The Importance of Folic Acid for Good Nutrition
*Important Note* The Folic Acid is What The Body Makes and It’s Dangerous to Look for It in Pills, so NO PILLS, no health risk: look instead for foods with FOLATE, which can be provided by some brewer yeast and lots of foods mentioned in this article.
Folic acid is a human-made form of vitamin B that is also known as folate. It has an essential role in the body as it helps in producing red blood cells.This vitamin can be found naturally. Some of the folic acid foods include most dark green vegetables, dried beans and citrus fruits. It is for these and more benefits that folic acid is prescribed for pregnant women. Taking folate helps in correcting the folic acid deficiency. Ensure you take folic acid foods while pregnant for a healthy baby.
When to Start Taking
Folic Acid Folate
It is recommended by the CDC that a pregnant mother start taking folate daily for a month prior to conceiving and every other day after that for the entire gestation period. However, experts also recommend that every woman who is in her childbearing age take folic acid on a daily basis. In case a pregnant woman chooses her own prenatal vitamins, she should have them checked by her OB to ensure they have all the correct amounts of nutrients, especially folic acid. This is because not all prenatal vitamins are the same. Some might have more or fewer minerals and vitamins than needed. There are many benefits of folic acid in pregnancy, and that is why every pregnant mother should take folate. If you are breastfeeding, ensure you take folic acid 5mg each day.
Birth defects are believed to happen within the first 3-4 weeks of a woman’s gestation period. This means that as a woman, you should ensure that you have folic acid in your system early enough when the baby’s spinal cord and brain are still developing.
Benefits of Folic Acid
- Folic acid is said to help in preventing birth defects
- Women who take folic acid 5mg daily are at a lower risk of developing high blood pressure
- It helps in maintaining new cells in the body
- Aids in fighting cancer
- It is a great antioxidant
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Enhances cognitive function
- Helps in improving fertility
- It is a great antioxidant
- It may assisit in preventing hearing and vision loss
- Folate has anti-ageing properties
- It treats arsenic poisoning
- It promotes bone strength
How Should You Take Folic Acid?
Folic acid should be taken exactly the way the doctor prescribes it. Never take it in larger amounts, prolonged periods or in contravention of what your doctor recommends. The instructions on the prescription label should always be adhered to.
- Folic acid should be taken with a glass full of water
- It is common for a doctor to change your folate dose occasionally to ensure you get the best from the medicine
- Folic acid should be stored at room temperature and away from heat and moisture
How Much Folate Should You Take?
All women of the childbearing age are advised to take 400mcg of folic acid every day. If you take multivitamins on a daily basis, ensure it contains the recommended amounts. This is how much folic acid you should take.
- 400mcg while trying to conceive
- 400mcg for the first three months of your gestation period
- 600mcg from the fourth to the ninth months of your pregnancy
- While breastfeeding, take a dose of folic acid 50mg
Other benefits of folic acid include protecting the baby from premature birth, cleft lip and palate and low birth weight. This means that pregnant women should ensure that they don’t have a folic acid deficiency if they want to bear a healthy child.
Folic Acid Side Effects
In case you notice any of these symptoms, consult your doctor as you might be developing an allergic reaction. This is characterised by a swollen face, tongue, lips or throat, hives and laboured breathing. Some less serious effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- Bitter taste in the mouth