Foods rich in folic acid, such as liver, beans and lentils are very suitable for pregnant women, and also for those trying to get pregnant because this vitamin serves to help the baby’s nervous system, preventing serious diseases such as anencephaly, spina bifida and meningocele.
Folic acid, which is vitamin B9, is essential for everyone’s health, and its deficiency can cause serious disorders for the pregnant woman and her baby. Thus, to avoid these disorders it is recommended to increase the consumption of foods with folic acid and still do the supplementation of 2 to 3 months before becoming pregnant to guarantee the need at this stage of life. Learn more at Folic acid in pregnancy.
List of foods rich in folic acid
The following table shows examples of some foods rich in this vitamin:
|Foods||Weight||Amount of folic acid|
|Cooked chicken liver||100 g||770 mcg|
|Cooked turkey liver||100 g||666 mcg|
|Brewer’s yeast||16 g||626 mcg|
|Boiled beef liver||100 g||220 mcg|
|Lentils||99 g||179 mcg|
|Cooked okra||92 g||134 mcg|
|Cooked black beans||86 g||128 mcg|
|Cooked spinach||95 g||103 mcg|
|Cooked green soybeans||90 g||100 mcg|
|Cooked noodles||140 g||98 mcg|
|Peanut||72 g||90 mcg|
|Cooked broccoli||1 cup||78 mcg|
|Natural orange juice||1 cup||75 mcg|
|Beet||85 g||68 mcg|
|White rice||79 g||48 mcg|
|Boiled egg||1 unit||20 mcg|
There are still foods enriched with folic acid, such as oats, rice and wheat flour, which can be used in many different recipes. According to the WHO, each 100 g of the product must provide a minimum amount of 150 mcg of folic acid.
The recommended intake of folic acid for healthy adults is 400 mcg per day, and for pregnant women, 600 mcg per day.
Consequences of lack of folic acid
Folic acid deficiency is related to serious health problems such as hypertensive pregnancy syndrome, placental detachment, recurrent spontaneous abortion, premature birth, low birth weight, chronic cardiovascular, cerebrovascular diseases, dementia and depression.
However, supplementation and healthy eating are able to reduce these risks, increasing the chances of a healthy pregnancy and the good development of the baby, preventing about 70% of cases of malformation of the neural tube.
Reference values of folic acid in the blood
Folic acid testing is rarely requested in pregnancy, but reference values for folic acid in the blood range from 55 to 1,100 ng / mL, according to the laboratory.
When the values are below 55 ng / mL, the individual may have megaloblastic or hemolytic anemia, malnutrition, alcoholic hepatitis, hyperthyroidism, vitamin C deficiency, cancer, fever, or in the case of women, they may be pregnant.