Explore the Amazing Benefits of Taking Folic Acid during Your Pregnancy

If you are thinking of getting pregnant then it is of prime importance to have a healthy and balanced diet that includes the right nutrients. Diet is a key deciding factor in the success of your pregnancy and in getting a healthy baby. Most physicians emphasize on leading a healthy life, making slight lifestyle modifications, and having a healthy diet each time and on time for ensuring a healthy hassle-free pregnancy.

What Is Folic Acid?

Folic acid plays a pivotal role in ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy for the mom and a healthy baby. You must start consuming folic acid even before conceiving. Folate or folic acid is regarded as the real ‘pregnancy superhero’. Folic acid is actually a manmade formulation of a Vitamin B known as folate. Folate is great for producing red blood cells. It plays a pivotal role in the development of the neural tube of your baby into his spinal cord and brain. Some of the food sources rich in folic acid are dark green vegetables, fortified cereals, and citrus fruits.

Effective Prenatal Diagnosis of Anomalies

The Polymerase Chain Reaction has been presented in prenatal diagnosis for effective detection of some fetal aneuploidies. This effective diagnostic method known as the Quantitative Fluorescent Polymerase Chain Reaction is often used in prenatal diagnosis for bypassing the need to actually culture the fetal cells. This would be allowing speedy and precise diagnosis of all the selected chromosomal anomalies. PCR is certainly, more reasonably-priced and fully-automated so that even more pregnant women would be getting the advantage of invasive prenatal diagnosis but without any drastic increase in medical expenses. All pregnant women must get all the diagnostic examinations done on time and rule out all anomalies well in advance.

Benefits of Folic Acid

Boosts the Generation of Red Blood Cells

Folate helps in enhancing the generation of red blood cells, so this is really vital during pregnancy when you naturally tend to be anemic. Folic acid consumption would keep your RBC count normal and you could have some other effective supplements for fulfilling your iron deficiency during pregnancy. This further ensures a healthy fetal growth and development.

Good for Fetal Development

Folic acid is great for ensuring the normal neural development of a baby. In this context, you must know that the neural tube of the fetus eventually grows into the spinal cord and brain of the baby and is protected effectively by folic acid. This ensures no prenatal defects in the initial stages of development of the baby’s central nervous system.

The Right Time to Start Taking Folic Acid

Doctors suggest that you start taking up to 400mcg folic acid when you start planning. Most birth defects are likely to occur around the first trimester, which is why it makes a lot of sense to consume folate in the early stages. Speak to your trusted doctor to understand what sort of dose is right for you, all things considered.

Why Is Folic Acid Best for Your Baby?

Folate would be safeguarding your baby from fatal diseases like spina bifida where the spinal cord development is incomplete, cleft palate, and cleft lip that could be prevented by the mother consuming the right dose of folate during the pregnancy. Folic acid would be eliminating the risks of premature birth, miscarriage, poor infant weight etc. As per the latest research and studies, there could be a connection between neural tube defects and the Down syndrome. It is believed that folic acid supplements could effectively prevent both of these diseases.

Natural source of folic acid

Dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and dried legumes like chickpeas, beans, lentils are the good natural source of folate. Check the table below that showing the foods are the great source of folate: (Source: dietitians.ca)

Food Serving size Folate (mcg)
Vegetables and Fruit
Vegetables
Edamame/baby soybeans cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 106-255
Okra, frozen, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 97
Spinach, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 121-139
Artichoke, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 79-106
Turnip greens, collards, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 68-93
Broccoli, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 89
Asparagus, cooked 4 spears 128-141
Brussels sprouts, frozen, cooked 6 sprouts 83
Lettuce, (Romaine, mesclun) 250 mL (1 cup) 65-80
Escarole or endive, raw 250 mL (1 cup) 75
Beets, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 72
Potato, with skin, cooked 1 medium 48-66
Spinach, raw 250 mL (1 cup) 61
Fruits
Avocado ½ fruit 81
Papaya ½ fruit 56
Orange juice 125 mL (½ cup) 25-39
Grain Products
Pasta, egg noodles, enriched, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 138
Pasta, white, enriched, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 88-113
Bagel, plain ½ bagel (45 g) 86
Bread, white 1 slice (35 g) 64
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice (35 g) 11
Milk and Alternatives This food group contains very little of this nutrient
Meat and Alternatives
Meat Alternatives
Beans, cranberry/roman, cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 271
Lentils, cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 265
Peas (chickpeas, black-eyed,, pigeon)
cooked
175 mL (¾ cup) 138-263
Beans (mung, adzuki), cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 234-238
Beans (pink, pinto, navy, black, white, kidney, great northern), cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 157-218
Sunflower seeds, without shell 60 mL (¼ cup) 77-81
Meatless (fish sticks, meatball, chicken), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 59-77
Soy burger/vegetarian meatloaf or patty, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 59
Soy nuts 60 mL (¼ cup) 59
Organ Meats
Liver (turkey, chicken), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 420-518
Liver (lamb, veal), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 262-300
Liver (beef, pork), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 122-195
Miscellaneous
Yeast extract spread (vegemite or marmite) 30 ml (2 Tbsp) 360

Conclusion

You must consult your nutritionist who would help you in effectively chalking out the best diet plan for enriching your body with the ever-useful folic acid. Folate would be signifying development and fertility. You must include folic acid in your pregnancy priority list before conceiving, for health and happiness of you and your baby.

 

Author bio

Daniel Mattei is a Professional writer. He has written many articles on Health. In this article he has mentioned about the Polymerase Chain Reaction has been presented in prenatal diagnosis.

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All information published on this website is for informational purposes only. This website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and is not intended to be a substitute or replacement for any medical treatment. Please visit healthcare professional for your specific health concerns.

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