Benefits of Folate

Broccoli soup is loaded with the benefits of folate.

Benefits of folate, vitamin B9, in teenagers include a strong correlation with higher academic achievement in school; just as important a deficiency is a major cause of spina bifida.

This page was updated on 24th July, 2019.

By Bernard Preston

It's found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables.

In a fascinating research project published in a prominent pediatrics journal, researchers sought to find if there was a correlation between school progress and B9 intake in nearly four hundred teenagers.

Their conclusion was that vitamin B9 ingested by teenagers is directly related to achievement in school.

They first excluded other factors known to affect academic results such as smoking, and the parents' financial status and education.

The researchers recommended that caregivers should be told which foods are high in folate, and that these should be included in all school meal programmes.

If you are regularly enjoying foods like this homemade broccoli soup you can enjoy real butter on your bread; or a dollop of cream on your soup.

Along with the folate you can enjoy the protection given your arteries by the brassica family; there are many foods that lower blood cholesterol naturally that you can and should consume on a daily basis.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is the commonly known name; creating a divine green salad is one way to ensure you are getting the full benefits of folate.

Organic green food is very high on my list of priorities; they are the source of not only the benefits of folate but a host of other vitamins and phytochemicals that protect us against cancer and many other diseases.

If a life without medication is your heart's desire, think greens. 

Find the links to those topics highlighted in bold by copying and pasting into the Site Search function in the navigation bar on your left. 

Benefits of Folate

There's a pandemic of arthritis and cholesterol related diseases in today's society; the benefits of folate are only a part of the solution.

Broccoli osteoarthritis

Broccoli osteoarthritis brings us back to the fact that many of our health issues really are based in what we eat, and how we exercise. The benefits of folate is just one small part of the equation.

One of the new buzzwords, and I must say I go along with it, is don't eat it if your grandmother wouldn't recognise it as food. Just walk around the supermarket, asking would your forebears identify this and that as something we should be eating? Would they know it at all?

Arthritis in joints certainly predates the junk food revolution, but it wasn't so disabling and painful and across the board. It's also very much related to trauma.

What is Folate?

Vitamin B9 or folate is a vitamin found primarily in green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and lettuce. The word folate comes from the Latin word meaning foliag, or leaf. Another form is folic acid.

The vitamin is vital in the formation of DNA and the developing spinal cord; pregnant mothers who do not eat foods high in folate are at risk of producing children with birth defects.

Other benefits of folate include the formation of normal red blood cells, along with vitamin B12 and iron. A deficiency of folate causes one kind of anemia, different to low iron levels.

A folate deficiency is also implicated in stroke, heart disease and premature senility because of its inverse correlation with toxic homocysteine in the body.

Broccoli reigns supreme as the queen of those foods that help prevent malignant disease; it is rich in folate and easy to grow in the home garden. For the chiropractor it its proven prevention of arthritis properties that make it attractive; grow it.

One branching variety continues to send out florets long after the main head has been picked. It is perfect for use in a simple, very easy to make, delicious broth. Go to broccoli facts and scroll down to the soup.

Vitamin B12

Large amounts of vitamin B12, and choline, along with high folate levels are vital. These three vitamins work hand in hand and deficiencies causes many similar problems. However, they are found in very different food sources.

Vegan weight loss in particular is a problem for B12, but mackerel recipes and free range cage free eggs are particularly rich in this vitamin and choline, and other essential substances such as omega-3.

Can you spot the free range egg? B12 and choline are needed along with folate.

Can you tell which of these eggs is free range?

Water soluble vitamins

Both vitamins B9 and B12 are water soluble vitamins meaning that they are poorly stored in the body and need to be consumed daily.


The moral of the story? If your kids aren't eating foods high in folate on a daily basis there's probably no point in sending them to school. They simply won't take much in, you might as well send them out to find menial work, because that's all they are going ever to achieve. Joke? Perhaps...

Neural tube defects

The spinal cord and brain are formed surprisingly early in the developing foetus. In the first weeks, when mother-to-be doesn't even know she is pregnant; that's when there's serious danger of neural tube defects. One of the benefits of folate is to greatly reduce them. 

There are many studies confirming that low dietary folate consumption very early in the pregnancy is strongly associated with very serious neutral tube defects such as spinal bifida vera.

Read more about this horrific and not uncommon, entirely preventable condition at spina bifida and orange juice.

Another danger area for young women is a deficiency of a different B vitamin called choline; it's also part of the cycle whereby toxic homocysteine is methylated to an amino acid called methionine.

Choline food sources, along with folate, is an important subject for any woman who could become unexpectedly pregnant. The average Western diet has only 50 percent of the recommended daily amount.

These are just another of the many benefits of folate and choline. All women, whether planning a pregnancy or not, should daily be consuming foods high in B vitamins; men too. 

If you are seriously interested in the foods that keep you healthy then you want to know about phytosterols.

They are vital nutrients found in large quantities in vegetables and fruits. They are strongly associated with lower cholesterol, less cancer and prostate problems even varicose ulcers and a host of problems. And, they are also found in foods high in folate; foods like broccoli.


Homocysteine is a toxic breakdown product of protein metabolism; in the presence of folate, choline, B12, zinc and magnesium, it is immediately converted to another substance that is not harmful in the body.

That's just another of the many benefits of both folate and choline.

Read more about this process and its importance in many serious disease at our homocysteine cardiovascular page.

  • What are phytosterols? (use our site search function)

Green leafy herbs

Whilst you would have to consume an awful lot of sweet basil or cilantro, for example, to get a significant amount of folate, it all adds up and contributes. Half a cup of basil for example would contribute about 4% of your daily needs. But simultaneously you would be getting the anti inflammatory effect of eugenol, of importance to the chiropractic patient, proven protection against a host of infectious bacteria and healing of blood vessels damaged by viruses, cholesterol and cigarette smoke. What is basil, anyway, you may be asking; my favourite easy-to-grow herb in the garden.

Okay, okay, I have several favourites! But your own homemade pesto is divine and you can rustle it up five minutes; parsley pesto is just as good. See more at our best medicinal herbs page.


  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Organic Food Green
  3. Benefits of Folate

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie. Or, better still, Face Book or Twitter it. 


56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa


Foods high in folate

Bernie's healthy spinach dip is rich in folate.
Lettuce seedlings are rich in folate, but these look anaemic; they need more nitrogen.
Avocados are rich in folate, vitamin B9.
Growing avocado trees is another way to ensure adequate folate in the diet.
Green lima beans provide folate and vegetable protein.
Beetroot has the benefits of folate and is the cure for constipation.
Asparagus soup will provide you with more folate.
Cauliflower soup is rich in folate.
Plant broccoli seedlings for the benfits of folate.
Legumes like lentils have folate and are the best source of vegetable protein.
If you know how to grow peas you'll have plenty of folate in your diet.
An orange juice squeezer makes getting plenty of folate simpler.

What's this site about?

Bernard Preston books

A family affair by Bernard Preston comes after the trilogy that starts with Frog in my Throat.
Femoral nerve AP Xray from one of Bernard Preston's books.

Bernie's choice foods

Cooking green beans Bernard Preston passion

Bernie's bread

Bread machine loaf by Bernard Preston

Bernie's garden

green beans and granadillas Bernard Preston

Bernie's bees

Bees workforce in Bernard Preston's garden

Bernie's chickens

Chickens for free range eggs.

Bernie's solar

Residential solar panels at Bernard Preston's home

Bernie's rainwater harvest

Harvesting rainwater to a reservoir in the garden means a steady supply that is unpolluted by environmental toxins.