loss of appetite/poor growth. Deficiencies of Vitamin B9 are very common which is why food is often fortified.
However, before you take a supplement- because it’s easy to ingest too much of anything when you pop a pill, or cause side effects or drug interactions, talk to your doctor.
There are several drug interactions associated with supplementation of Vitamin B9!
Read more about these here.
To summarize, Vitamin B9 is important to:
You can find Vitamin B9 in these food sources:
Root vegetables, pulses (beans, lentils), mustard greens, asparagus, dark leafy greens, avocado, salmon, orange juice, and fortified wheat and wheat products (breads and cereals, wheat germ).
Children from birth to 18 years need from need from 65-400 mcg per day, depending on age. Adults aged 19 and up need 400-500 mcg per day, depending on sex and whether pregnant or breastfeeding.
For general information on Vitamin B9, please check here.
For information on Vitamin B9 deficiency, please check here.