What is Folic Acid?
Folic Acid is a B vitamin, it can be found as folate in food items like pulses and green vegetables. It is helpful in developing fetus’ neutral tube. Neutral tube is developing baby’s part in the womb which later becomes brain and spinal cord. If there is any problem in this which later becomes a serious defect at the time of birth.
Why body needs Folic Acid?
Body requires sufficient amount of folic acid because it helps in producing red blood cells and DNA. It is good for the proper development of brain, spinal fluid and nervous system. Some babies can have the health problem called NTD (neural tube defect) such as Spina bifida but if a pregnant lady having folic acid then her baby is free from that disease.
What Amount is good?
Folic acid is not only good in the first trimester of pregnancy ladies but if you are going to plan pregnancy you have to take 400 micrograms of folic acid as your daily diet or eat a diet loaded with folates. It protects the babies from birth defects and lessens the miscarriage risk. Start taking folic acid supplements 3 months before planning a baby. Take them along with iron supplements throughout the pregnancy period and even at the time of 6 months of breastfeeding.
In case, baby has had the NTD, then doctor suggested having a diet highly rich in folic acid because your future child is also at the higher risk of having the same problem.
Is Folic Acid Supplements do the Same for You?
During pregnancy period, having folate rich food is good option. But even after having balanced diet, there may be deficiency and that is the reason doctors suggested you to have supplements. If you don’t like to take folic acid supplements then child may have the deficiency. Folic acid supplements are usually small tablets and so are easy to swallow or suck.
Along with having folic acid supplements you have take diet rich in folic acid too. It can fulfill the idea of daily intake of folic acid. The foods not only have folic acid but also have all nutrients which are good for baby as well as for would be mom.
List of Foods having Folate along with Nutritional Value
- Hardboiled egg having 22mcg folic acid
- A large orange have 54 mcg of folate
- ½ cup of chickpeas or chole have 140 mcg folate
- A medium sized papaya have 115 mcg folate
- ½ cup of boiled spinach have 130 mcg of folate
- ¾ cup of cooked white rice have 60 mcg of folate
- 1 cup of tomato juice have 50 mcg of folate
- ½ cup of kidney beans or rajma have 115 mcg of folate
- ½ cup of cooked lentils have 175 mcg folate
- 7 teaspoons of bran flakes have 113 mcg folate
- 2 spears of steamed broccoli have 61 mcg folate
- 1 cup of cooked noodles have 160 mcg folate
- A large jacket potato have 39 mcg folate
- 4 tablespoons of black eyed beans have 220 mcg folate
- 25 g of wheat germ have 100 mcg folate
Other sources of folic acid- Green leafy vegetables like methi, spinach and raddish leaves are good ones. Some other foods are corn, cauliflower, ladyfinger, green pepper, peas, and beetroot and mustard greens.