In pill form or from leafy greens, citrus fruits, lentils and nuts, getting your fill is straightforward.
Folic acid: no doubt, you’ve heard of it. It’s that magic ingredient responsible for proper red blood cell formation, and functioning.
Women who are pregnant need to ensure they’re getting enough of it, especially in early pregnancy. Why? Too little folic acid, or folate, (the natural form of folic acid), in your system can result in birth defects that affect a baby’s brain and spine.
A fetus can develop anencephaly, where the baby’s brain and skull don’t form correctly. Spina bifida can also come into play, where the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord don’t close properly, resulting in physical disabilities.
Is it hard to get enough? With the perils of a modern, western diet, to get enough folic acid daily, many pregnant women turn to supplements. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about your particular needs.
Apart from vitamins in a pill form, getting folate through your diet can also be easy, if you’re careful about what you eat.
The Mayo Clinic recommends eating plenty of dark, leafy greens, beans peas and nuts to meet your mark.
Foods like kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard are all rich in folate, as are fruits like oranges, lemon and papaya. Lentils are also an extremely solid natural source.
For more information on folate, folic acid and food sources, click here.
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