Are you planning to be pregnant? If yes, you must already know the importance of a healthy diet, exercise as well as having enough sleep, however, there is still one essential thing that helps in a healthy pregnancy. And that is- a good amount of “folic acid” which should be taken before conception.
Basically, folic acid, which is a synthetic form of Vitamin B9 or folate, is a superstar nutrient that your body requires to help numerous functioning. Every day new cells are being rapidly reproduced in every organ of your body however do you know that none of these would happen without the presence of folic acid? Folic acid has a very vital role in the effective production of cell reproduction. During pregnancy, it is even more important as it prevents neural tube defects (NTDs). Why? Keep Reading!!!
Do you know what are neural tube defects? They are birth defaults of the brain like anencephaly & Chiari malformation and also spinal cord like spina bifida. Neural tube defects affect over 3 lakh babies across the world every year however between 50 & 70% of NTDs can be prevented if the pregnant women have folic acid in a supplement or prenatal vitamin. It is recommended to have folic acid daily whether you are holding off on having children or you are trying actively to conceive. This is because the time when you become pregnant, your baby is already producing the essential neurological cells which help in the development of his/her brain as well as spine.
You do not have any plans to have a baby or do you think you cannot get pregnant? It doesn’t matter! You should still take folic acid daily as 40% of pregnancies across the world are unplanned. So, acquiring sufficient folic acid is an excellent plan when you get a surprise tomorrow! Many researches have also proved that folic acid does more than just preventing neural tube defects. It also reduces congenital heart defects. Plus, good levels of folate can even low the possibility of having a child with obesity.
Most women in the U.S take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily or a separate supplement with the same amount in, prior to their pregnancy. During pregnancy, normally women require 600 mcg as well as 500 mcg if they breastfeed. The recommendations of folic acid amount slightly vary from country to country. Some women require to have extremely high doses however this should always be taken under a physician’s supervision.
This is mostly those women who have once taken certain medications for epilepsy, cancer or autoimmune diseases. The most important benefit of folic acid is that it digests and absorbs really effectively. You can acquire the goodness of folic acid by having foods including bread & cereals which are fortified with folic acid, nuts & seeds, beans, leafy green vegetables, and citrus juices.
Most women think that they can acquire all the folic acid as well as other vitamins from the food they eat every day. However, it is difficult to take a diet consisting of every required nutrient. Even with a careful plan, you just can’t acquire all the vitamins only from your diet. And that is the main reason why you should take a vitamin along with folic acid every day.
So, what you think? Stop thinking and just kick off your days with a vegetable frittata, beet juice or a green smoothie along with a folic acid supplement and you will be off to an excellent start.
Also Read: 9 Powerhouses Of Folic Acid