Folic Acid is a B vitamin that is also called folate when found in foods. Folic acid plays a very important role in the normal and healthy development of a baby's spine, brain and skull in the early weeks of pregnancy.
It is never too early for women to begin taking a folic acid supplement and eating a diet high in folic acid. If you could become pregnant, folic acid can help protect your unborn baby from developing spine and brain defects. If you are planning a pregnancy, take a folic acid supplement every day for at least 3 months before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Some examples of foods high in folate include:
Romaine lettuce and spinach
Asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts and beets
Some enriched cereals, breads and pastas.
Even if you eat a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals you will still need a folic acid supplement before and during pregnancy. It is important to take a folic acid supplement that contains at least 0.4 mg of folic acid every day.
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