Often, the terms “folate” and “folic acid” are used interchangeably when discussing vitamin B9. Folate refers to naturally-derived vitamin B9 found in food and folic acid is a compound used in dietary supplements and food fortification. Both versions of vitamin B9 play an important role in the production of red blood cells and help a developing baby’s neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord, making it a crucial vitamin for pre, during and post pregnancy. So what are some high folate foods for a healthy pregnancy? Let’s dive into this a little further.
How Much Folate is Recommended?
For women of childbearing age/preconception, 400 mcg/day is recommended. After the first three months of pregnancy, that number increases to 600 mcg/day and while breastfeeding decreases to 500 mcg/day. It’s important to consider supplementation if you are unable to steadily include the foods below in your diet.
What Are Ideal Food Sources of Folic Acid?
(1 cup serving)
Lentils = 358 mcg
Garbanzo beans = 282 mcg
Asparagus = 268 mcg
Spinach = 263 mcg
Turnip greens = 169 mcg
Broccoli = 168 mcg
Beets = 136 mcg
Bok Choy = 69 mcg
Cauliflower = 54 mcg
Very Good Sources
(1 cup serving)
Bell Peppers = 42 mcg
Cabbage = 36 mcg
Celery = 36 mcg
Strawberries = 34 mcg
Tomatoes = 27 mcg
Leeks = 24 mcg
Fennel = 23 mcg
Above rankings are based on Daily Value % and nutrient density.
When Should Folic Acid Supplement Be Taken?
Before you are trying to conceive, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. If you are taking a folic acid supplement, be sure to check quality standards. Look for a supplement which contains L-methylfolate (natural folic acid) and consider taking more than recommended amount to make sure you have adequate, optimal amounts for a healthy pregnancy.
Read about the MTHFR mutation and how this may affect your folic acid intake.
Always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements.
Originally posted 2018-05-31 17:38:49.