Pregnancy is a delicate phase of life and it is extremely important for the pregnant lady to take care of her own health to ensure the safety and good health of the baby she is carrying.
One of the essential vitamins required for a woman before her conception and during the nine months of her pregnancy is folic acid. Medical experts recommend an additional intake of folic acid supplement along with a folic acid rich diet during pregnancy.
- Folic acid also known as folate is a water soluble vitamin and comes from the family of vitamin B. It is vital for the healthy development of bones of the foetus. It is equally important for the strength and health of the bones of the mother carrying the baby. Studies have proved that intake of folic acid supplements is beneficial for a pregnant woman as well as her baby.
- Folic acid is known to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida which is a neutral-tube defect.
- This vitamin is crucial for the development of DNA which defines the body’s genetic characteristics. It plays a major role in the growth and development of cells and formation of tissues.
- Folic acid is essential for the production and functioning of certain chemical components of the nervous system and also for proper and normal functioning of the brain.
- Folic acid is vital for the production of red blood cells. A woman needs extra blood during the months of her pregnancy. A folate deficiency along with deficiency of iron may cause anaemia which results in weakness and a feeling of tiredness in the pregnant woman. The pregnant lady may also suffer from certain digestive disorders and headaches. As a result, she may become irritable and edgy. This is detrimental not only for her but also the foetus. For delivering a healthy baby is very important for a mother to stay happy during her pregnancy.
- Women found deficient in this essential mineral are at a greater risk of miscarriage and in worst cases, stillbirths.
Good sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables. Many food product manufacturing companies are enriching cereal and grain products such as pasta, flour and rice with folic acid as per FDA guidelines. So, now that the multiple benefits of folic acid are known, pregnant women should add folic acid fortified food, fresh fruits and salad to their daily diet. Other rich sources of folic acid include chicken and beef liver, wheat germ, spears, lentils, asparagus, broccoli, cantaloupe, papaya, eggs and canned salmon. Consult your doctor for dosage recommendation of this important vitamin and have a safe and happy pregnancy!
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