Bulletin #4072, Nutrition for Maine Seniors: Find Out About Folic Acid

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Eat more of these foods to get enough folic acid

  • dry beans and peas—try baked beans, pea soup, and lentils fortified orange juice every day
  • cereal fortified with folic acid (read the label)
  • green, leafy vegetables, like spinach, asparagus, and beet greens
  • almonds
  • peanuts

Folic acid is also called folate or folacin. It is one of the B vitamins.

Why you need folic acid

Low blood levels of folic acid can

  • be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke;
  • cause a type of anemia;
  • cause depression;
  • be a risk factor for macular degeneration, a disease of the eyes that leads to blindness.


Three Bean Salad

Salad Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green beans
2 cups kidney beans, cooked
2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper to taste

  1. Wash the fresh green beans. Remove stems and snap the beans into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, combine fresh green beans, cooked kidney beans, cooked chickpeas, onion, and green pepper.
  3. Mix dressing and pour over salad. Refrigerate overnight.

Source: The Market Basket, Maine WIC Program

Snackin’ Food

1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots

Toss, munch at will.

Steamed Broccoli

2 stalks fresh broccoli
1 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Wash and trim broccoli.
  2. Put broccoli in microwavable dish and cover. (Water clinging to stalks will be enough to steam broccoli.)
  3. Microwave on the setting high for 3 minutes. Check for doneness. If needed, cook an extra minute.
  4. Squirt with lemon juice and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Spinach Orange Salad

A serving of this salad provides about half the recommended daily levels of vitamins A and C.

6 cups fresh spinach
2 cups other salad greens (romaine, escarole, or leaf lettuce)
1 11-ounce can mandarin orange sections, OR 1 cup fresh orange slices
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 small red onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 cup (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained (optional)

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Toss with low-calorie dressing.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

In cooperation with The Maine Nutrition Network, a partner with Maine Department of Human Services, Bureau of Health.

 Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2001, 2006

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