The nine months of pregnancy is when you are aware of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
Most women will instinctively turn to folic acid. Experts believe it can help prevent neural tube defects which include serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. Iron supports the baby’s growth and development, and can help prevent iron deficiency in pregnant women.
What is folic acid?
According to the Association of British Dieticians, folic acid is the synthetic version of the folate - a Bvitamin that is vital for the formation of red blood cells.
It also plays a part in helping the body’s nerves function properly. The vitamin is essential in helping DNA form within cells, “allowing each cell to replicate perfectly”.
If you don’t have enough folic acid in your body, it can cause a form of anaemia.
What foods have it?
Asparagus: Known for its unique and savoury taste. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Asparagus is deemed as the folic acid powerhouse.
According to nutrition and diabetes expert Erin Palinski-Wade, just four spears of asparagus contain 89micrograms of folic acid.
Black-eyed peas: Great for blood pressure and they have the most folic acid of any bean, with a half-cup delivering 105 micrograms. It does not matter if they are canned or prepared from scratch.
Broccoli: It has 52 micrograms of folic acid, along with fibre, potassium and vitamin C.
Experts recommend steaming vegetables like broccoli rather than boiling them since folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that can leach out into the water. You could also add it to soups.
Avocado: It is avocado season. You can find them anywhere at an affordable price. This fruit contains 59micrograms of folic acid in a half-cup serving. You can add it to sandwiches or salads.
Folic acid might be a key nutrient during your pregnancy, but it is by no means the only thing your body needs.
The Daily Mail reports that new research shows that many women are taking more than the required dosage of folic acid and lack other important nutrients.
It is worth remembering that balance is important.
The Daily Mail reports: “People can actually overdose on iron, which can lead to brain and organ damage. Overdoing folic acid won’t cause actual damage, but it may mask low levels of another B vitamin, B12, deficiencies of which can cause nerve damage.”