Folate, or Folic Acid is a B vitamin found in fruits and vegetables and beans.
Every time the body makes new cells, it needs folate, the B vitamin that’s abundant in beans, fruits and vegetables—leafy greens in particular. Folate is essential for processing vitamin B12, and recent studies suggest it might help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, colorectal cancer and strokes. Folate also helps prevent neural-tube birth defects (NTDs), such as spina bifida. In fact, since 1998 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began requiring enriched cereal grain products (including white flour, pasta and white rice) to be fortified with folic acid—the form of the vitamin used in supplements—the incidence of NTDs has dropped by about 25 percent.