One medium tangerine provides 4% of your daily value of Folate.
What is Folate?
Folate is a B vitamin that can be found naturally in a wide variety of foods. It also can be found as folic acid in fortified foods and as supplements. As a water-soluble vitamin, very little folate is stored in the body. Consequently, our bodies need a regular supply of folate from the foods we eat.1,2
Benefits of Folate
Folate is important for cell development, particularly during the production of DNA.1,2
Folate participates with various enzymes in the body and is required for the metabolism of proteins.1-3
The need for folate increases during pregnancy, recovery from burns, and with diseases or conditions that result in malabsorption or excess water loss (e.g. Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, diarrhea).1,4
Folate, as part of a well-balanced diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.5
Adequate folate may also help support the balance of homocysteine levels, which if elevated, is a potential risk factor for heart disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes.1,3,6,7
Foods High in Folate
Foods particularly rich in folate include dark leafy green vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, peanuts, soybeans), asparagus, and fortified cereals and grains. 8
Folate deficiency is uncommon after mandatory food fortification programs were implemented in the U.S. and many other countries. Folic acid is added to foods such as white flour, cereals, and other refined grain products in the U.S.1,3
Poor folate status is usually paired with other vitamin deficiencies, and most often due to poor diet.1
Low folate intake can lead to impairment of red blood cell formation causing one type of anemia, a condition which weakens oxygen circulation in the body.1-3
Common symptoms of low folate include changes in skin and hair, and tongue and oral mucosa lesions.1