You might have heard about the importance of including folic acid rich foods and supplements in the diet of women of child bearing age for diminishing risk of birth defects especially neural tube defects in children. However, what many of us are not aware of is the beauty uses of folic acid. Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid helps in maintaining healthy skin and hair.
Folic acid occurs naturally in leafy green vegetables, beans, whole grains and root vegetables. As it is a water soluble vitamin, excess folic acid is flushed out of the body through urine. Hence, adding folic acid rich foods to your daily diet is the best way to boost the health of your hair and skin.
Here Is Why Folic Acid Is Good For Your Skin And Hair Health
Prevents Sun Damage
The skin being the exposed part of the body is easily damaged by the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. The solar radiation damages the DNA of the cell, leading to abnormal multiplication of the skin cells that damages the skin and increases risk of skin cancer. Folic acid helps in repairing the damaged DNA and maintaining the healthy replication of the skin cells. Hence, it protects the exposed skin from sun damage.
Fights Skin Aging
Folic acid when combined with the amino acid creatine helps in erasing wrinkles and fine lines from the skin. Folic acid helps in maintaining the healthy collagen production that keeps the skin firm. Apart from consuming folic acid rich foods, topical application of folic acid, according to studies, can help in fighting skin aging.
Fights Skin Discoloration
Studies have also shown that folic acid can help in improving symptoms of vitiligo. Vitiligo occurs due to destruction of the melanin producing cells of the skin. Folic acid works by breaking down homocysteine, a type of amino acid. High level of homocysteine damages the melanin producing cells by increasing oxidative stress on these cells.
Folic acid helps in improving blood flow. Healthy blood circulation helps in boosting the health of the skin. Moreover, the antioxidant property of folic acid protects the skin from free radicals. Hence, folic acid makes your skin glow with health.
Promotes Hair Growth
Folic acid supports healthy turnover of the cells in the hair follicles. Hence, it is essential for promoting hair growth. In an experimental study, researchers found that treating folic acid deficiency helped in reversing alopecia.