During pregnancy, it is essential to take good care of what we eat and how much. The foods with folic acid have become an essential food in any diet, but especially in pregnant women. In this article, we give you all the information you need to know about folic acid for pregnant women.
In addition, we have made a list of 10 foods rich in folic acid, to remove all doubts about what you can eat!
What is folic acid?
Folic acid comes from a type of vitamin B, but it has been manufactured in the laboratory. We can naturally find it as folate and in both cases, the function is the same and has the same benefits. It is common to recommend foods with folic acid for pregnant women.
Folate or folic acid helps regulate the level of creation of nerve cells in the fetus, as it directly intervenes in the production of DNA and red blood cells. It also helps to create proteins.
Having so many benefits that directly intervene in the state of our cell tissue, its consumption is recommended for the development of the embryo, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Why are folic acid foods good for pregnant women?
Folic acid foods are recommended for pregnant women for several reasons. The most important is that, when there is an absence of folic acid, the risk of the spinal cord being affected increases. Its consumption also prevents premature births.
What can cause a defect in the spinal cord is the following:
In these cases, the spinal cord has been exposed because the vertebrae of the spine have not closed properly.
This problem affects the development of the brain of the fetus.
In addition to affecting the baby, the lack of folic acid can affect the mother. Above all, it usually causes preemclasia, which can cause a complication during childbirth because it directly relates to the state of our blood pressure.
To prevent the occurrence of these cases it is recommended to include foods rich in folic acid for pregnant women. Moreover, its consumption is recommended even before pregnancy since from the moment of conception there should be no absence of it.
Moreover, its consumption is recommended if we are looking for a baby, but also until a few months after having had our child.
How much folic acid should a pregnant woman take?
Foods with folic acid for pregnant women are the order of the day, but how much should we really consume?
Although the data vary, they are more or less 400 mcg per day, although in some cases even higher consumption may be recommended. In any case, consumption higher than 1000 mcg per day is not recommended.
The best thing to do is to consult how much consumption you should take with your doctor as this will analyze your particular case and help you find the diet you should take daily to take care of your health and that of your child.
You can also ask your GP what supplements with folic acid are recommended.
10 foods with folic acid for pregnant women
As we explained earlier, folic acid is found naturally as folate in several foods. Therefore, eating a diet rich in these foods is recommended during pregnancy to promote good development of the fetus.
Do not know what foods you can add to your diet during pregnancy? We tell you about the best 10 foods with folic acid for pregnant women! This will help you to eat a varied diet rich in folic acid and other nutrients!
1. The asparagus
The consumption of asparagus is highly recommended, but they must be cooked. Not only does it contain folic acid, but it has important diuretic properties thanks to the amount of fiber it has, which will help purify the body.
Specifically, with 6 units we can consume 131 mcg of folate along with other nutrients such as potassium, glutathione or vitamins A, B, C and K.
Having virtually no cholesterol or fat is considered one of the most recommended foods if we want to eat a healthy diet, rich in folic acid and other nutrients. In addition, there are many ways to combine it in our daily food!
Perhaps you have already heard that lentils are one of the best allies for pregnant women and for anyone in general!
With its 180 mcg with your consumption, you will already have half the daily folic acid you need during pregnancy.
We must also say that pulses are one of those foods that can help us most if we want to consume folic acid naturally.
Green beans, beans, chickpeas, peas, beans … There are many varieties of legumes that you can consume and they will help you to bring a good level of folic acid!
3. The nuts
One of the foods that can nourish us the most and are recommended are nuts and it was not going to be less during pregnancy. There are endless nuts that can give us a good dose of folic acid for pregnant women.
In addition to being very well included in any diet, nuts are usually rich in fiber, healthy fats and proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals that are essential for a good diet.
- Nuts are essential foods with endless benefits that we can take advantage of in our day to day to get that extra supply of nutrients we need.
Next, we tell you what nuts you can add to your daily diet during pregnancy, although remember that you can find more!
- Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts are not only a dry fruit that is great but with only half a cup we will have 76 mcg of everything we need folic acid a day.
- Peanuts: With only a quarter of peanuts we will already have 88 mcg of folic acid that we need daily to take care of our health and that of the fetus.
- Nuts: The nuts do not contain as much folic acid as the previous ones, but with half a cup we can get up to 57 mcg.
- Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are not only delicious but with a quarter we can already include 82 mcg of folic acid in our daily diet.
- Almonds: Almonds are another of the nuts that provide less folic acid but can be helpful. With half a cup of almonds, we will have 36 mcg of what we need daily.
- Ground flaxseed: Flax seeds are included very well in any diet and are very rich in folate. With only two tablespoons you’ll get 54 mcg of the folic acid you need per day to maintain the levels you and your baby need.
In general, there are many fruits that contain folic acid but include citrus fruits. In addition, something to add fruits to our daily diet is that we can find a variety and we can consume them in different ways.
Fruits with higher content of folic acid
Next, we tell you which are the most recommended fruits to take during pregnancy:
- Orange: The good thing about orange is that we can consume it both directly and in juice. The fruit of the orange can contain up to 40 mcg of folate, but with a juice, we can increase the intake to 75 mcg.
- Strawberries: Strawberries do not contain excess folic acid, but they can serve as a rich complement. A cup of strawberries can have about 30 mcg of folate.
- Grapefruit: The grapefruit, as it happens with the orange, it is better to consume it in the form of juice. A grapefruit juice can provide us with up to 25 mcg of the folate we need daily. As you can see, orange juice is still much more than grapefruit juice.
- Banana: The banana is very rich in protein, but also can provide up to 20 mcg of folic acid we need daily.
- Avocado: The avocado is one of the fruits that more folic acid can give us at once. Only half of avocado already has 57 mcg of folate daily.
Many cereals contain folic acid, either because they have it naturally or because they are included later. This is the case of white bread, which is enriched so that it can provide us with about 35 mcg of the folate that we need daily with only one slice.
Even so, there are many cereals that have folate naturally, so it is best to consult with a specialist which is better to eat to get an idea.
6. The carrot
The carrot is a vegetable that can help us a lot in our daily cooking while giving us the folic acid we need. Only one cup of carrot contains more than 20 mcg of folate, so it can be a good snack for the day to day.
You can consume the raw carrots as is or make a nutritious, tasty purée that gives the necessary folic acid for pregnant women. The carrot is not only very versatile; with it you can improve your daily diet during pregnancy without having to spend excessively. There are many dishes you can make with carrots!
7. The pumpkin
Next, to the carrot, the pumpkin is another vegetable that can help us more during pregnancy due to the amount of nutrients it contains. Not only are they tasty and nutritious, but we can find different varieties that help us make our diet more varied.
For example, one cup of winter squash has more than 40 mcg of folate, while one cup of summer squash has more than 30 mcg, which is a little less than the other but sufficient.
The pumpkin and its various variants can accompany us throughout the pregnancy to achieve a rich and varied diet.
8. The beet
Although it is not the most popular food, beet will help us to have the folic acid we need while taking advantage of its powerful antioxidant properties.
It is usually highly recommended by professionals for containing fairly high levels of folate, since only one cup already has 148 mcg.
Therefore, beet is a perfect food to give a touch to our meals while we purify our liver and maintain stable level of folic acid for pregnant women. What are you waiting for to add it to your diet? With it you will be able to balance your folic acid levels with ease!
Corn is one of the richest and most nutritious foods we can find, so it is not surprising that it is found as a complement in so many things. Among all that gives us is of course folic acid, since a cup of corn gives us more than 30 mcg.
Of course, it is normal that the type of corn that reaches our homes is already treated and has lost enough of its natural values. For that reason, it is recommended to try to acquire corn that is as natural as possible so that we can make the most of its properties.
In addition, corn is a most versatile food. We can fry it, cook it, grill it or grill it, so you can enjoy this delicious food in a varied way so you do not get tired of it and be able to make the most of its benefits.
Although celery is not usually the most popular vegetables, the truth is that it can help us a lot in our day to day, especially in our pregnancy. Not only is it one of the best foods with folic acid for pregnant women, but it also helps prevent kidney stones.
With a cup of celery, we can obtain practically 40 mcg of the daily folate that our body needs. In addition, being such a versatile food we can add it to different dishes or eat it as is, with only a little salt and oil!
Undoubtedly, celery is a food that we should add to our diet during pregnancy, along with other vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, turnip or lettuce.
With all these vegetables we will obtain a rich and varied diet that helps us to maintain the health of our organism and that of our fetus! And you, what foods with folic acid do you usually take?