We're often told that we need to include a sufficient amount of Folate (Folic Acid) in our diets, especially in the months prior to conception as well as the first trimester of pregnancy.
However, what is Folate / Folic Acid and how do we get it? Let's break it down.
What is Folate?
Folate (or Folic Acid - the synthetic form used for adding to food or as a supplement) is a B Vitamin. This vitamin plays a huge role in fetal growth, especially in the development of the neural tube. Folate can prevent neural tube defects such as; spina bifida. According to this post, you can reduce your chance of neural tube defects by up to 70% by simply ensuring you're getting enough folate.
How Much Folate Do I Need?
Research shows that many women don't get enough folate in their diets. The recommended daily intake is 400 (mcg) micrograms - this can be a little tricky to track and measure though, as B Vitamins are altered by the ways foods are cooked, stored or consumed. This is why a well balanced, wholesome diet before and during pregnancy is vital, as is taking prenatal supplements.
What Foods Contain Folate / Folic Acid?
A lot of Australian breads and cereals have added folic acid (just read their packaging) and promote that they are targeting women's health. However, you can also get a lot of natural folate from these healthy fresh options:
It is important for all humans (not just pregnant women) to get enough folate (or folic acid) in their diets; as it promotes overall health and wellbeing. Some studies speculate that a lack of folate can also contribute to mental illness within adults.
Be mindful and intentional about your nutrition Ladies. We all want to feel and look glowing don't we? Not to mention the health and development of the gorgeous little miracle babies we're growing, sustaining and providing for. Eat your (and their) way to good health.