Folic Acid During Pregnancy For Indians: Benefits, RDA, Sources, Risks of Folate Deficiency
Fitterfly - Team Nutrition
- Posted On July 29, 2019
Folate, or Vitamin B9, is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin and folic acid is the synthetic form. Folate deficiency can lead to macrocytic anemia and congenital anomalies.
Role of Folic Acid in Pregnancy
The reason you will hear of folic acid and not folate is because folic acid supplements are usually prescribed to women who are trying to conceive and continued throughout their pregnancy.
Folic acid is needed for the cells to divide and grow and also for haemoglobin synthesis.
Risks of Folate deficiency during pregnancy
Folic acid is important right from conception to prevent neural tube defects. This is the tube which later forms the brain and spine of the baby. It is one of the first things formed in the embryo stage even before your baby becomes a foetus.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
Dietary folate requirement more than doubles during pregnancy and is around 500 mcg per day.
Sources of Folate
Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and liver are good sources of folate.
|Folate Rich Vegetarian Sources||Quantity|
|Whole wheat (100g)||142 mcg|
|Cowpea brown (100g)||69 mcg|
|Sesame seeds, black (15g)||7.7 mcg|
|Spinach (100g)||51 mcg|
|Broccoli (100g)||63 mcg|
|Amaranth leaves (red) (100g)||82 mcg|
|Almonds (100g)||36 mcg|
|Walnuts (100g)||58 mcg|
|Folate Rich Non-Vegetarian Sources||Quantity|
|Sheep, liver (100g)||65mcg|
|Goat, liver (100g)||61mcg|
Folic acid Rich Vegetarian Recipe
Carrot Spinach Soup (250ml, 1 medium glass) with Pudina paratha (60g, 1 medium)
This meal provides about 27 mcg folic acid
Wheat Almond Ladoo (100g, 2 large) with Spinach Banana Smoothie (200 ml, 1 medium glass)
This meal provides about 33 mcg of folic acid
Folic acid Rich Non-Vegetarian Recipe
Kaleji Tandoori (100g) with Tandoori Roti (2 medium; 100g)
This meal provides about 40 mcg of folic acid.
Here are some Indian recipes that are high in folate.
Folic acid Supplements During Pregnancy
It is important that you take folic acid supplements during your pregnancy. Most gynaecologists prescribe this from the time you are planning to get pregnant. This is one supplement which is critical right from the beginning of pregnancy.
Even if you are taking folic acid supplements you need to have a healthy balanced diet, preferably under the guidance of a pregnancy and lactation nutrition expert like the dietitians at the Fitterfly Pregnancy Nutrition Program.
Food for Proper Absorption of Folate
Vitamins like B12 and Vitamin C are needed for proper absorption of folate. Like other water soluble vitamins folate is sensitive to heat and cooking can destroy the vitamin. So steamed vegetables rich in folate are better than uncooked veggies.
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