Do you ever feel this way?
I want to have a baby. I know I’m not eating wisely. There’s a lot I must do to feel better and prepare. Folic acid? What’s that?
Folic acid is water-soluble. What does this mean? Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means your body does not store folic acid and you need a continuous supply of the vitamin in the foods you eat.
We all need Folic Acid
Everybody needs folic acid yet it’s especially important for women of child-bearing age. Obtaining enough folic acid before and during pregnancy can prevent major birth defects for the baby. These defects involve malformation of a structure in the fetus called the neural tube. As the baby develops, the top part of this tube helps form the baby’s brain, and the bottom part unfolds to become the baby’s spinal column.
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Folic Acid Needs for Pregnancy
Pregnant women need 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid in the early stages of pregnancy, even before they know they are pregnant. Women should discuss their folic acid needs with their doctors. Some doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that contain higher amounts of folic acid.
What foods contain folic acid?
Good sources of folic acid are found in leafy vegetables (romaine, spinach, lettuce, turnip greens, mustard greens), citrus fruits (orange juice), asparagus, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, beans and whole grains. If you’re thinking of making a spicy stir fry for dinner, add some chopped cabbage, thinly cut bell peppers, leeks and green peas for some more flavor and folic acid vitamin!
How can I add folate rich foods to my meals?
For breakfast, think OJ – orange juice and a bowl of whole grain cereal. Be sure to add some veggies to your lunch sandwich – how about some greens or even grilled bell peppers and beets between your sliced turkey? A rich folic dinner could include a hearty leek, potato and parley soup with a bean salad.
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What are you doing for a healthy pregnancy?