zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy

by
author image Erica Roth
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.
Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy
A pregnant woman eats a folic acid rich salad. Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Overview

Folic acid, also called folate, when it's found in foods -- is part of the vitamin B complex. Getting enough folic acid when you're trying to get pregnant or early in pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Women of child-bearing age who could become pregnant should take folic acid supplements as well as consuming a diet high in folate-rich foods; neural tube defects occur in the first weeks of pregnancy, often before you realize you're pregnant.

Beef Liver

Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy
A plate of beef liver and spinach. Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

Meat generally doesn't supply large amounts of dietary folate. The one exception to this rule is beef liver. A 3-oz. serving of live supplies 215 micrograms (mcg) of folate, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Pregnant women should consume at least 600 mcg of folic acid per day, while women of childbearing age should get at least 400 mcg, the ODS advises. Pregnant women who can stomach beef liver will meet a good portion of their daily needs with just one serving.

Beans

Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy
A close up of kidney beans. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Beans of all kinds can provide an expectant mom with plenty of folate to support her baby's development. Beans including kidney, garbanzo, pinto, black, navy and lima, as well as cooked lentils are all good sources of folate. Kidney beans, for example add 46 mcg per 1/2-cup serving to your folate intake, according to the ODS.

Fruits

Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy
A glass of orange juice. Photo Credit ITStock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images

A variety of fruits are high in folate and safe for consumption by pregnant women. The American Pregnancy Association recommends oranges as a good source of the nutrient, especially orange juice from concentrate. A 3/4-cup serving og orange juice contains 35 mcg of folate. Papaya ranks as another excellent source of folic acid for the fruit-loving mom, weighing in at 27 mcg per 1/2-cup serving. Other fruit sources of this B vitamin include bananas, with 24 mcg per medium banana and cantaloupe, with 14 mcg per wedge.

Vegetables

Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy
Fresh spinach in a colander. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A wide range of vegetables are high in folic acid and can help a pregnant woman get her daily allowances. Green peas, spinach and other greens as well as cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli contain folic acid. Asparagus and spinach are at the higher end of the scale, with a 1/2-cup serving of spinach providing 131 mcg and four asparagus spears providing 89 mcg. A 1/2-cup serving of Brussels sprouts adds 78 mcg to your intake, while broccoli will boost your folate by 52 mcg. A cup of shredded Romaine lettuce will add 64 mcg.

Enriched Cereals

Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnancy
A bowl of whole grain cereal. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Breads and cereal products don't naturally contain folic acid, but many of these foods are enriched with the vitamin, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Products in this group include pasta, rice and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Daily values vary from food to food; check labels carefully to make sure you're getting enough of the essential nutrients to stay healthy during pregnancy.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.