Putting Knowledge Into Action
So the last two posts have been about folate versus folic acid. (First post and second post.) Lots of science to explain why the folate from real foods is better than folic acid from enriched, processed foods and vitamins. But let’s put it into action! How can we get folate into ourselves and our families? Smoothies. Everybody likes a smoothie. Right?
Smoothies are deceptive foods. A banana. A spoonful of nutbutter. Some yogurt. A little chocolate. A splash of sweetener. Taste. Needs more banana. Oops. A little bit more of nutbutter. Add some ice. Taste. Dang. Overshot. Needs a little more sweet. Have the kids taste. Needs more chocolate. How about some vanilla? Perfect. Kids drink half theirs. I drink all mine and all their leftovers. So much for a “healthy” snack. Guarantee I’ll have a carbohydrate crash nap after about an hour. Zonk.
But a well-placed smoothie with a purpose. Now that’s a shaker. That’s what I like. To reach dietary folate goals, I started drinking green smoothies during pregnancy. My kids weren’t too hip on them. The greens can really impart bitterness. But I didn’t want to give up! I get tired of chopping up vegetables for a folate rich salad the family will all eat or cleaning the skillet from sautéed greens. I deserve a break–in the form of a blend! Well, finally, here is a recipe that I and my kids can all agree on. (In fact, my daughter made the photo design for this post.)
Fabulous Folate Smoothie
1 cup of loosely packed spinach (Any greens will work but spinach has the best folate profile.)
1 well-ripened large mango which is about 1 generous cup (Mangoes are a fruit rich in folate.)
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon maple syrup (Or use honey or Stevia to taste or whatever you use for sweet.)
10 ice cubes (I use two single handfuls.)
Enough liquid to blend, if needed (Choose one of the following: your favorite tea, Kombucha which will add even more folate, orange juice which will add even more folate, or your favorite kind of “milk”.)
Place into blender and blend until smooth. I put the greens in last so the mixture blends evenly.
This recipe made the above two glasses full you see in the photo.
Smoothie Folate Content and Recommendations From the National Institute of Health Fact Sheet
The folate content of this green smoothie is about 160 micrograms. Recommended folate intakes are as follows in the table taken from the National Institute of Health Folate Fact Sheet. DFE refers to dietary folate equivalents.
|Birth to 6 months*||65 mcg DFE*||65 mcg DFE*|
|7–12 months*||80 mcg DFE*||80 mcg DFE*|
|1–3 years||150 mcg DFE||150 mcg DFE|
|4–8 years||200 mcg DFE||200 mcg DFE|
|9–13 years||300 mcg DFE||300 mcg DFE|
|14–18 years||400 mcg DFE||400 mcg DFE||600 mcg DFE||500 mcg DFE|
|19+ years||400 mcg DFE||400 mcg DFE||600 mcg DFE||500 mcg DFE|
* Adequate Intake (AI)
Smoothie Carb Count
The carb count for those interested is about 71. If I’m the only one drinking this, I will often use only half a banana and Stevia instead of maple syrup.
Eat real folate! It’s good for you! Try to get your nutrients from food if you can. Make every bite count!
Do you drink green smoothies? Do your kids? Does your spouse? I’m converting mine over finally! Two years. Two years into this. It’s not a fast-paced game to convert your family to this way of eating! But it is worth it!
Have a great day!
I have epilepsy, my drug is phenytoin ( epanutin) very old and not very nice either. I have had a lot of health problems for years, only finding out now that my folic acid/ folate I very low. Apparently a side effect of this drug. My doc gave me folic acid 5mg tabs ( northstar, PL Holder Barnstaple) first 2 days were ok, then when I took one on 3rd & 4th days I got very flushed, my medication doesn’t like anything else I take in in pill form . I work in a shop and it was that bad everyone was asking was I ok. I stopped taking it as it also can reduce my medication. (Although the pharmacist said it wouldn’t interfere) please tell me if I take enough foodstuffs of the type you mentioned, will it help ?
Here is a link to a National Institute of Health sheet with a table of foods high in folate. I cannot say that eating enough of these foods will reverse or improve your condition. But these foods are high in folate, and you are reportedly low in your body’s folate. Plus, these foods contain amazing other nutrients your body needs.
Did you know that some people don’t do well with folic acid as a supplement? Their bodies do better with methylfolate to supplement folate because of their genetics? You may search for MTHFR deficiency for more information.
Be well. Find joy. Seek health. Thanks for asking a question.