Spina bifida and orange juice is a subject for every woman of child bearing age; because by the time you realise you are pregnant the damage is already done, if you are deficient in vitamin B9. The benefits of folate are profound.
This page was last updated by Dr Bernard Preston on 22nd November, 2018.
Vitamins and phytochemicals provide varied and vastly important contributions to our health and, whilst some like spina bifida and orange juice, are completely scientifically proven, they are not well disseminated to the public.
What proportion of young women of child bearing age actually know a single thing about spina bifida and its prevalence?
But many of the contributions of these micronutrients supply are quite
unknown; the best we can do is to enjoy a diet with many different
coloured foods. That is the reason why those enjoying seven or more
every day have a 35% lower all cause of death; that's massive. We aim for ten, even in small quantities like the lemon pulp and parsley in our homemade hummus.
Folate, which comes in various forms, such as folic acid, vitamin B9, has many vital functions in the body. You need about 400 micrograms a day; that's quite a lot.
Here are two of those functions.
You will find that a glass of your own fresh orange juice (or just an orange if you find that easier) has about 10% of your daily needs, but OJ has virtually none.
" ... based on scientific evidence that increased folic acid (folate) consumption reduced the risk for having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube deficit (spina bifida)."
Spina bifida and orange juice would prevent a city the size of Des Moines of paralysed Americans. The rate in the USA is nearly double that in other developed countries.
The benefits of folate in its whole spectrum are profound, and that means not just folic acid, but choline too; understanding spina bifida and orange juice could save you and your child a lifetime of misery.
Folate is found in whole, natural foods in many different forms; one of the problems of assuming that a vitamin pill will prevent spina bifida, is that only one form, folic acid, is generally used to enrich foods.
For example, in your whole foods, folate is found in the methyl, dihydro, monoglutamyl and polyglutamyl isomers. We really need to be eating all of them every day, and that's especially true for a woman who could fall pregnant.
Other rich sources for the record include hummus, chickpeas, spinach and swiss chard, peas, beans, lentils and liver.
Chickpeas incidentally are also the richest source of another very important vitamin, pyridoxine, or B6.
It's all part of the eight coloured foods per day which research shows will reduce death from all causes by 33%; enjoy as many as you can, but spina bifida and orange juice should top the young woman's list; and, remember, that's not OJ from a carton; junk food.
For breakfast, my recommendation is that you squeeze one per person in your family from our citrus fruit list.
It takes me literally two minutes to do; I timed it, from halving the fruit to poured in the jug. Add a teaspoon of raw honey if you are adding a lime or lemon as you can see I've done here, or better still emphasize the mandarin orange tree which is a little sweeter.
Mixed citrus gives you the advantages of the subtle different nutrients in a grapefruit and an orange, for example.
In a family of six, one person could be given the responsibility of squeezing half a dozen different citrus fruits; two minutes, that's all that it takes. We like one each of orange, grapefruit, mandarin, lemon and lime. The orange juice bioflavonoids are immensely important.
Whilst it's important to avoid what I call health food neurosis, it can lead to deadly orthorexia, spina bifida and orange juice is an important subject, especially in our junk food society for young women.
Citrus fruit list is the way we go about it; we call it our viral guard, but it does much more than that of course. The benefits go far beyond spina bifida and orange juice.
The calories in orange juice do need to be considered, but are far less of a concern when enjoyed with the pulp. An orange juice press is a must in every single family; use it regularly when the fruit is in season; it tastes so much better this way.
Do you know what the vitamin C deficiency symptoms are?
For lunch, a healthy scoop of homemade hummus would go a long way to making sure you have sufficient of the folate and pyridoxine families of vitamins in your diet.
Made from sesame seeds, chickpeas, lemon pulp and parsley, all of which are rich in folate, you can be sure that you are getting the whole package.
It takes me five minutes, using this authentic hummus recipe, to make enough for three days; it doesn't keep.
Another person in the family could be given this designated chore. Five minutes, once every three or four days; does that sound onerous for a delicious, nutritious lunch? So that it doesn't go off, food manufacturers have to add a load of chemicals, so rather make your own. It's also a fraction of the price.
And for dinner, any one of the many recipes for swiss chard will satisfy your need for folate.
Eggs, spinach and green peas are all rich in the folate family vitamin. The egg for example contains about 25 micrograms of the 400 needed; there are even small amounts in the slithers of garlic seen.
Enjoy it on a slice of this sourdough bread recipe, also known as eggs Florentine, normally a breakfast dish, but no problem having it for dinner, and you'll get even more folate. Whole wheat contains about 5mcg per slice, but a study published in the journal Nutrition shows that the vitamins and minerals are better absorbed in sourdough; it tastes better too.
This is the sourdough bread recipe that I make about five days a week; it literally takes only five minutes, using a bread machine.
This next graphic is of a patient of mine who escaped with a small dose of spina bifida. He was lucky, his mother consumed just enough folate. Whilst a neurosurgeon declared that adjustments of his spine would be extremely dangerous, I treat him like a regular lumbar facet syndrome. He suffered with lower back pain for twenty years before deciding to take his chances with chiropractic.
Are you a woman who could fall pregnant tomorrow? Even before you are a aware that you are with child, your baby's future is determined. A daily glass of orange juice facts who would greatly help prevent you from having a spina bifida baby. Of course your organic food green is just as important a source of folate. Enjoy both green leafy veg and the whole citrus family of oranges and lemons, limes and grapefruit.
Lettuce nutritional value tells another part of the folate story.
Pregnant women need even more folate; consult your doctor but up to 800mcg is often recommended. Don't get neurotic but do make sure that you keep spina bifida and orange juice in mind; every family should have at least a lemon tree in the garden, and then regularly purchase from our citrus fruit list.
I mentioned above that choline and betaine are also involved; they methylate homocysteine via a different pathway; a deficiency of either can also cause neural defects.
If you are regularly enjoying eight or more coloured foods most days, you need have no anxiety over these disturbing questions like orange juice and spina bifida.
One small caution is that orange juice may spike your blood glucose if you are prediabetic, remembering that half of the world's diabetics are walking the streets unbeknown that a serious disease lies lurking just below the surface. I should know; I was one of them.
So, I want to enjoy orange juice, which I do frequently, then I know I must go for a short ten minute walk after breakfast; I've pricked my finger and tested my blood with a glucometer and I know that I'm safe, provided I don't go and do some sedentary work; drive the car or sit behind the computer immediately after breakfast.
Have your self tested for diabetes; one prick of the finger for a fasting blood glucose; it could save your life.
Healthy choice foods or bust; those are the options facing us. Umpteen pills, visits to the doctor and ultimately an early demise, often in pain and misery are the alternatives.
One sees it so frequently in the chiropractic clinic in those patients who stubbornly refuse to listen. As the Dutch say, "those who won't hear must feel." And so it is. Spinal bifida and orange juices is just one example; there are a host of other complications arising from a deficiency; this is just one of many delicious healthy choice foods.