Folic Acid is the synthetic (man-made) form of folate which is essential to take before pregnancy; as it’s linked to a lower incidence of neural tube defects such as Spina Bifida in a growing fetus.
Women looking to become pregnant require around 600mcg each day.
Mix up your pre-pregnancy diet with some of these foods to give you that folate boost.
1. Dark Leafy Greens – Yes it’s a cliché, but those dark leafy’s are packed with folate (also known as B9). So fill your green smoothies and salads with your choice of kale, spinach, mustard greens, romaine lettuce or any other fertility boosting leaf you so desire.
2. Citrus fruit – Consider starting your day with a freshly squeezed orange juice which will boost your immune system with a shot of Vitamin C.
3. Lentils – Cook up a tasty Dhal and serve with brown rice. One cup of these power-packed pulses offer 358mcg of folate. Add some turmeric to your dish for added antioxidant benefits.
4. Avocado – This superhero food is not only a good source of folate but also Vitamins, K, C, E, B6 and B5 – so whip up a serving of Guacamole as a healthy dip whilst you relax with your favourite book or in front of your favourite movie.
5. Asparagus – What a coincidence! This folate source is also said to be an aphrodisiac – great if you are in the baby-making mood.
6. Black-eyed peas – Not just a chart-topping band, but a folate topping food too! These pulses can be used in many ways, especially casseroles or curries, to boost those B9 levels.
7. Chickpeas – Wow! Half a cup of these beauties packs a folate punch containing 557mcg. So get out that blender and add garlic, lemon juice and tahini for a perfect homemade hummus.
My advice: turn your kitchen into your science lab and experiment with new and healthy recipes to your heart's content, whilst obtaining all those essential nutrients.
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