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what is folic acid and what foods high in folic acid should I eat

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

The list of the foods highest in folic acid and it's importance in pregnancy.

WHAT IS FOLIC ACID?

Folic acid is known as folate, folacin or Vitamin B9.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FOLIC ACID BENEFITS?

Folic acid is essential to human beings. They need folate to help repair DNA, modify or methylate DNA and in the process of synthesizing DNA. Folic acid is especially beneficial when the body's cells are growing rapidly and dividing, which is why it's vital for pregnant women as it helps to create a healthy fetus. Both children and adults need a diet rich in folic acid to produce healthy red blood cells. Benefits of folic acid includes a reduction in the risk of getting anemia. Folic acid also helps to prevent changes in DNA which in turn helps to prevent cancer. Studies also suggest that folic acid reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by perhaps up to 15%.

FOODS HIGH IN FOLIC ACID

Foods containing folic acid include:

  • bread
  • cereals (especially fortified cereals)
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • liver
  • eggs
  • orange juice
  • tomato juice
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • beetroot
  • celery
  • spinach
  • asparagus
  • split beans
  • peanuts
  • green beans
  • lentils
  • black beans
  • pinto beans
  • sunflower seeds
  • romaine lettuce
  • bak choy
  • other fruits and vegetables
  • most leafy vegetables
  • and, get this, even beer!

Try and incorporate a wide variety of these foods rich in folic acid. As you can see, it shouldn't be too difficult since it appears in a wide variety of food and drink.

HOW MUCH FOLIC ACID IN PREGNANCY

Vitamins and healthy eating are important during pregnancy. One of the key vitamin supplements to take during pregnancy is folic acid. That is because a woman's natural folate levels drop during pregnancy. And if you can, try and take folic acid before you get pregnant. This will reduce the chance of neural tube defects. This includes conditions such as spina bifida which is caused by the incomplete closure of the neural tube. Other prenatal vitamins include omega-3 fatty acids which help with the development of your baby's brain. The recommended amount of folic acid in pregnancy to take is about 400 micrograms daily either from supplements or from fortified foods. 400 micrograms daily is the same amount recommended for those trying or planning to get pregnant.

FOLIC ACID SIDE EFFECTS

There are few common side effects of folic acid. Folic acid is quite non toxic for humans. If you have taken folic acid supplements, see the doctor if you have the following side effects: severe allergic reaction such as swelling, hives, rash, tightness in the throat, mouth, swelling of the tongue, face, lips, tightness in the chest.

FOLIC ACID OVERDOSE

It's not common to have a folic acid overdose. If you have an excess of folic acid, you normally excrete it as waste. If you take more than 1000 mcg for an extended period of time, you might suffer from these symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea and other problems with your stomach such as gas or nausea
  • Seizures
  • A bitterness in your mouth
  • Hyperactivity, or irritability and grumpiness
  • A zine deficiency
  • A rash

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