Folic-acid levels in store-bought spinach as much as double after nine days under fluorescent lighting, according to new research highlighted in the January 2011 issue of Reader’s Digest. The harsh supermarket lighting mimics sunlight closely enough to trigger photosynthesis, which also increases levels of vitamins C, K and E. Why is that important? Folic acid, also known as folate or folacin, is a B vitamin essential for the healthy development of a baby’s spine, brain and skull. Proven to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) by as much as 70% if taken before pregnancy, it is also believed to reduce the risk of other birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. For more information, visit www.folicacid.ca.