Taking folic acid both before and during early pregnancy has been shown to promote healthy pregnancies in a variety of ways. Most significantly, folic acid has been shown to reduce the likelihood of certain birth defects, such neural tube defects (NTD). For this reason, health care experts recommend that women eat a folate-rich diet, in conjunction with a folic acid supplement, in order to get their daily recommended intake.


In this week’s article, we list eight folate-rich foods that you should aim to include in your diet. Take a look.


Citrus Fruits


Citrus fruits are a particularly effective source of folic acid. Papaya, for example, is extremely high in folic acid - with about 115 mcg of folate in one papaya. Following closely behind are oranges, with about 40 mcg of folate per orange. Other fruits high in folic acid are grapefruits, raspberries, and strawberries.


Dark Leafy Greens


Although you might have heard the term ‘dark leafy green’ bandied around from time to time, you may have found yourself wondering: what exactly constitutes a ‘dark leafy green’ anyway?


Dark leafy greens include spinach, dark lettuces, pak choi, cabbage, chard and kale. Not only are these variety of vegetables full of antioxidants, and wonderful for your health overall, but they’re also high in folic acid.


Beans and Peas


Beans and peas are a wonderful source of folic acid. These include: kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and green peas.


Avocado


Avocados possess a number of wonderful health benefits. Not only are they a great source of fatty acids, vitamin C, K & B5, but they also provide a high intake of dietary fibre. In addition to this, a single avocado also provides about 20% of your recommended daily intake of folate.


Good thing guacamole is so delicious - and so easy to make, isn’t it?


Lentils


Lentils are extremely high in folic acid. Just one cup of lentils (of any kind) will provide your daily recommended intake of folic acid. One cup of lentils, for example, equals about 294 mcg of folate.


Asparagus


Surprisingly enough, many people aren’t aware of just how nutritious asparagus actually is. Not only does asparagus provide a healthy hit of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, but it provides an extremely high amount of folic acid. Just one cup of asparagus, for example, provides 262 mcg of folic acid - which is close to 65% of your daily recommended intake.


Brussel Sprouts


Brussels sprouts - which tend to be a particular favourite around Christmas-time - will give 25% of your RDA, with just one serving.


Broccoli


Packed full of antioxidants and dietary fibre, broccoli is one of those wonderfully nutritious and versatile vegetables. What’s more, one cup of broccoli contains about 50 mcg of folate - which is 24% of your daily recommended intake.


To find out more about the benefits of folic acid and folate - and how and when you should begin adding it to your diet - take a look at the following link: http://www.webmd.com/baby/folic-acid-and-pregnancy


Further Reading & Sources:


https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-folate-vitamin-B9.php

http://www.babycenter.com/0_folic-acid-why-you-need-it-before-and-during-pregnancy_476.bc?page=2

http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/nutrition/folate-foods/