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  • Writer's picturedrthaliagonzalez

The Importance of Folic Acid/Folate before Pregnancy

Updated: Sep 3, 2018

Its important for your body to be prepared before conceiving...

The importance of having a healthy nervous system and reproductive system is essential to the development of a baby. Many women before conception are already deficient in vitamins and minerals that are essential for fetal development, that may be critical to the formation of the neural tube and brain. Women during childbearing years should be away of what vitamins and minerals are missing from there diet and start to incorporate them through daily meals. Organic dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach and dried legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are naturally good sources of folate. Before we continue lets clear up why folate is such a big important factor for development of a child and the difference between folic and folate acid. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) – serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly). The neural tube is the part of the embryo from which your baby's spine and brain develop. NTDs affect about 3,000 pregnancies a year in the United States. Now the difference between folic acid and folate is that folate is naturally occurring while folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as pteroylmonoglutamic acid. It is used in supplements and added to processed food products, such as flour and breakfast cereals. I recommend to keep it as natural as possible and consume foods, like the ones mentioned before, that have naturally occurring folate.

Future moms/ current moms be aware of your folate consumption. Pre-natal vitamins are great but make sure they are good quality. A simple experiment to make sure your vitamins are high quality and easily digestible, place your vitamins on a tray in the oven at 325 degrees for 15min. If there are harsh binders and additives in the vitamins they will ooze out and be very clear of the quality of the vitamin. Research and educate your self of high quality vitamins that meet your specific needs. Healthy pregnancy healthy baby!


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