Folate consumption during pregnancy:Folate and folic acid can help in the development of the nervous system & also help in preventing
birth defects like neural tube defects (spina bifida) in babies. Spina bifida is one of the most common birth defects which usually occur in the first week of pregnancy when the brain and spinal cord are forming.
Folate is a B group vitamin needed for healthy growth and development. This vitamin is known as ‘folate’ when it is found naturally in food, such as green leafy vegetables, and as ‘folic acid’ when it is added to food, such as bread and breakfast cereals, or used in dietary supplements.
Under medical super vision, it might be beneficial to raise the folate intake by eating folate rich foods including folate fortified foods or by taking a folic acid supplement. Good sources of folate, brown bread and lettuce.
Folate is water-soluble and can be easily destroyed by intense cooking. Vegetables cooking by steaming or its consumption in raw form is the best.
The following are good sources of natural folate:- vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Spinach, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnip, sweet corn)
- fruit (citrus, berries, bananas, grapefruit, orange)
- legumes (chickpeas, soya beans, lima beans, red kidney beans, lentils, haricot beans)
- juices (many apple and orange juices)
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