Folic Acid is an essential nutrient to your body’s health, however, it is especially important during pregnancy to help your body make the extra blood it needs during pregnancy and it is believed to help prevent neural defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, during the first three months of pregnancy.
Folic acid is needed by your body even if you are not pregnant. It is vital in making red blood cells and without enough folic acid you can suffer from folate deficiency anemia.
Folic acid is a B-Vitamin and is also helpful for synthesizing and repairing one’s DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid), preventing age-related hearing loss and helps in new cell growth.
You should take a minimum of 400 mcg of folic acid a day and up to 800 mcg if you are pregnant. This can be obtained in a multivitamin or in the following foods that you eat.
Folic acid is naturally found in foods like:
- Spinach and other dark green, leafy vegetables
- Oranges and orange juice
- Poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.) and meat
- Whole grains
It is also added to foods such as:
- Breakfast cereals (Some have 100% of the recommended daily value — or 400 micrograms — of folic acid in each serving.)
- Breads and pasta
- White rice
Be sure to take the recommended dose of folic acid each day either through a multivitamin or the foods mentioned above. Stay committed to your health.
American Pregnancy Association