Everyone needs a nutritious diet, but pregnant women need it more than anybody else to ensure the baby’s growth and development. Before conception and throughout pregnancy, it’s critical to consume enough vitamins and nutrients. Women who intend to get pregnant, who may become pregnant, or who are currently pregnant should take folic acid supplements. Below are the benefits of taking folic acid while pregnant.
What is folic acid?
The synthetic version of the B vitamin folate is called folic acid. Both pills and some foods have folic acid added to them. It is preferable to consume high-folate foods and take a daily folic acid supplement if you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant. Foods like citrus fruit, beans, nuts, and leafy green vegetables all naturally contain folate. Folate is quickly damaged by cooking since it is water soluble.
Benefits of folic acid
The body uses folic acid to create new cells, including red blood cells. Anemia caused by a lack of folic acid in the body is known as folate-deficiency anemia. This disorder prevents the body from producing enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. Organ function may be among the numerous elements of health that are impacted by this dysfunction. Folic acid helps the fetus grow and develop, thus a person needs more folic acid during pregnancy than they typically do. One of its most crucial functions is to stop neural tube abnormalities like spina bifida and anencephaly. A condition known as spina bifida occurs when the spinal column’s bones do not completely seal. Numerous disabilities that may impair development, mobility, and general health can be brought on by it. When a baby has anencephaly, their brain either does not develop at all or develops very slowly. Anencephaly is virtually always deadly, either during pregnancy or very soon after birth. According to some studies, folic acid may also lower the incidence of pregnancy disorders like preterm labor, issues with placenta development, and other birth defects like cleft palate and heart disease.
When to take it?
Folic acid supplements should be used by anyone who wants to get pregnant before they start trying. This is because neural tube problems manifest early in development, frequently before a woman is aware that she is pregnant. Everyone who can become pregnant should take folic acid supplements, according to specialists, as roughly half of the pregnancies are unexpected. By doing this, it is ensured that there is a low probability of neural tube anomalies, even in the event of a surprise pregnancy. Because folic acid is water soluble, the body can process it fast. Because of this, those who take folic acid pills must take one each day. It is not necessary to take the supplement with a meal or at a set time of day. But forming a habit can help you remember to take folic acid, like taking a prenatal vitamin every morning with breakfast. According to the CDC, 400 mcg of folic acid is typically present in each folic acid pill or multivitamin. To verify this, one might look at the supplement label.
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