Folic acid foods are essential in the production of the extra blood that women need during pregnancy. Learn more about them here!
In this article:
- Why Is Folic Acid During Pregnancy So Important?
- How Much Folic Acid Is Needed During Pregnancy?
- 7 Folic Acid Foods To Include In Your Pregnancy Diet
Folic Acid Foods You Need During Pregnancy
Why Is Folate During Pregnancy So Important?
Folate is essential for boosting the production of red blood cells and is instrumental in preventing neural tube defects, which is a very serious birth defect that affects the spinal cord. So, eating folic acid rich foods can prevent developmental problems and risks for fetuses. Folic acid deficiency can pose a problem for both the mother and child.
How Much Folic Acid Is Needed During Pregnancy?
The folic acid requirements in women vary. The standard advise is 400 mcg of folic acid a day for pregnant women. This ensures adequate folate intake during pregnancy. It is highly beneficial to have balanced folate levels since about half of all pregnancies are not planned.
This may be different for women who have been pregnant with babies who suffered from neural tube defect in the past. Doctors may recommend they take a much higher dose of folic acid.
7 Folic Acid Foods to Include in Your Pregnancy Diet
You don’t have to rely on folic acid supplements to get access to its benefits. You can, in fact, enjoy these benefits by eating the following types of foods.
1. Fortified Cereals
This can offer about 100 mcg of folic acid per serving. Breakfast cereals can help you reach your daily goals, especially since the average breakfast for most Americans consists of more than one standard serving of cereal.
2. Cooked Lentils
A half-cup serving of lentils contains almost 180 mcg of folate. Cooked lentils also provide a healthy dose of protein and fiber while being low in fat. This means you may have found the perfect ingredient for many meals throughout your pregnancy.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens and dark green vegetables are high in folate. These vegetables include spinach, broccoli, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. They also include turnip greens, okra, and asparagus. All offer plenty of nutrients and folic acid, making them ideal food choices for pregnant women.
4. Dried Peas and Beans
Other foods with folate pregnant women should eat are dried peas and beans. Dried beans can reduce risks of heart disease and high blood pressure, and they can also help with type two diabetes. Also, dried peas and beans are nutrient-rich foods. They contain high levels of folate, calcium, and potassium in half-cup servings. They’re excellent ingredients for soups, stews, and chili for added nutrients and flavor.
Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol. But, they are a nutritious food to include in almost every diet. With 25 mcg of folate per egg, it doesn’t take much to see the value in eating eggs for breakfast. Shop for omega-3 enriched eggs with DHA to help with your baby’s developing brain.
6. Enriched Pasta
While so many people on low-carb diets are running away from pasta, you need carbohydrates while pregnant. Pasta becomes fuel for your body and your growing baby, and it contains 100 mcg of folic acid in a one-cup serving. Consider switching to wheat pasta rather than white as it is higher in fiber and will digest slower – offering a steadier stream of energy.
This is one of the delightful fruits to eat while pregnant. It’s also chock full of healthy goodness in the forms of vitamins A and C and folate.
More foods to consider as potential sources of folic acid while pregnant include:
- Citrus Fruits
- Orange Juice
- Tomato Juice
These are foods you should enjoy while pregnant thanks to the many health benefits they provide. Do you still feel you might not be getting enough folic acid through your diet? Consider asking your physician to recommend a folic acid supplement during your pregnancy.
Check out this video for good sources of folic acid you can add to your diet:
After all, the last thing you want is to have a folate deficiency at a time when your developing baby needs it most. Don’t risk your baby’s health by not taking in enough folic acid daily. Don’t let folic acid, something so simple to have in abundance, be the one detail that falls through the cracks. If you’re having a hard time meeting your folate requirement, consult your doctor about supplementation instead.
Do you know other foods with folic acid? Let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 9, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.