During the first three months of your pregnancy, your baby’s brain and nerve system are growing at their fastest. Folic acid, or vitamin B9, helps protect the baby from any growth defects, which can lead to conditions such as spina bifida. That’s why it is important to keep your folic acid intake up.
Your body needs around 400 micrograms of folic acid per day in order to conceive or enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Ideally, you should start taking it three months before conceiving and right through your first trimester.
Although it may sound like a lot, there are plenty of tasty, yet healthy ways to get this essential nutrient. Here are some folic acid rich foods to eat when you’re trying to get pregnant:
- Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of folic acid. They also contain vitamin E and iron, which prevent cell damage and boost your energy. You could eat them as a snack or sprinkle them on a salad or dessert.
Peanuts are yet another wonderful source of folic acid. A small serving of 30g can give you about one-fifth of your daily allowance. You could also try peanut butter in case you’d like some variation. However, keep in mind that peanuts are high in fat and can increase weight, so eat them in moderation.
- Lentils, beans and peas
When it comes to pregnancy, a cup of lentils gives you almost your entire daily allowance of folic acid. Chick peas can also be blended and made into a hummus for variety – they’re also high in folic acid. Beans such as kidney, black and green beans contain high amounts of folic acid, so do green and split peas.
- Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach, turnip greens, fenugreek etc. are good sources that help boost your folic acid. Spinach contains 265 micrograms of folic acid – which means you get over half of your daily allowance – in just one cup. Including spinach and other greens in your diet helps take care of your folic acid requirements easily.
Papaya contains the highest amount of folic acid. Oranges, grapefruits, strawberries also contain folic acid between 40 to 15 micrograms per cup. Whip your favorites into a smoothie with some low-fat yoghurt for a healthy breakfast, packed with folic acid.
Broccoli provides you with about a quarter of your daily folic acid requirement, with just four florets of this vegetable. It is also rich in fiber and vitamin C.
Half a medium avocado contains around 80-90 micrograms of folic acid. It is one of the best sources of folic acid and is also packed with fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin K. Use it instead of butter for a healthy lunch. You could also scoop it out and eat it just as it is.
While including these folic acid rich foods in your diet is a good idea, it is important to take supplements to ensure you’re always getting enough. Talk to your doctor about folic acid supplementation and other diet suggestions. Our experts at KIMS Cuddles could help you find out if you’re getting enough.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.