Pregnancy Vivian | 06 Dec 2010 06:26 am

Are You Trying to Conceive? Do You Get Enough Folic Acid?

Folic acid belongs to vitamin B complex group and folate actually stands for vitamin B9. Folic acid plays an important role in keeping your body healthy: it prevents you from becoming anemic, which is a sign if you are feeling tired or if your skin is very pale. Folic acid makes your skin look healthier and also prevents hearing loss as you age. Some studies suggest folic acid prevents some forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease while others show folate might lower the risks of heart disease and stroke. Folic acid is also responsible for protecting your body against intestinal parasites and plays a vital role in preventing food poisoning.

Are You Trying to Conceive?

Vitamin B9 is an extremely important vitamin in early pregnancy, especially in first 4 weeks, and if woman is trying to conceive. Since folate helps building new cells, it is also essential in development of baby’s spine and brain. Because folate prevents birth defects, especially birth defects that are in connection with baby’s spine and brain, such as spina bifida or anencephaly, it is vitally important that women who are trying to conceive consume recommended daily amounts.

Since more than half pregnancies are not planned, women should prepare their bodies for ‘just in case’ situations. Recommended daily amount of vitamin B9 for pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive is 400 micrograms of per day.

List of Foods High in Folic Acid

  • Fresh green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, asparagus and lettuce
  • Vegetables, such as broccoli, tomato and tomato juice, corn, brussels sprouts
  • Fortified grain products, such as cereals, bread and pasta
  • Beans and peas (dried or fresh)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fruits such as orange and orange juice, pineapple and pineapple juce, grapefruit juice, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, banana, raspberry, grapefruit, strawberry

Some breakfast cereals are fortified and contain up to 100% of folate daily recommended amount. The highest amounts of folic acid are found in liver and liver products, as well as baker’s yeast.

As mentioned above, it is extremely important that women who are trying to get pregnant are aware of dangers that folate deficiency can cause.

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