Folic acid is an essential component of pre-pregnancy and early pregnancy care across the world. The first month of pregnancy is a crucial time for the development of the neural tube when folic acid is most essential for the fetus. It is also important for the women to have enough in their system before conception. The haemodynamic changes of pregnancy such as increased blood volume and red cell mass as well as the growing fetus impose additional nutritional demands on the mother.
Folic acid supplements reduce the risk of fetal neural tube defects, and a decline in incidence of such defects. Recent evidence has shown that some group of women, are obese or taking certain medications, are at an increased risk of fetal neural tube anomalies and require a high dose of periconceptional folic acid supplementation.
Effects of Folic Acid Deficiency in Pregnancy
- A direct effect on neural epithelium in the embryo.
- Fetal abnormalities such as anemia in mother, low birth weight of newborn, cleft lip, cleft palate, heart defects and limb malformations.
- Early symptoms of anemia include tiredness, irritability and loss of appetite.
- As anemia worsens, symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, gastrointestinal upsets and palpitations may appear.
- Besides the associated obstetric risks around the time of delivery, megaloblastic anemia may be fatal in the long term if not treated.
Benefits of Folic Acid in Pregnancy
- Reduce the risk of structural cardiac and craniofacial abnormalities.
- Reduce the risk of autistic disorder in children.
- Correct the vitamin B12 deficiency but do not correct the changes in the nervous system.
- Might reduce considerably deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke.
- Also reduces the risk of new cancers.
Every pregnant woman require a higher dose of folic acid supplementation and food. Foods are the best natural sources of folic acid and more secure way for both. It has been suggested that the only reasonable approach to maintaining adequate periconceptional levels of folic acid is through food fortification.
Best Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy
Beef liver is good source of folic acid and a pregnant women should consume at least 600 mcg of folic acid per day. A 3 oz. serving of beef liver supplies the body with 215 micrograms of folate. Pregnant women can get their daily value of folic acid with just one serving of beef liver. You can also eat beef liver after Bar-B-Q it.
Vitamin B12 and Folic acid in it prevent from anemia. Deficiency of folic acid can lead you some serious diseases. Sweet corn regulate normal folic acid level in your body naturally.
Green Leafy Vegetables
During pregnancy green leafy vegetables are the best source of many essential nutrients and vitamins. Asparagus, broccoli, collard greens, kale, spinach and Swiss chard are full of healthy nutrients and vitamins like A, C, E and K. Iron and folic acid in green leafy vegetables are really essential to provide blood to the baby to stay healthy in the fetus.
The protein found in dairy is essential to your baby’s cellular development, plus milk in particular is a great source of calcium and Vitamin D. Daily add 3 to 4 servings of straight up milk or use it in smoothies for healthy pregnancy. Strawberries are full with vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, folic acid and antioxidants all of which build your baby’s healthy skin cells and strong bones. Milkshake is the best option to take both and get more benefits.
Black-strap Molasses with Milk
Blackstrap molasses is full of iron, folic acid and other essential vitamins and minerals. Black strap molasses best natural way to boost bone marrow ability to produce and increase blood level. Mix one tablespoon of black strap molasses in one glass of lukewarm milk and drink it daily before going to sleep. Within one or two weeks your blood level will be increase incredibly.
Lentils are the best addition in your food for folic acid. Because folic acid and copper rich foods are the best natural source to achieve the goal. Copper and iron play a vital role in increasing the production of hemoglobin in our body. Lentils and beans are also help the body to rebuild and replace destroyed red blood cells. Daily consuming approximately 20 gram lentils or beans with your whole day meals have a significant role in boosting red blood cells.
Beans of all kinds can provide an expectant mom with plenty of folate to support her baby’s development. Kidney, garbanzo, pinto, black, navy and lima are all good sources of folate. Kidney beans, for example add 46 mcg per 1/2-cup serving to your folate intake, according to the ODS.
Bananas are a source of many essential vitamins and minerals, including folic acid. Folic acid found naturally in foods is known as folate. A medium sized banana contains 23.6 of folic acid, equaling to 6% of the daily value of folic acid. You can consume bananas safely daily in your diet.
Citrus fruits are also the best source of vitamin C and folic acid. A medium sized orange provides the body with 29 micrograms of folic acid. Packaged orange juice also comes fortified with folic acid. Half cup of orange juice contains 70 micrograms of folic acid.
Brussels sprout contains an abundance of nutrients. It is high in vitamin C, K, A, potassium, iron and manganese. Brussels Sprout is a good source of folic acid too. One cup twice will provide you with 25% of the daily amount of folic acid.