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package of fresh, assorted seaweed
1/4 cup organic olive oil
1/8 cup organic brown rice vinegar
4-8 Tbls organic soy sauce (depending on desired saltiness)
2Tbls organic, raw agave nectar
5-7 cloves of grated garlic
1Tbls ground mustard seed
chopped red onion
Put package of fresh, seaweed in a vegetable wash basket or colander within a large bowl and fill with water. Agitate seaweed with hands, pour out water. Repeat this process until all of the sea salt is rinsed out of the seaweed. In a mixing bowl combine grated garlic, olive oil, vinegar, agave nectar and soy sauce. Add ground mustard seed and paprika. Add fresh seaweed to bowl of dressing, stir and let marinate. Break up pieces of your favorite kale (such as Russian kale) and break up pieces of radicchio. Place kale and radicchio in a bed on each plate for serving. Top with some marinated seaweed and dressing. Top again with chopped red onion, avocado slices and chopped tomatoes. And that’s it! The ultimate seaweed salad.
Add more soy sauce and vinegar to taste.
6 to 8 servings depending on how huge of a salad you want!
Hint: Add a few tablespoons of organic, flax seed oil to dressing or a tablespoon over each serving for extra nutrition and healing power.
Hint: Radicchio is a type of lettuce that is loaded with minerals and vitamins.
Photo by Vera Kratochvil
ASPIRIN & THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
On Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007 on the front pages of mainstream newspapers was an article about how the American Heart Association was recommending that women use aspirin daily. Amazingly the article started with a common technique used by skilled propagandists to influence how people think and act which was a scare tactic. The article started by saying that most women are at risk of heart disease and stroke. Then the article recommended that women use aspirin daily. Somehow the idea that women should use aspirin daily hardly seems normal or natural and the article did not even mention anything about doing something about the causes of the problem, only trying to control the symptoms, at least not the part of the article that was on the front page which of course is the only part most people will read. There has to be many, many ways to keep down blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The article did mention that aspirin can upset the stomach and even cause bleeding ulcers and that women under the age of thirty are probably not at risk and shouldn’t do this. Of course the article eventually said that women should consult a doctor before starting to take aspirin everyday.
Of course! If someone follows the money trail of who the major funders are of the American Heart Association one will surely see the real reason for this headline, front page story is the interest of the industrial medical complex. Obviously the American Medical Association is an organization which puts the interests of doctors as business owners ahead of the welfare of the people of this country and I’m sure the American Heart Association gets substantial funding from the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture aspirin whose sales of aspirin have fallen because of the popularity of other over the counter pain remedies such as Advil, Nuprin and Tylenol. Recommending that women go see their doctor before doing anything sure puts money in the doctors’ pockets. What if people just exercised, avoided things that drive up their blood pressure and cholesterol levels and used things that bring down their blood pressure and cholesterol levels naturally such as cold water fish and flax seed oil that has Omega essential fatty acids that help the body to break down fat and cholesterol? What if people avoided red meat and even too much poultry and had more meals without meat with more vegetables, fruit and whole grains. What about using good medicinal herbs such as hawthorne berries in herb tea that is good for regulating blood pressure whether people have low or high blood pressure and is good for regulating the heart beat naturally?
Years ago I read an article in the East West Journal that stated that there was very low instance of heart disease in Japan until western fast food companies came into Japan such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut. Previously the Japanese diet was so healthy because of fish and vegetables.
Photo by Susan Buck Ms
Most importantly people should question more what they read and hear and ask why. In this case one should ask what are the alternatives to what the modern medicine industry which includes government public awareness programs and the media are offering. In fact modern medicine is not traditional medicine. Natural healing has existed for thousands of years and has been proven. Much of what modern medicine offers is experimental. In fact modern medicine has always gotten lots of its principles from traditional natural healing and pharmaceutical companies still try to concoct industrialized remedies from natural healing herbs that traditional, natural healers have been using for many generations. Some people try to tell me that aspirin comes from a natural source which is birch tree bark, a natural remedy use by the native Americans. Knowing what I know about the way pharmaceutical companies try to isolate active ingredients and learn to synthesize them I am skeptical that modern aspirin is even close to a natural remedy. Whose monied interests provoked this headline, front page story and why? I’ve known for awhile there are problems in nonprofit which is one of the most taboo subjects apparently. Perhaps this is the first place some of my readers may have heard this subject broached. Just as we did in the sixties I think it’s time we started questioning everything again.
