Benefits of Folic Acid

Benefits of folic acid help to prevent spinal and neural birth defects in baby. Spina Bifida and the Cleft Lip are two of the most common birth defects of a folic acid deficiency. While many cereals and other grain based products are fortified with synthetic folic acid, your best bet is to consume whole foods containing the natural form. This will also assist in stabilizing your blood sugar which has a direct impact on the health of your new baby.

Find below some folic acid facts and don't underestimate the need for Vitamin B12 as well.

Why is folic acid and vitamin B12 so important?

  • Folic Acid and vitamin B12 are needed for body functioning and for normal growth of the neural tube
  • A lack of these vitamins causes a type of anemia called megaloblastic anaemia
(Inhibition of DNA synthesis in red blood cell production)

Causes of folic acid deficiency

  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor absorption
  • Increased requirements e.g. due to growth or pregnancy
  • Certain types of medication
  • Certain disease conditions
  • Alcoholism
  • Oral contraceptives (the "pill")

Symptoms of folic acid deficiency

  • Poor growth
  • Smooth, red and painful tongue
  • Stomach and instestinal problems
  • No appetite
  • Fatigue

Foods Rich in Folic Acid

  • Liver
  • Your best source and desiccated liver tablets might be your answer or, purchase some fresh liver and cut it into small pill size pieces, wrap individually and freeze, pop like you would your multi at dinner. This is a superior source of nutrition.
  • Egg Yolk
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Sweet Potato
  • Beet Root
  • Dark Green Leafy's
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Banana
  • Oranges
  • Peaches

Causes of vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • Eating a diet that contains no meat or animal products
  • (sublingual synthetic b12 is not sufficient for a pregnancy or otherwise)
  • Poor absorption due to cetain disease conditions or surgery
  • Surgery to the stomach or intestine
  • Oral contraceptives (the "pill")
  • Smoking

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Similar symptoms to that of Folic Acid deficiency (see above) including:

  • Nerve damage
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Tingling (pins and needles) in hands and feet
  • Weekness in legs
  • Pale skin
  • Poor memory
  • Poor muscle coordination

So as you can see, your pregnancy health choices are clearly superior when whole food is at the top of your food list.

By keeping your B vitamins high through the incorporation of whole foods along with proper supplementation of your DHA, post partum depression is less likely. PPD is a symptom of depleted DHA and Folic Acid. This, one of the most important benefits of folic acid.

Healthy Food, Healthy Body, Healthy Baby!

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