Folic Acid Fortefied Foods For Pregnancy

By | June 29, 2009

Folic Acid Requirement For Pregnancy And Folic Acid Foods

Folic acid, also referred to as folate, is a vitamin from Vitamin B complex aggregation. It is vitamin B9. Folic acid serves various purposes like regulation of metabolism and prevention of hypertension. Lack of folic acid in required amounts may lead to colon cancer in women. Though there is no concrete research to support the incidence of occurrence of this disease due to lack of folic acid, yet doctors prescribe supplement folic acid supplements in case of speculation of colon cancer.

Folic acid has maximum functionality in pregnant women. Lack of folic acid in pregnant women may lead to defects in the neural tube of the developing baby in the womb. This refers to incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord of the baby.

There are various kinds of neural tube defects, the most common being spina bifida, which is an incomplete closure of the spinal cord and spinal column. The other defects of neural tube include anencephaly, which is stern underdevelopment of the brain and encephalocele, which refers to the protruding of brain cells out of the skull through an abnormal opening or vent.

It is advised to maximize the intake of foods with folic acids, rather than taking supplements.

Foods High In Folic Acid

Some of the sources of folic acid can be listed as follows:

  • Cereals like corn and oat are good sources of Folic acid.
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce are very rich in folic acid content.
  • Nuts like peanuts and avocados are also rich in folic acid.
  • Non vegetarian foods like eggs and beef liver are recommended for pregnant women on account of their high folic acid content. These foods must be properly cooked and then consumed.
  • Fruits like banana, papaya, and oranges are good sources of folic acid.
  • Tomato juice is also recommended to be consumed to enhance the intake of folic acid in your diet.
  • Vegetables like green peas and beans are also good sources of folic acid.
  • Other rich sources of folic acid include wheat germ, turnip, and cantaloupe.
  • These are the foods which enhance folic acid levels in the blood. There are certain drugs which are instrumental in depleting folic acid levels in blood which include oral contraceptives, aspirin, Primidone, and several others.
  • Folic acid is highly required for pregnant women and as such, a diet rich in folic acid is recommended. Also, drugs that deplete folic acid level must be avoided. It is recommended that pregnant women must take four hundred milligrams of folic acid per day on a daily basis.