Folic Acid and Mothers to be…

A Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in the world from Strawberry Blu!! On this occasion we would like to answer the question on Folic Acid for mothers to be: Foods that contain folic acid are good for the brain of the baby in the womb?

Folic acid, a water soluble B vitamin, is an essential nutrient with a special consideration before conception and during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid helps develop the infant’s neural tube, which during development of the infant in the womb is transformed into the baby’s spinal cord and brain.

The neural tube forms within the first 28 days from conception; thus consumption of folic acid during this period of pregnancy reduces the risks of neural tube defects; such as Spina Bifida.

Spina bifida is one of the birth defects called neural tube defects (NTD) where a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close correctly.

How much you need:

– 400 micrograms of folic acid/day for women of childbearing age
– 600 to 800 micrograms of folic acid/day before conception and throughout pregnancy

Sources of Folic Acid

Synthetic Form:

– Supplements
– Fortified foods such as breads, cereals or pastas

Food Sources:

– Citrus fruits and juices ex. Orange
– Dark-green leafy vegetables ex. Spinach
– Nuts ex. Peanuts
– Liver

Alert: Always consult your doctor or dietitian for appropriate levels of supplementation.

Related References

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spina-bifida/DS00417
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=4294967638
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6808

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