The problem with Folic Acid

The problem with Folic Acid

Do you remember Stoppit and Tidyup?

I’m reminded of it whenever I say “eat more green leafy vegetables” (i.e. too often).

This 80s cartoon was narrated by Terry Wogan, and featured such characters as Eat Your Greens, Go to Bed, I said NO, Hurry Up and of course, Stoppit and Tidyup. Being weird in the land of Do As You're Told.


Eat Your Greens

Bossy parents (and nutritionists) have it right!

Two key nutrients found in your greens are folate and magnesium.

Lettuce, spinach, spring & winter greens, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower (white leafy??) - a variety of these should be in your diet daily.

But who manages this religiously? It’s quite hard to keep on top of, isn’t it?

So below I’m sharing simple ideas to get more greens daily.

First, signs you need to supplement magnesium and why folic acid supplements could be doing you more harm than good.


What to supplement

Magnesium supplements

Magnesium’s lacking from our diets and these common health problems are associated with this:

  • Poor sleep
  • Cramps and fidgets
  • Fatigue
  • PMS
  • Migraine
  • Muscle pain and tension
  • Anxiety

That's why, alongside eating your greens, I still 100% recommend you take Vital Minerals Magnesium!

Even more so if you’re one of the many people I meet who doesn’t eat much veg.

The problem with folic acid supplements

Folic acid and folate are often considered to be the same thing. On supplement labels, even though I use folate, I have to list folic acid on the nutrient chart.

But they aren’t the same!

Folate is various natural forms of Vitamin B9 found in food - including your green leafies.

Folic acid is a man made alternative and your liver has to work to make it usable.

If this process doesn’t work well (something you’re unlikely to be aware of) getting lots of folic acid through supplements and fortified food could result in harmful levels of circulating folic acid.

Easy solution? Only take premium quality supplements like Pollution Protection which uses Folate - ready for your body to absorb and use.

And of course - Eat Your Greens!


Fuss-free ways to eat more healthily

I know it’s hard to make every meal super healthy when you’re so busy. Here are a few easy ways to get more greens in alongside your regular meals.

Mixed leaf & herb salads

Maybe controversial because I remember a TV show declaring salad bags are the most wasted food item (“how to stop ruining the planet” was the gist, if not an accurately remembered title).

But they’re a convenient, instant way to add multiple plant varieties to meals.

I don’t know why it’s considered weird to eat vegetables in the morning, but leaves go beautifully with eggs for breakfast!

e.g. I used up leftover fresh basil & rocket with scrambled eggs.

Green powders

No time to whizz up kale smoothies in the morning? No judgement here!

I’m not that keen on pond water first thing either.

HOWEVER, a green superfood powder can top up your green intake with less fuss.

I like Naturya’s Green Superblend (wheatgrass, chlorella and hemp) - readily available in supermarkets or health stores. If you aren’t keen on the grassy flavour, stir into a small glass of fruit smoothie.

Shredded greens

We can all manage a few minutes to shred and wilt a side of greens. Steam fry in as little as 2 minutes - add a little butter and they’re delicious.

If boiling pasta you can add it to the water for the last minute.

Roasted broccoli or cauliflower

If you’ve got the oven on anyway (even for a ready meal) adding a tray of florets tossed in olive oil takes no time.

Even the cruciferous-contemptuous tend to find them alright roasted!


Thanks for reading and please share if helpful (or if you want to boss someone about eating more vegetables).

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