Folate is a b-vitamin that is needed by the body for cell division, DNA synthesis and other metabolic processes. Folate is crucial for pregnant woman to prevent some brain and spinal cord birth defects in growing fetuses. The vitamin is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. To protect against deficiencies in women of child-bearing age, grain products are also fortified with folic acid – a form of folate.
Antioxidants (also known as phytochemicals) are compounds produced by plants that are proven to have protective qualities in the body. They are found in fruits, vegetables, beans and grains and offer multiple benefits from eye health to prostate cancer prevention for example. Research is ongoing to find out more about them, however, we know that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in all forms will help the body benefit from antioxidants.