Posted January 23, 2018


Folic acid is an integral mineral that many may be deficient in, particularly seniors. Retirement communities stress the importance of folic acid in the diet of their residents and you should, too. Assess your diet during January’s National Folic Acid Awareness Week.
It seems that seniors, particularly females, are at risk of developing a dietary deficiency that could impact overall health and well-being. Pay attention to whether you are eating plenty of foods that contain folic acid, as it contributes to many functions and systems in the body. A well-balanced diet is not always adequate to get enough folic acid, and you may want to consider a supplement to your everyday regimen. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are deficient of this important and essential nutrient. Don’t have a practitioner? Visit Senior Living Experts for online information related to providers in the area.

Are you aware of the importance of folic acid?

Do you get enough folic acid in your diet? Folic acid is a B vitamin that is water-soluble, and commonly found in dark, leafy vegetables. Some great sources of folic acid include spinach, kale, dried beans, peas, seeds, cereals, and organ-meat, like beef liver.
Some other things to know about Folic acid include:

  • Anemia

Being deficient in folate- or folic acid- puts you at an increased risk for anemia. An early sign of anemia, which is a deficiency of iron in the blood, is fatigue. Folic acid helps you generate red blood cells, which prevents this condition.

  • Birth-defects

Folic acid goes a long way toward preventing birth defects as it helps in the production of cells in the spinal cord and embryo. Pediatricians and obstetricians commonly prescribe their pregnant patients a folic acid supplement.

  • Digestion

Who knew that folic acid helps in the digestion of protein? This subsequently makes better use of the amino acids in the body, which help to produce the protein needed for the body to build and sustain lean muscle mass.

Retirement communities in Lincoln Park Stress the importance of folic acid in the diet of their residents

Assisted-living settings and retirement communities acknowledge the importance of folic acid and encourage their residents to eat a diet rich in this amazing nutrient. Seniors are particularly prone to folic acid deficiency, and certain conditions and predispositions can further put the senior at risk for health issues related to a lack of this mineral. Some at-risk individuals include those that have had or have cancer or people with a history of alcoholism. A lack of folic acid- or folate- can increase levels of homocysteine, which can contribute to a higher risk of stroke or deterioration of mental function.
Some ways that seniors are impacted by Folic Acid include:

  • Memory

It has been suggested and studied that folic acid is closely-linked to memory. With the majority of seniors over the age of 80 displaying some symptoms or signs of dementia, eating a balanced diet that includes the recommended daily allowance of folic acid may help prevent memory-loss, forgetfulness, and even aphasia.

  • Aging

Exciting new research is showing that dementia symptoms may be lessened and improved with a daily diet rich in folate, or folic acid supplements per your physician’s recommendation. Seniors seem less anxious, less agitated, and more able to focus than those that do not get enough folic acid daily. Talk to your geriatric provider about whether your senior’s symptoms may be an indicator of low folate levels.

  • Blood-pressure

Studies show that people- especially women- who consume ample folic acid in their daily diet reduce their risk of contracting high blood pressure (hypertension). Eat a diet rich in foods with folate, such as salads, fresh produce, and legumes.

  • Appetite

Many seniors may suffer from weight loss or failure to thrive following an accident, injury, or illness, and it can be tough to regain weight for the strength needed to rehabilitate. Folate has been shown to be significant in regulating appetite, so in many instances, it may help seniors maintain a healthy weight throughout aging.

Talk with your provider about your supplemental dietary needs

Do you get enough folic acid in your diet? National Folic Acid Awareness Week is the perfect time to assess, treat, and supplement a deficiency in the all-important dietary mineral. Winter is a tough time to find fresh greens, leafy vegetables, and nutrient-rich produce in some areas, so plan on amping-up your intake with changes in shopping, meal-planning, or dietary supplements.
Be aware of the importance of folic acid in your daily regimen, particularly if you are over the age of 65. Talk to your doctor about ways of supplementing your diet with this integral mineral for optimal health benefits. You may also visit Senior Living Experts online to find contact information regarding geriatric providers in the area or to research additional resources to improve overall quality of life!

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