This is adapted from the book, Eat Smart, Play Hard, by RW USA Nutrition Editor Liz Applegate.
Researchers have been touting the importance of this B vitamin for years, and with good reason. Women who dont get enough folate before and during pregnancy increase their risk of having babies with birth defects, and both men and women who skimp on folate increase their risk of heart disease. Among women and men, folate keeps blood cells healthy and fights off a severe form of anemia, which can make you drag through your workouts.
My recommendation: While folate is relatively scarce in foods, the FDAs folate-fortification program requires all enriched grain products (bread, cereal, pasta) to be fortified with folate. Including any of those products daily will help you meet the Daily Value (DV) of 400 micrograms. Other good folate sources include green, leafy vegetables; lentils; fortified cereals; and citrus fruits.