Folic acid is also known as folate or vitamin b9. Folic acid is soluble in water and it is many important functions in the body. In this article, we will tell you about 10 folic acid rich foods a pregnant woman should definitely eat.
In addition to supporting cell division, it also aids foetal growth and development. And that is why when you take folic acid in adequate amount during pregnancy, birth defects are rarely caused. Thankfully, this vitamin is available in many food items that we take on a day to day basis.
But in case you can’t find food items rich in folic acid easily in the market, you can go for folic acid fortified food items too. Yes, but no matter how you get your folic acid dose, it is important to get it for the healthy growth of your baby.
If you want to remain healthy and you don’t want the baby inside your womb to suffer from a folic acid deficiency, then you should at least take 400 mcg of folic acid per day. Now, let’s talk about some folic acid rich foods you should definitely consume during pregnancy.
10 Folic acid rich foods for a pregnant woman
The seeds of the plants that belong to the Fabaceae family are known as legumes. These include lentils, peas and beans. Different legumes contain different amounts of folic acid. But all of them are amazing sources of this vitamin. A cup of cooked kidney beans, having 177 grams of it, contains around 131 mcg of folic acid. That is 33% of the RDI.
Around 358 mcg of folic acid is present in around 198 grams of cooked lentils. This constitutes around 90% of the RDI. Besides folic acid, legumes contain a lot of antioxidants, fiber and protein. Certain micro-nutrients present in them are iron, magnesium and potassium.
It is a rich source of folic acid. And not just that, it also contains concentrated amounts of many important minerals and vitamins. Around 90 grams of cooked asparagus contain around 134 mcg of folic acid. Now, this is around 34% of the RDI.
Asparagus contains a lot of antioxidants. And that is why it shows antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Aspergillus is also a rich source of fiber. Fiber is not just good for digestion, but it is also good for the heart. One serving of asparagus can meet 7% of your daily requirement of fiber.
3. Green leafy vegetables
There are many green leafy vegetables available on the market. And thankfully, all of them are good for your health. So, whether you like spinach, kale or arugula, eat it in loads. The best thing about green leafy vegetables is that they are low in calories.
And despite that, they are packed in vitamins and minerals of many different types. One of the most important vitamins that leafy greens have is folate. Around 30 grams of spinach contains 58.2 mcg of folic acid, which would be around 15% of the RDI.
Besides having a lot of folic acid, green leafy vegetables also have high amounts of vitamin A, K and fiber. These are extremely good for the health and they offer amazing benefits. A lot of studies have proved that when you consume a lot of cruciferous vegetables such as certain leafy greens, it could reduce inflammation in your body. Now, that is extremely good for you as well as your baby.
So far you have known beets for its coloring properties. No matter where you put it, you get a beautiful carmine red tint. Besides that, beets contain a lot of amazing nutrients in them. Beets are packed in vitamin c, potassium and manganese.
And you can get all of that from beets in the amount that your body requires on a day to day basis. Beets are also an amazing source of folic acid. Around 136 grams of raw beets have close to 148 mcg of folic acid. And that is close to 37% of the RDI.
Beets also contain high amounts of nitrates. Nitrates are a kind of plant compound that offers many amazing health benefits.
5. Citrus fruits
Who doesn’t like citrus fruits? They are so full of flavor. But do you know, they are also rich in folic acid? Starting from limes and lemons to grapefruits and oranges, almost all citrus fruits have high amounts of this vitamin. A large sized orange has about 55 mcg of folic acid and that would be about 14% of the RDI.
Besides that, citrus fruits contain a lot of vitamin c. Vitamin c is a micro-nutrient that is best for our immunity. As a result, people who take a lot of citrus fruits keep away from diseases.
6. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are from the cruciferous family and it’s pretty much like other vegetables like kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli and kale. The best thing about Brussels sprouts is that they are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. And one vitamin that it contains in abundance, which helps pregnant women immensely, is folic acid.
It is probably one of the most common vegetables you use in your kitchen. But did you know your favorite broccoli is also an amazing source of folic acid? Yes, that’s right! About 91 grams of raw broccoli have somewhere around 57 mcg of folic acid.
8. Nuts and Seeds
There are hundreds of reasons as to why you should eat nuts and seeds. And one of the most important reasons is that they contain folic acid in a high amount. About an ounce of walnuts has around 28 mcg of folic acid, which constitutes about 7% of the RDI.
9. Wheat germ
The embryo of the wheat kernel is called wheat germ. Although it is removed when the grain is milled, it has concentrated amounts of a lot of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. And guess what, it is also densely packed in folic acid.
If you love papaya, then there is good news for you. According to many studies, papaya has concentrated amounts of folic acid. About a cup of papaya is packed with around 53 mcg of folic acid. That would be around 13% of the RDI. A pregnant woman should only eat ripe papaya because unripe papaya is not good for a pregnant woman.
These folic acid rich food items are easily available on the market. All you need to do is choose the ones you will benefit most from. And don’t forget to make your purchase according to your likes, dislikes and availability.