Folic-acid

Folic-acid or Folate ~ Vitamins

The Promise

Prevents birth defects.

May lower the risk of cancer.

The Controversy ~ What Controversy?

There's no controversy when it comes to this nutrient's power to protect against severe birth defects.

The evidence is rock solid.

If a woman falls short late in early pregnancy, her baby's spinal cord and brain may not develop normally, causing spina bifida or anencephaly.

It's because of this that efforts to add this nutrent (synthetic folate) to "enriched" breads, cereals, and other foods has been so successful.

But 67% of pre-menopausal women still aren't getting the recommended amount.

The incidence of spina-bifida has fallen about 30%, which is good, but not good enough.

Getting enough folic-acid though, could also lower your cancer risk.

In a Nurses' Health Study, women who took extra folic-acid in the form of a multivitamin for 15 years cut their risk of colon cancer by a whopping 75%.

Other studies have shown more modest benefits, but still a powerful dose of prevention.

What's more, folic acid or folate may also protect against breast cancer for women who drink alcohol:

Having a drink a day, ups your chance of developing the cancer by about 10%, studies have shown, but getting enough folic acid appears to erase that extra risk.

So, Who Needs It?

All women of reproductive age; women who have a drink a day or more; anyone who wants to lower their risk of colon cancer.

And How Much?

The RDA for folate are as follows;

0-6 months: 65 micrograms

6-12 months: 80 micrograms

1-3 years: 150 micrograms

4-8 years: 200 micrograms

Males 9-13 years: 300 micrograms

Males 14 years and older: 400 micrograms

Females 9-13 years: 300 micrograms

Females 14 years and older: 400 micrograms

Pregnant females of any age: 600 micrograms

Lactating females of any age: 500 micrograms

How Do We Get It?

Start each morning with a cereal that contains 400 mcg of folic-acid per serving, or pop a multi-vitamin that contains the recommended amount.

Excellent natural super food sources of folate include romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, calf's liver, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets and lentils.

Very good natural super food sources include squash, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, papaya, string beans and of course calf's liver.

(If you're pregnant, take a prenatal vitamin with at least 600 mcg.)

So, how do you get more folic-acid into your diet?

May we suggest the following recipe;

Venetian Style Calf's Liver & Onions

This healthy and great tasting version of calf’s liver and onions will surprise you.

You won't need ketchup.

It's a great recipe to enjoy the incredible benefits of liver.

Make sure you get a good quality calf liver from your butcher.

This recipe is a healthier version than most because our sauté method, cooks the onions with no heated oil and uses ground sunflower seeds instead of flour to coat the liver.

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb. calf's liver

1/4 c. ground sunflower seeds

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

1 tsp. dried sage

Topping;

2 medium onions cut in half & sliced thin

3 medium cloves garlic chopped

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. chicken broth

2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation;

Turn broiler on high and place a metal oven-proof pan large enough for liver underneath heat to get hot.

Do not use glass or pyrex for this.

Rack should be just above the middle of oven or broiler, about 7 inches from the heat source.

Heat the pan for about 10 minutes.

While pan is getting hot heat 1 Tbs. broth in a 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet.

Sauté onions in broth over medium low heat for 15 minutes stirring frequently.

Add garlic, vinegar, thyme, and vinegar.

Mix and add rest of the broth.

Continue to cook for another couple of minutes.

While onions are cooking mix ground sunflower seeds with dried sage, salt and black pepper.

Dust liver with this mixture.

Remove hot pan from broiler and place liver in it.

Return to broiler, turn heat to low, and Quick Broil for about 3-5 minutes depending on thickness of liver.

Do not turn, as it's cooking on both sides simultaneously.

Serve topped with onions.

Makes 4 Servings

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