Folic acid benefits: What are some main Folic acid rich foods

Folic acid benefits during pregnancy

Even though a lot of women are aware that they should take a folic acid supplement as soon as you’re trying to get pregnant, many don’t know which foods are rich in natural folate.

What is folic acid?

Folic acid is a type of B vitamin and it is commonly found in foods such as dried beans, lentils, peas, whole-wheat products, liver, oranges, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, and spinach.

Folic acid becomes critically important if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. This is because folic acid helps in the prevention of neural tube defects. These are serious birth defects related to the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly). The neural tube is that part of the embryo from which the baby’s spine and brain begin to develop.

Neural tube defects happen at a very early stage of foetal development, way before many women may even know that they’re pregnant – which is why it is critical that you begin to take folic acid even before you start trying to get pregnant.

What are some main Folic acid rich foods?

In addition to folic acid supplements, it is a great idea to eat foods that are naturally rich in folate to make sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount. And everyone knows that natural foods trump pills.

Some of the Folic acid rich pregnancy foods are:

  • a large orange – 54 mcg of folate
  • a large potato – 39 mcg
  • a large hard-boiled egg – 22mcg
  • 1 cup of noodles, cooked – 160mcg
  • 1/2 cup of cooked spinach – 130 mcg
  • 3/4 cup of cooked white rice – 60mcg
  • 1/2 cup of chickpeas – 140 mcg
  • 1 cup of tomato juice – 50mcg
  • 1/2 cup of lentils, cooked – 175 mcg
  • four tablespoons of black-eyed beans – 220mcg
  • 1/2 cup of kidney beans – 115 mcg
  • 7 tablespoons of bran flakes – 113 mcg
  • 25 g of wheat germ – 100 mcg
  • 2 spears of steamed broccoli – 61 mcg

Some other sources of Folic acid

Vegetables

Include spinach, fenugreek (methi) or radish leaves and other dark leafy green vegetables, which are a great source of folate. Other folate-rich vegetables are corn, peas, cauliflower, beetroot, turnip greens, ladyfinger/okra and mustard greens.

Nuts, dry fruits and seeds

Almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, and walnuts are good options.

Legumes

Include black eyed peas, soya bean, dried peas, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils in your diet.

Fruits

Strawberries, melons, oranges, banana, honeydew or cantaloupe, pomegranate, guava and raspberries are great options.

Grains

Whole grain flour and pasta, semolina (rava/ sooji), wholemeal bread, oats and fortified flours.

Try to include a good combination of these foods in every meal to ensure that you get enough folate in your diet. Take the recommended supplement as an additional supply.

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