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Here is a very healing recipe. When I eat this meal made in a soup pot I feel the healing power going throughout my body and brain right away.
Recipe: Black eyed peas & seaweed pottage
3/4 cup black eyed peas
1/2 cup sweet brown rice
one small, organic red onion
dried mixed seaweed veggies (Kombu, Sea Palm, Wakame and Nori)
organic chili powder with chipotle
low sodium organic soy sauce
organic olive oil
natural brewers yeast
Rinse black eyed peas in a vegetable wash basket. Put in a medium sauce pan almost filled with water. Add a tablespoon of sea salt and bring to a boil stirring once or twice. After bringing to a boil lower heat to medium and cook uncovered for an hour stirring occasionally. In the meantime if using dried shiitake mushrooms put four to six shiitake mushrooms depending on size in a bowl and add water that has been brought to a boil. Let mushrooms soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Save the water to add to your broth. After cooking the black eyed peas for an hour add the sweet brown rice, lower heat, cover with lid slightly ajar to avoid over boiling and simmer for about an hour. While the bean and rice mixture is simmering add the mixed sea veggies and stir. While the rice, beans and sea veggies are simmering cut off the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and chop them. Peel and chop the red onion. Peel and grate a few cloves of garlic. Saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic in two or three tablespoons of organic olive oil until the onions are transluscent. Add to the soup pot. Add a tablespoon of organic curry and a teaspoon of organic chili powder with chipotle. Add two fingers-full of organic sage and one fingers-full of organic oregano crushing the herbs between the thumb and fingertips before sprinkling into mixture. This brings out the natural aroma and flavor of the herbs. Stir in the the spices and herbs. Add the water from soaking the mushrooms if you were using dried mushrooms. Add anymore water as needed depending on how thick you want your pottage to be and continue simmering, stirring occasionally. Total cooking time should be almost two hours. When done put into bowl and sprinkle on some natural brewers yeast and stir in. Add organic, low sodium soy sauce to taste such as low sodium Tamari. Yields 4 to 6 servings.
That’s it! It’s difficult not to have healthy cell growth and tissue repair and healing power with this recipe. It’s a VGIRLNATURAL original.
Photo by Peter Griffin
This is a recipe I came up with to help a woman who was suffering from Evans Syndrome and Leukemia. She went to the Mayo Clinic and the doctors there asked her to ask me for recipes with seaweed because apparently this combination of an autoimmune illness and blood cancer is extremely rare in countries such as Japan where seaweed is part of their diet. This woman named Louisa had no iron in her bone marrow. She was helped with the recipes I gave her. I picked these ingredients because black fungus has about 400 per cent of the iron a person needs in a day in one serving. Shiitake mushrooms has about 40 per cent as well as having all of the essential amino acids. Fermented soy products such as miso have vitamin B12. Natural brewers yeast is loaded with vitamins and minerals including the more rare minerals. It, also, has lots of amino acids and some enzymes. Seaweed has vitamin B12 (important for cell growth), iodine, protein, chlorophyll and lots of nutrients.
black dino kale
green onions (also, known as scallions)
natural brewers yeast
dried mixed seaweed veggies (Kombu, Sea Palm, Wakame and Nori)
If using dried shiitake mushrooms soak four to six mushrooms depending on size in a bowl of water that has been brought to a boil. Also, soak about a handful of the dried seaweed veggies broken up and about half a handful of dried, shredded black fungus (or if not shredded broken into pieces) in another bowl of water that has been brought to a boil. Soaking time should be about 20 to 30 minutes. After shiitake mushrooms have soaked remove from water but save water for broth. Cut off the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and chop. Chop three green onions. Take about two thirds of the chopped green onions and the shiitake mushrooms and put them in a medium saucepan with one tablespoon of sesame oil and saute until the mushrooms and scallions are tender crisp. Save the rest of the chopped green onions and put aside. Add the water from soaking the mushrooms and seaweed veggies with black fungus with their soaking water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer covered with lid slightly ajar to avoid over boiling 20 minutes. Meanwhile break up leaves of kale so it is about the equivalent of a cup and a half of kale and wash in a vegetable wash basket. After simmering soup 20 minutes add kale and stir in. Simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Ladle out a little of the stock and add to 3/4 cup miso in a bowl and stir mixture. Stir miso mixture into soup. Remove from heat and sprinkle on some natural brewers yeast and stir. Garnish with fresh, chopped green onions. That’s it! A delicious and healing soup!
