The Importance Of Folic Acid In Pregnancy & Foods Rich In Folic Acid.

If you’re trying to become pregnant or already are, it’s important to get enough folic acid into your diet. Your GP may prescribe you with a vitamin called Clonfolic acid to take while you are trying to conceive or if your pregnancy is spontaneous he/she will prescribe it when your pregnancy is confirmed. In my experience, clonfolic acid made me quite constipated. That’s why a balanced diet with foods rich in folic acid might’ve been a better option for me to go through, rather than take the vitamin in the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy.

Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects, which are serious birth defects such as spina bifida, and anencephaly. The neural tube is the part of the embryo from which your baby’s spine and brain develop. Some research also suggests that folic acid may help lower your baby’s risk of other defects as well, such as cleft lip, cleft palate, and certain types of heart defects. It may also reduce your risk of pre-eclampsia, a serious blood pressure disorder that affects about 5 percent of pregnant women. Our body needs this nutrient to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia. It’s also essential for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA. Getting enough folic acid is particularly important for the rapid cell growth of the placenta and your developing baby.

The foods in which we can put into a balanced diet to increase the folic acid intake before and through out the pregnancy can be used in many forms such as within breakfasts, lunches and dinners. You could also make up a fruit salad or vegetable smoothie with seeds or nuts through it. Here are lists of vegetables, fruits, seeds & nuts, beans and other food high in folic acid,

Vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Turnip
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Beet
  • Carrots

Fruit:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Papya
  • Winter Squash
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe (melon)

Seeds/Nuts:

  • Lentils
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts

Beans:

  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Soy beans

Other foods:

  • Fortified bread and cereal
  • Turkey liver
  • Tomato juice
  • Rice
  • Pasta

Bruce Ames once said “folic acid deficiency does the same thing as radiation”, so give your baby an amazing start in life to be as healthy as he/she needs to be! After all, “OUR HEALTH IS OUR WEALTH”!!

Thanks for reading.

Love, Chloe x

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