Folic acid

Folic acid is one of the types of B vitamins that are soluble in water, and the human body needs to build new cells and produce red blood cells. Therefore, folic acid is one of the most important nutritional supplements recommended by doctors in the event of childbearing planning.

The importance of folic acid before a pregnancy

Folic acid is extremely important to the fetus and the mother, especially at the beginning of the fetus’s formation, which is the time when the fetus’s brain and spinal cord develops. Therefore, doctors recommend taking folic acid supplements at least one month before conception and continuing it throughout the first three months of pregnancy.

 The benefits of consuming folic acid before a pregnancy

1. Research has shown that folic acid supplements can protect the fetus from birth defects associated with the nervous system, and congenital defects of the neural tube, including incomplete growth of the spinal cord or vertebrae, as well as incomplete growth of major parts of the fetus’s brain.

 2. It protects the fetus from another birth defect called (cleft lip).

 3. It protects and reduces the risk of premature labor, miscarriage, and other pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia, heart disease, stroke, and others. 

 4. Supports the rapid growth of placenta and fetus cells, promotes normal red blood cell production, and prevents anemia.

Foods rich in folic acid

Folic acid is found in many natural food sources, including:
1. Green leafy vegetables, spinach and cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli.
2. Dried legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans.
 3. Fruits such as orange, lemon, strawberry, papaya, banana.
 4. Nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds.
5. Eggs, liver, avocado, and bell pepper.
6. Foods fortified with folic acids, such as breakfast cereals, pasta, and bread.

The necessary daily dose of folic acid before pregnancy

 Foods rich in folic acid are not sufficient to provide a pregnant woman with what she needs, which is why doctors encourage women planning to become pregnant to take folic acid supplements. The recommended dose of folic acid for women planning a pregnancy is 400 to 600 micrograms per day.

Finally, make sure to start taking folic acid as soon as you know you are pregnant, and keep taking it until the 12th week of pregnancy.

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