One can add an 8 ounce package of tofu to this recipe if desired. Pat out excess liquid from tofu and cut into one inch cubes before adding to soup about halfway through cooking.
Editor’s note: Kombu is another kind of edible kelp. Dried black fungus can be found in Oriental markets.
For more information about dried mixed sea veggies visit: http://www.loveseaweed.com
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Amazingly there was an almost great news item on CBS! It was put on by their nutrition reporter. The report discussed organic foods labeling and the new non-GMO labels that are appearing on products in stores. The reporter basically said that the only way to be sure your foods contain no GMOs (genetically modified organism) is to buy food that is officially certified as organic such as with the USDA organic certification. The reporter said that the new non-GMO label only means that foods are completely GMO free if they are a single food. If the food product contains multiple ingredients then the non-GMO label only means that the product may be completely free of GMOs or it is almost completely free of GMOs. In other words there could be a small amount of ingredient that is GMO.
How can this be you may ask? The reason why is that the non-profit that provides this labeling is simply a marketing company to help businesses sell their product to consumers who are concerned about GMO food being bad for their health. There are no laws concerning foods being labeled as non-GMO at all. This organization has developed on its own. It is not the product of any law that has been passed about labeling foods non-GMO. The only laws that protect you in this case are truth in advertising laws and it usually requires a lawsuit to enforce these laws.
Before this new non-profit came into being some manufacturers of packaged food products were already printing on their packages that they were non-GMO. If a product is labeled organic and non-GMO it is a redundancy. Foods that are certified organic are already 100% free of GMOs. Does this non-profit charge companies to have this new non-GMO label on their product? Of course. It is a marketing company helping companies to sell their product in a world in which people are concerned about genetically altered foods.
In fact a company recently was exposed for putting the words, non-GMO, on their packages of tortilla chips without the certification from the new non-GMO labeling organization when their product in fact contained more than 75% GMO corn. This is according to a recent test conducted by Consumer Reports. The brand name of the product is Xochitl.
It is important to note that there are, also, no laws on labeling foods as “natural”.
Photo by alex grichenko
If you read the introduction to the book the author provides no references or sources for his theories. The only good is it gets some people to eat foods they normally would not eat. It tells people not to eat some foods for no good reason. Another fad book firmly in the pocket of the meat industry. How does a doctor appear out of nowhere, write a book and have tons of money for advertising to promote it? Books by doctors that are real don’t go to the top of the best seller list overnight.
According to the American Journal Of Nutrition, “No evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets. To validate these claims, studies are required that compare the health outcomes between participants adhering to a particular blood type diet (experimental group) and participants continuing a standard diet (control group) within a particular blood type population.”
No such scientific research or evidence exists.
Photo by Michael Stirling
Sometimes people ask me about organic foods labeling. Many aren’t sure if something is really organic or not. I must admit modern, food processing corporations have done their best to make people distrustful and to keep things confusing. What has made things even more confusing is the controversy about the USDA organic foods labeling. The whole story behind the people putting pressure on the Federal government to come up with a standardized, organic foods labeling system is the best example of what happens when people turn to the federal government to solve their problems.
