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If you’re an expectant mother, you’ve likely heard of, or even taken, folic acid in preparation for your pregnancy. Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin found abundantly in green leafy vegetables. It plays a pivotal role in the formation of the placenta and ensures the baby’s normal development and cognitive health. A deficiency in folic acid can result in megaloblastic anemia and leukopenia, making it vital for pregnant women. However, overconsumption can cause adverse effects such as loss of appetite, nausea, bloating, and yellow urine. Hence, it’s essential to be mindful of your diet when taking folic acid supplements.

Though many turn to folic acid supplements, numerous foods are naturally rich in this essential nutrient. Including these in your diet is a beneficial way to supplement your intake.

Avoid These Foods When Taking Folic Acid:

  1. Alcohol: It hampers the absorption of folic acid, depletes stored reserves in the body, and reduces intestinal absorption. For the well-being of both mother and child, it’s best to abstain from alcohol.
  2. Vitamin C-rich foods: Consuming large amounts can impede folic acid absorption and speed up its elimination. Foods like cherries, guavas, peppers, kiwi, and oranges should be consumed in moderation while taking folic acid supplements.
  3. Tea: Its tannin content can inhibit folic acid absorption. If you’re craving tea, opt for a light variant and ensure there’s a considerable gap between your tea and folic acid intake.
  4. Spicy or fatty foods: They can disrupt the absorption of folic acid. It might be time to take a break from your favorite spicy and greasy dishes for optimal folic acid effectiveness.

Foods High in Folic Acid:

  1. Fruits: Such as oranges, strawberries, cherries, and kiwi.
  2. Vegetables: Including romaine lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots among others.
  3. Beans & Nuts: Foods like soybeans, walnuts, and cashews are excellent sources.
  4. Animal Products: Animal liver, kidney, poultry meat, and eggs are rich in folic acid.
  5. Grains: Whole wheat flour, barley, and oats are all good choices.

However, it’s worth noting that storage and cooking can lead to significant losses of folic acid in vegetables. Additionally, individual genetic differences can affect how the body utilizes folic acid. So, it’s essential to tailor your folic acid intake based on your needs. If unsure about the right dosage, it’s best to consult with healthcare professionals.

While foods rich in folic acid are beneficial, they shouldn’t replace folic acid supplements entirely. Given that folic acid is sensitive to light and heat, the actual amount we get from food can be minimal. Thus, foods high in folic acid should complement folic acid tablets, which remain the most reliable method of supplementation.


Joy of Life

Author Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a compassionate surrogacy agency committed to creating life, fostering joy and nurturing dreams. We are experts in our field, with team members boasting extensive experience in the clinical, psychological and legal aspects of surrogacy. But more than that, we are a family — a community bound by the shared purpose of helping others realize the joy of parenthood.

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