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Food for thought: Folate has been shown to help prevent neural tube birth defects and may protect against heart disease and breast and colon cancers. Recent studies reveal this B vitamin may also help improve memory and prevent hearing loss. To reap these benefits, you need 400 micrograms a day through food and supplements, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The foods below are naturally rich in folate. Cereals, breads, and other grains fortified with synthetic folic acid also help.
1/2 cup cooked lentils: 180mcg
1/2 cup cooked asparagus: 130mcg
1 cup orange juice: 110mcg
1/2 cup cooked spinach: 100mcg
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, February 2008.