Originally here in California before the USDA organic foods labeling I trusted in the California Organic Foods Act and the Oregon Tilth Act for organic foods produced in California and Oregon. The primary certification organization in California for certifying foods as organic is the CCOF, The California Cerfitied Organic Farmers. The CCOF certifies the crop, the land on which it is grown, the farmer and the food processor. There is a three year process to transition a farm from conventional to organic. Another major certifying organization that I trust for organic foods labeling is QAI, Quality Assurance International. Some organic food companies, also, belong to organizations such as the Organic Trade Association. A lot of the trust comes from shopping in natural food stores, rather than supermarkets and reading labels. One can learn so much from reading ingredients lists and reading labels. A lot of these companies that market and distribute organic foods include valuable information on their packages and their websites.
Why then did people organize and lobby to put pressure on the federal government to develop a national, standardized, federal organics food label? It is because a lot of states did not have strict regulations on labeling foods organic. In fact at the natural food co-op where I shop they stocked up at one time on gallon bottles of aloe vera juice that were labeled 100% pure, organic aloe vera juice and had a large symbol on them that said it was certified organic by the Texas Department of Agriculture. It was interesting that this organic certification label by the Texas Department of Agriculture looked a lot like the US Department of Agriculture logo. Upon reading the ingredients list on the bottle of aloe vera juice I found that it contained preservatives: sodium nitrate and sodium benzoate. This means that this product was not 100% pure and did not even qualify to be labeled “natural” much less organic. When I pointed this out to the people at the co-op they all said that they had thought that the certification label was the USDA, not the Texas Department of Agriculture. The product was removed from the shelves.
Photo by Glenda Green
What happened when people organized and lobbied to have standardized, federal organic labeling? Not surprizingly the major food and chemical industries lobbied and tried to put pressure on the federal government to have less strict standards for organic labeling than many states had and wanted the federal labeling to supersede the state certification. This would mean that foods could bear labels of being organic that did not qualify as being so according to state laws even in those states that had stricter standards. These big industries even wanted to allow foods containing biogenetically engineered (GMO) ingredients to be labeled as being organic. These corporate interests that wield great power with the federal government and the US Department of Agriculture were only held in check by a major effort of citizens organizations to save the movement to have federal organic standards.
How good is the USDA organic foods labeling? It’s pretty good but not perfect. It’s standards are lower than those originally in place in some states such as California and Oregon but are definitely better than what some states had which was practically nothing in some cases. It’s sad that these lower standards can be allowed in states that originally had higher standards. People need to learn what happens when they put something into the bureaucracy of the federal government. At least genetically modified material was not allowed. Produce and grain has to be pure organic but processed foods such as baked goods that contain several or a lot of ingredients need only contain 90 per cent organic ingredients to be able to be labeled organic. A lot of the produce in supermarkets that is labeled organic meets the bare lowest of standards to be labeled organic and so do a lot of organic food products that bear the USDA organic labels. Fortunately those of us who read labels and have been researching for a long time understand better about stricter standards. We know certain products and companies that we have always trusted. It was sad to me that some companies whose products I know and trust removed the other organic foods labeling and certifications such as the California Organic Foods Act and Oregon Tilth Laws as well as the certifications from the CCOF and QAI and now only have the USDA organic foods label. I still know and trust the products from these companies that I have respect for but those of us who are knowledgeable know that the USDA organic label is a lower standard and should not be thought of as a replacement for the original certification.
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WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN ANIMAL PRODUCTS ARE LABELED ORGANIC? This means these animals have to be free from growth hormones and anti-bacterial agents that are injected into animals. They have to be free from harmful chemicals used in processing such as preservatives like sodium nitrate. The animals, also, have to be fed feed that is organic and free from toxic chemicals and genetically modified (GMO) materials. Some dairies advertise on their containers that they do not use rBST, a synthetic, bovine growth hormone, created by biogenetic engineering. On their packaging they say there is no known risk to humans but they have chosen not to use it on their dairy cows due to health concerns. This shows the impact from people who are health conscious who recognize the value of keeping things natural as nature intended and the simplicity of this way of thinking. In fact some studies have shown there could be an increased risk of high blood pressure to humans with rBST. Obviously we don’t need what is not natural. Organic milk is not only free of synthetic growth hormones but the cattle are fed organic grains and produce.
