Three easy ways to boost your folic acid intake
It’s the B-group vitamin that’s essential for the healthy development of your baby. Folic acid, or folate in its natural form, can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects and boosts healthy cell growth. Here’s how to increase the vitamin in your daily diet in a few simple steps*.
Dark, leafy vegetables are packed with folate. For maximum impact, eat them raw, ensuring they’re scrupulously washed, or swiftly steamed. The longer these vegetables are cooked, the less of the vitamin you’ll absorb. Try adding a healthy handful of spinach to your morning juice or smoothie, and serve supper with fresh asparagus, kale, fresh peas or broccoli.
Rich in pregnancy-friendly vitamins and minerals, bright citrus fruits make the ideal base for fresh juices or healthy treats. Make a juicy orange your mid-morning snack, or add to a simple fruit salad with banana and strawberries – both are also folate-rich.
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Protein-packed lentils, chickpeas, dried beans and legumes can help with healthy cell growth and reproduction and make a great base for a nutritious lunch or dinner. Add a handful of chickpeas to vegetable soup or make a speedy lentil curry for a natural folate boost.
*If you’re planning to conceive, or you’re in your first trimester, an additional daily supplement of folic acid is recommended. If you have Type 1 diabetes or other pre-existing health conditions, it’s essential that you consult your medical professional, as is the case when beginning any dietary supplement.
Words by Emily Taylor