Folic acid for pregnancy?

Folic acid for pregnancy

Why is folic acid important in pregnancy?

Folic acid is a haemopoietic vitamin essential for multiplication and maturation of red cells in our body. Its deficiency leads to megaloblastic anaemias. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9, water-soluble and naturally found in many foods.

What are the benefits of Folic acid? 

Folic acid intake during pregnancy protects the foetus from developing certain congenital defects. It also promotes the birth weight of infants. Folic acid deficiency increases homocysteine levels in blood, thereby increasing the risk for heart disease. Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and liver are good sources of folates. It plays a key role in breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that can exert harmful effects in the body if it is present in high amounts

Good Food sources of Folic acid

  • Dark green leafy vegetables (turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli)
  • Beans
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fresh fruits, fruit juices
  • Whole grains
  • Liver
  • Seafood
  • Eggs

What is folic acid?

Folic acid is a B vitamin. If a woman consumes enough folic acid (400 micrograms (mcg) daily) before and during early pregnancy, it can help prevent her baby from having a neural tube defect. Women can do this by taking a vitamin supplement containing the recommended amount of folic acid or eating enough food that is fortified with folic acid. Fortified foods include enriched breads, pastas, rice, and some breakfast cereals.

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