Benefits of Folic Acid for Women

DE-Blog-FolicAcid-1.3.13This week we celebrate the benefits of folic acid by taking part in the Folic Acid Awareness Week. We invite you to learn more about its benefits and including it in your daily diet.

Folic acid is a B-vitamin that our bodies need to make new cells and its benefits are largely celebrated. One of the major benefits of folic acid is the help in prevention of birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. For folic acid to start helping prevent birth defects, a woman needs to start taking it at least one month before pregnancy and throughout pregnancy. In Delaware, more than 55% of reproductive age women are not taking vitamins of any kind which includes multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, or a vitamin with folic acid1.  Every woman needs folic acid every day, whether she’s planning to get pregnant or not, for the healthy new cells the body makes daily. Think about it, healthier hair, nails and skin!

The quickest way to make sure you get the necessary amount of folic acid is to take a daily folic acid vitamin supplement or by taking a multi-vitamin that has 400 micrograms of folic acid. If you aren’t sure which one to take, ask your physician to refer one for you.

You can also get your daily source of folic acid from foods you eat. A common source is breakfast cereal. Not all cereals have the recommended dosage; check the nutrition label to make sure there is 100% listed next to folic acid or folate. Leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and beans are also good sources of folic acid.

If you have any more questions about folic acid, check out this fact sheet.

Celebrate Folic Acid Awareness Week by making sure you are getting at least 400 micrograms every single day of the year and making sure your friends know about it too! Share it, pin it and Tweet it!

Source: 1 Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, PRAMS data, 2012-2019