is essential to numerous bodily functions. During pregnancy it represents an essential element in the normal development without difficulty of the baby. This element – folic acid or vitamin B9 – ensures the harmonious development of the brain and spinal cord of the fetus. Therefore, women must make sure that they have enough folic acid in their bodies even several months before getting pregnant, but also throughout the entire pregnancy.
Because the human body does not produce folic acid, any woman who wants to have a baby soon or finds out that she is pregnant, has to take the B9 intake from supplements and from certain foods that contain it. This ingredient is beneficial for any woman’s body, even if she is not pregnant, as it has an energetic and antidepressant effect, protecting the body from cardiovascular diseases, cervical cancer and strokes. In addition, the folic acid during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby favors the secretion of milk, both in terms of quantity and quality.
If you want to get pregnant and you’ve planned when you want it to happen, among other necessary measures that you have to take – such as quitting smoking, adopting a rational and healthy diet, a regular schedule every day – you should start to ensure your body’s intake of folic acid at least a month before trying to make a baby. And if it happens without prior planning, as soon as you find out, begin to take folic acid in the form of supplements and natural foods. At least three to four months after you get pregnant, include the daily intake of vitamin B9 on a doctor’s recommendation (the efficient dose can vary from woman to woman).
You can take folic acid either in the form of pills, simple supplements or in a mix of vitamins made for pregnant women. Your doctor will recommend how much you should take and what specific pills are more effective and healthier for you. Sure, you can take the folic acid without medical advice because it can’t harm you or your baby; but the more prudent way would be to seek advice. The requirement for the folic acid doubles during pregnancy and a normal dose is between 0.5 mg to 1 mg. But if you take the vitamin B9 from foods, the body’s necessary amount can be higher.
The folic acid during pregnancy, but also before and after the birth, can be also found as we mentioned before, in some foods, usually vegetables such as: lettuce, broccoli, spinach, carrots, lentils or asparagus. But you can also find it in liver, egg yolk, cereals, maize, wheat and almonds. Also, a delicious and healthy orange juice gives you a significant amount of folic acid and keeps your intake of vitamin C. You can make a habit out of preparing at least once-twice a week a salad to which you can add cooked chicken liver and eggs and season it to your taste.
A simple recipe that is both delicious and healthy and gives you plenty of folic acid is the following: put cooked potatoes, boiled eggs, cooked liver, cooked carrots, green onions, lettuce, olives and corn in a bowl, add a little apple cider vinegar, olive oil and sour cream and season to taste with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley and dill.
For breakfast, you can start serving a portion of integral cereals, along with a large glass of orange juice. This diet, besides the fact that will provide you the necessary folic acid during pregnancy, will also maintain your health and protect you from the accumulation of excess weight; it will also contribute to a positive mood, your mental tonus and energy.
Especially during pregnancy you have to take the folic acid from many sources, because this vitamin doesn’t stay for too long in the body. Thus, in addition to natural foods rich in vitamin B9, it is usually recommended to take supplements – it would be best if you take them on your doctor’s recommendation.
Benefits of Folic Acid during Pregnancy
As we already mentioned before, the folic acid contributes especially to the harmonious and smooth development of the baby’s brain and neural tube (spinal cord). This vitamin, if it is provided by the pregnant woman both in the form of natural foods and supplements, can protect the fetus from having birth defects such as Spina bifida – a spinal fistula, a poor development of the neural tube. The folic acid reduces greatly the risk of this defect. The folic acid supplements may also reduce the risk of heart defects in infants and the risk for children to develop metabolic syndrome.
But more important is that even without the risk of such diseases, the folic acid during pregnancy can help your baby to grow healthy and without difficulties in the shelter provided by you.