Folic acid and pregnancy

Pregnant? Most probably the first medicine your doc prescribe you is a vit B9 (FOLIC ACID). Many pregnant women don’t know the importance of folic acid in early pregnancy, they consider it as just another supplement and they forget to take it.

Folic acid can’t be stored in our body so it must be taken in our daily diet. For pregnant women this is important to prevent birth defects of their babies.

Folic acid is vital for the formation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis and for protein metabolism, and for the prevention of neural tube defects in the developing foetus during early pregnancy. Many studies have shown that women who get 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) daily, PRIOR to conception and during early pregnancy have reduced risk of babies with neural tube defects.

The most common neural tube defects are:

Spina bifida-incomplete closure spinal cord and column.

  • Anencephaly- severe underdevelopment of the brain
  • Encephalocele – babies skull doesn’t close completely and part of the brain comes through the opening.

Most of these birth defects occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy that is before you probably know that you are pregnant. So if you are planning for a baby it is better to start today with folic acid

How much folic acid per day

Women of child-bearing age need 0.4 – 0.5 mg of folate daily and since it is not possible to measure the folic acid in food. It’s better to take a supplement.

Folate Rich Food

  1. Green leafy vegetables like broccoli ,spinach
  2. Chickpeas,legumes,lentils
  3. Avocado
  4. Mangoes
  5. Oranges

Liver is also rich in folate but it also contains lots of vitamin A which is not good for pregnant women.

Since folic acid is destroyed in cooking. Its better to eat fruits raw and a light cooking for those that cant be taken raw.

So remind your women to take folic acid daily. Spread your word..

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