Pregnancy

Folic Acid Foods for Pregnancy

Folic acid is a type of vitamin B, which is also called folate. It helps to support the production of red blood cells and nerve function, too. According to the March of Dimes, women who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant must include folate, either in tablet form or as part of their diets, to make sure that the development of the unborn baby is normal. This is a good reason to start taking some folic acid foods for pregnancy even before becoming pregnant. Women who do not take enough folic acid are at a greater risk of their unborn baby developing a congenital anomaly like neural tube defects. There are many foods that are natural sources of folate. Read on to find out more about folic acid foods for pregnancy.
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What Foods are Rich in Folic Acid?

Some of the most commonly found sources of folic acid are:

Beef Liver

The American Pregnancy Association suggests taking 600 mcg, while the March of Dimes recommends taking multivitamins with 400 mcg of folate daily. Beef liver is one of the richest sources of folic acid, but even calf liver has more than 860 mcg of folic acid.

Beans

Beans of every kind provide plenty of the folic acid necessary to support baby’s development. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, beans like garbanzo, black, lima, navy, and pinto, along with lentils are all very good sources of folic acid.

Fruits

There are a variety of fruits that are high in folate. The American Pregnancy Association suggests oranges as a very good source of folate. Papaya is another fruit that is a rich source of folic acid, containing an average 115 mcg of folate per fruit. Strawberries have 25 mcg per cup. Cantaloupe has 27 mcg per cup and raspberries have 31 mcg per cup. So start enjoying these fruits during your pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects.

Vegetables

There is a wide range of vegetables that have high levels of folic acid. Spinach, green peas, asparagus, corn, mushrooms, egg plant, carrots, green vegetables in general and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower contain folate in very high levels. Asparagus and spinach have particularly high levels of folic acid with each cup providing 262 mcg.

Enriched Cereals

The American Pregnancy Association states that breads and cereal products do not contain folate in their natural state. However, they may be enriched with this vitamin. Some products that fall into this group are rice, pasta, and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Pregnant women are advised to check the labels to make sure that they are getting the essential nutrients to stay healthy throughout pregnancy.

If you start taking these folic acid rich foods from early on in your pregnancy or even before becoming pregnant, you will be well on the way to a healthy and happy pregnancy.

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