There are lots of meats that are labeled as natural meats. These are meats that are generally known to be of higher quality and are more natural. Sometimes this can be meat that is produced locally or perhaps is kept and shipped frozen for those who are willing to pay more for better quality meat. Organic meat has to meet higher standards and be certified. Because of all the controversy about all the growth hormones and toxins in commercially packaged chicken laws were passed and meat producers started putting out packaged chicken meat that is labeled natural. This certainly was an improvement but there have been reports that some chicken meat companies have put out packages of chicken meat labeled natural that is in violation of regulations.
When it comes to meat the same principles apply as to vegetable foods. One has to read labels and educate oneself in order to know what foods to trust. This comes with time but shopping in a natural foods store that you trust to carry good products helps.
If you are interested in Organic Natural Beauty and Skin Care try: Juice Beauty
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Here’s the first recipe I learned with shiitake mushrooms. It is a recipe for soup.
Soak dried mushrooms with water that has been brought to boiling for 20 minutes. Chop off the stems and chop up the mushrooms. Chop up a leek and wash in a colander or vegetable washing basket. Put the mushrooms and chopped leaks in a skillet and saute in butter until tender crisp. Add a half cup of sherry and simmer until sherry is reduce by half. Add the water from soaking the mushrooms and more water with beef or vegetable bouillon. Bring to a boil. Add orzo (rice shaped macaroni product).
Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. It’s delicious! That and a good
night’s sleep and you will feel better.
Photo from fws.gov
What is the thyroid gland and why is it so important?
The thyroid gland is one, single gland of the body that produces chemicals that go to other parts of the body including organs and glands. The chemicals produced by the thyroid gland help other parts of the body in turn to produce chemicals essential to the proper functioning of the body. The thyroid gland is located in the neck.
When I was a little boy I saw an old woman in church on Sunday who had a huge swelling in the front of her neck as big as a grapefruit. The woman seemed to act as if nothing was wrong and had a serene smile on her face but I was very distressed by her condition. I asked my mother what is wrong with her. My mother answered that the woman had a disease called goiter, something I had never heard of. My mother said people got it who never ate fish. My mother told me people needed to have fish in their diet to get iodine to prevent goiter.
All the people I have met who had thyroid gland problems said they did not like eating fish. Some had to have their thyroid glands removed and have to be on medication for the rest of their lives. Some have thyroid glands that don’t work properly so they need medication to compensate for it. One woman I talked with said she never ate fish but she had an overactive thyroid gland and had to have it removed. This threw me for a moment about what I was saying about eating fish but upon further thought I realized that an overactive thyroid gland is still one that is not functioning properly and in her case it was, also, caused by not eating fish. She had to be on medication the rest of her life as well. The important thing is that the proper functioning of the thyroid gland is absolutely necessary to maintain the proper chemical balance of the body. Amazingly having fish in the diet even once a month can maintain a healthy thyroid gland although obviously having fish in the diet more often is better especially since iodine, a mineral, is needed by the body for other functions.
Iodine is present in ocean going fish and in small amounts in natural, sea salt. This is why boxes of salt used to say iodine on them but now say iodide. This is because salt that is mined or sea salt that is processed too much has no iodine so these boxes of salt have iodine artificially added. Iodine in salt is not enough to prevent thyroid problems. Natural, sea salt only has a trace of iodine hence the term,”trace sea minerals”.
There are vegetarian sources of iodine such as natural brewer’s yeast, salt water seaweed such as dulse and kelp. Some plants if grown in iodine rich soils may be a good source of iodine such as asparagus, green peppers, lettuce, lima beans, mushrooms, pineapple, raisins, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard , turnip greens, and whole wheat. (See the article, WHY ORGANICS?, about how food does not have the nutritional value people think it does unless the nutrition is in the soil.) I recommend brewer’s yeast which can be sprinkled on food before eating as a seasoning. It has a great taste that people call nutty tasting. I say it has a taste all its own. Brewer’s yeast is sometimes known as nutritional yeast and it is no wonder. Natural brewer’s yeast has protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals as well as iodine. It has lots of iron. Iron, iodine and vitamin B12 work together to help the body produce healthy, red blood cells.
The latest research shows that the chemicals that the thyroid gland produces, also, go to the brain to help the brain produce it’s own chemicals. The chemicals the brain produces for its own functions have to be in proper balance for mental health.
