Folic Acid During Pregnancy For Indians: Benefits, RDA, Sources, Risks of Folate Deficiency

  • Fitterfly - Team Nutrition

  • Posted On July 29, 2019

Folic Acid

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.

About Fitterfly:

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Disclaimer: All information here, including text, images, tables, videos and any other content is for your knowledge only and we do not guarantee any specific result by following these recommendations as it may vary from person to person. The information is not a substitute for qualified medical advice from a doctor or other medical health expert.