Best folic acid rich foods for pregnant women

In pre-pregnancy stage as well as during pregnancy having a folic acid rich diet is always suggested. Folic acid is the synthetic counterpart of folate which occurs naturally in a number of foods. Folate is actually a type of B vitamin that has extensive role in the growth and development of brain cells and spinal cord of the child. Folate is also effective in preventing neural tube defects and can ensure proper growth of a healthy baby in the womb when combined with other nutrients.

Folate helps in nucleotide biosynthesis in cells, ensuring proper synthesis and repairing of DNA and red blood cells. Folate is known for preventing deformities in the baby and can even work to fight depression in the to-be mother.  Folic acid supplements are readily available in the market, and they are often prescribed by the gynecologists during pregnancy. However, folate, the natural composition of folic acid is available in high amount in a number of common foods and by increasing the amount of these foods in your regular diet you can always ensure that you get adequate folate, naturally. This article will tell you about the best folate rich foods that are ideal for pregnant women.

Spinach

The list of folate rich foods has to start with it, because it is the green leaf that can provide you maximum folate. A single cup of spinach has over 250 mcg of folate in its natural form. Spinach is also a great source of iron and a bunch of other minerals like manganese, magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium, phosphorous and zinc and hence it makes a perfect folate rich food for pregnant women. Spinach is also rich in Vitamin K, A, C, E as well as dietary fibers and choline.

Collard greens

Collard greens are another green leaf that is high in folate as well as iron content and makes a perfect food in the diet chart of a pregnant woman.  1 cup of collard greens can give you as much as 177mcg of folate and along with it you will also get a lot of iron, Vitamin K, A, C, and minerals like manganese, calcium, coppers, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Collard greens are also rich in fiber.

Turnip greens

Turnip greens rank third in the list of the dark green leaves with maximum folate content.  1 cup of turnip greens can offer 170mcg of folate and it is also a rich source of copper, manganese, calcium, Vitamin K, A, C, E, and B6. Turnip greens also contain considerable amount of iron, phosphorous, potassium and pantothenic acid.

Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the most nutrient rich foods in the plant kingdom. It contains high amount of folate along with a number of other vitamins and minerals that are essential during pregnancy. The folate content of Asparagus can be as much as 262mcg in a single cup and it is highly rich in minerals like copper, selenium, zinc and iron. Asparagus has high Vitamin K content along with Vitamin B2, C, A and E.

Lentils

Lentils are the best known source of folate and molybdenum and they make one of the best foods during pregnancy. 1 cup of lentils gives your body as much as 358mcg of folate which is around 90% of the daily folate requirement of your body. So, simply including sufficient lentils in your diet can give you the required amount of folate you need during pregnancy. Apart from folate, lentils are also rich in copper, phosphorous, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium, pantothenic acid and dietary fiber.

Pinto beans

Pinto beans which are known for ensuring a better cardiac health are also one of the richest natural sources of folate. 1 cup of pinto beans can give you around 294mcg of folate. These brownish beans are also rich in molybdenum, copper, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber and a number of B vitamins. Add these beans into your diet in adequate amount to fill your daily requirement of folate during pregnancy.

Chickpeas

Another very common food that can actually make the best diet for any pregnant women. Chickpeas are a rich source of folate. 1 cup of chickpeas can give your body 282mcg of folate, which is around 71% of the daily folate requirement. Apart from folate chickpeas contain high amount of molybdenum, manganese, copper, phosphorous, iron, zinc and dietary fiber.

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Kidney beans

Kidney beans have maximum molybdenum content followed by folate. 1 cup of kidney beans has 229mcg of folate along with manganese, copper, phosphorous, iron, zinc and fiber. These beans can be very helpful to supply the required amount of folate during pregnancy when combined with other folate rich foods.

Green peas

The green peas are rich in folate and they make a perfect food for pregnant women. Green peas are also high in manganese, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and a number of vitamins like Vitamin K, B1 and C. 1 cup of green peas has 101 mcg of folate, hence including them in diet in more amount is surely a very good option for pregnant women.

Brussel sprouts

These green vegetables are one of the best available sources of natural folate. A single cup of boiled Brussels sprout can fill around 25% of your daily folate requirements. Brussel sprouts are also rich in Vitamin K, C, manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorous and a lot of other nutrients that can ensure an overall health for the mother and the child.

Broccoli

Even if you do not like broccolis, you should start including them in your daily diet as soon as you plan for pregnancy. Broccoli is the other vegetable that has high folate content. A cup of broccoli contains 42% of the folate needed by the body on a daily basis. Apart from folate Broccoli is also a rich source of Vitamin K, C, chromium, pantothenic acid, and other several nutrients like iron, copper, selenium, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Broccoli also has high dietary fiber content which ensures better digestion and proper absorption of nutrients in the body.

Beets

Beets make an excellent source of folate and are also rich in a number of other essential minerals like, manganese, copper and potassium. They also provide magnesium, phosphorous, iron, dietary fiber, Vitamin C and B6 to the body ensuring a complete diet. 1 cup of boiled beets has 136mcg of folate which can fill for 34% of your daily folate needs.

Papaya

Amongst the fruits, papaya is one of the most folic acid rich members. One papaya has 115 mcg of folate which makes 29% of the daily folate requirements. Apart from folate papaya also includes a list of other nutrients, like, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, copper and fiber in high amount making a perfect food during pregnancy.

Oranges

There is hardly anyone who does not love oranges. These citrus fruits are also a rich source of folate and a single orange can provide you as much as 40mcg of folate which is really amazing. Orange gives you a boost of vitamins and minerals, and apart from folate it also contains nutrients like iron, calcium, sodium, copper, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. As we all know it is also high in Vitamin C content.

Strawberries

Each strawberry encapsulates around 25mcg folate within their small size. So, a single strawberry can give your body 25mcg of folate which is 6.5% of the daily required value. So, simply by including a handful of strawberries into your daily diet you can complete the daily quota of folate for the body. For pregnant women, strawberries can actually be the best fruit as they also contain manganese, iodine, copper, potassium, biotin and even Omega-3-fatty acids.

Avocado

Avocado is also known for its high folate content and can make an ideal food for pregnant women.  A cup of avocado has around 90mcg of folate and it fills around 22% of your daily folate requirements. Avocado contains nearly 20 vitamins, minerals along with a bunch of phytonutrients. It is also high in potassium, Vitamin E and C content.

Peanuts

Pregnancy is the right time when you should stop worrying for gaining weight due to munching on peanuts; rather it is the best time when you should include peanuts in large portions in your daily snack. 1/4th cup of peanuts can provide up to 88mcg of folate which makes 22% of the daily folate requirements.  Apart from folate, peanuts are also rich in copper, manganese, niacin, molybdenum, phosphorous and Vitamin E, making an ideal diet for pregnant women.

So, now as you know the best folic acid rich foods for pregnant women, it is the time when you should start including them in your daily diet in sufficient quantity.

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