I associate the refusal of some people to eat fish because they don’t like the taste or smell with the way children refuse to eat some vegetables because they don’t like them when they first taste them. I think pure stubbornness persists when people still refuse to eat fish into their adulthood even though they know it is healthy for them. When I was a little boy my brother and I didn’t want to eat peas after we first tasted them. My mother and father forced us to eat them. After awhile I started to love peas and still do to this day. In fact I can’t imagine being vegetarian and not eating peas since beans and legumes such as lentils, peanuts and peas are important sources of protein in vegetarian meals. My brother doesn’t like fish, not even canned tuna, but he does love fish and chips and so he makes it a point to eat fish and chips at least once a month. Even if one researches on the internet about iodine and its nutritional value one will be told in articles on the internet that having salt in the diet that has iodine added is sufficient to prevent thyroid problems. I know that this is not true because of all the people I have met with thyroid problems who refused to eat fish who certainly got a lot of salt in their diet with added iodine. One such man I met was mentally ill because he did not even use medication even though his thyroid gland was removed. For myself personally I always make sure to get fish in my diet although I get iodine from vegetarian sources as well.
It is important to note that women who are carrying a child or are breast feeding need extra iodine in their diets. Do not eat raw sushi when pregnant.
Photo by Petr Kratochvil
VITAMIN B12, OLD AGE & VEGETARIANISM
Most people get their vitamin B12 from meat. Some people when they get older suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency because of malabsorption. Malabsorption is when the body has difficulty digesting and absorbing nutrients in the intestinal tract. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include memory loss, ringing in the ears, hearing disorders, palpitations of the heart and rapid heartbeat. Strict vegetarians can suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency from not eating meat and not knowing about vegetarian sources of vitamin B12. The body can store enough vitamin B12 that the body needs for five years. Someone who makes a decision to not eat meat at all, not even fish, and to not eat eggs or dairy as well may not get the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency until after five years of strict vegetarianism.
I first became aware of the causes and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency when my mother who suffered from irregular heart beat in her old age, memory loss and ringing in the ears and distorted hearing was given a vitamin B12 shot once a month from her doctor. For a short while after she received one of these shots her mind would become totally lucid and her memory would be fine. Upon learning about this I did some research on vitamin B12. I was reading about the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and I was amazed. All of my mother’s symptoms were right there in a natural healing book I used for reference at the natural food co-op that I shop at. When I thought about all that doctors had put my mother through out of ignorance including ear operations that did not help her at all I couldn’t help thinking about how unnecessary her suffering was.
Since then I have learned about vegetarian sources of vitamin B12. These include brewer’s yeast which is sometimes known as nutritional yeast. It has some vitamin B12 and lots of protein, essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), lots of different kinds of vitamins including rarer ones such as vitamin B12 and lots of minerals including rarer minerals. It’s no wonder it is called nutritional yeast. Vitamin B12 is, also, in hops. Vitamin B12 is, also, found in seaweed such as nori which people know most from nori wraps, the dark wrapping on California rolls served at sushi restaurants. Another seaweed that has Vitamin B12 is purple dulse. Some fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso contain Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 can only be produced by enzyme activity.
Vitamin B12 is important for cell growth. It is necessary for the body to produce a coating that protects nerve cells. Particularly the part of the nerve cells that are part of the synapses, the connections between the nerve cells where the electrical signals of the nerve cells pass from one nerve cell to other nerve cells. Brain cells are a type of nerve cells. When people are Vitamin B12 deficient this is what causes the memory loss and loss of lucid thinking. It is said that Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause irreparable damage to the nerve and brain cells but the experience with the Vitamin B12 shots tells me symptoms can be reversed very quickly. Vitamin B12 along with iron and iodine are important for the body to produce healthy red blood cells as well.
The body, also, need folic acid for healthy cell growth as well including the production of red and white blood cells. Folic acid can be found in leafy green vegetables, beans, peas and lentils, liver, beets, brussel sprouts, poultry, nutritional yeast, tuna, wheat germ, mushrooms, oranges, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, bananas, strawberries, and cantaloupes.