Eat Your Greens to Combat BPA + Top Sources of Folate

Nutrients Help Protect Unborn Babies from the Effects of BPA Exposure

by Alicia Voorhies, RN

BPA affects developing babies by turning different genes on and off when it shouldn't, resulting in the health damage we see  (obesity, cancer, diabetes).  The CDC estimates that BPA is found in 93 percent of Americans, with higher levels in children.  Many of us have worked hard to remove as many sources as possible but so much is simply outside our control.

What can we do to protect ourselves against exposures we can't control?

A preliminary study done by Duke University researchers found that increasing intake of methyl-donating substances (folic acid, choline, vitamin B12, and betaine) or genistein (found in soy products) in pregnant mice negated the effects of BPA.  That's great news!  Who would have thought that going green in more way than one would help counteract the damaging effects caused by BPA?

Author Steve Perrine, author of The New American Diet, cites research linking the addition of huge amounts of corn and soy in our everyday foods to a decrease in overall folate intake.  Mr. Perrine describes how some scientists liken folate to a canary in a coal mine:

When folate levels drop, levels of obesity, heart disease, stroke cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's, depression – and even resistance to some antidepressant therapies – go up.

But before you grab a folic-acid supplement, you should know that getting your folate from fresh food offers more protection.

Learn about the best sources of folate below and can find other folate sources here.

Best Sources of Folate

Supplements are okay, but it's better to focus on whole food sources:

  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Black beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Turnip greens
  • Celery
  • Broccoli

Try to choose organic foods so you don't end up adding yet another endocrine disruptor to your diet.  Prioritize your organic buying choices according to your budget with EWG's guide.