Folate (synthetic: Folic Acid) is a powerful B-vitamin that prevents Neural Tube Defects (NTD) in babies when sufficiently taken in the pre-pregnant and ante-natal stages. NTDs are birth defects that affect the formation and development of the brain and spinal cord. These may cause permanent physical and mental disabilities and even death or still birth in babies, depending on the type and severity.
A Quick Look at NTDs:
Spina Bifida – a part/parts of the spinal cord protrude through a gap in the backbone.
- Meningocele – a fluid-filled bulge under the skin along the backbone.
- Meningomyelocele – part of the spinal cord itself is herniated through the backbone gap.
Encephalocele – a hernia of a part of the brain though a skull defect.
Anencephaly – a part/parts of the brain and skull are missing.
Dietary Sources of Folate:
Legumes – beans, peas, and lentils.
Green and Dark Green Vegetables – spinach. malunggay, Romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, okra, Brussels sprout, etc.
Citrus and Other Fruits – orange, ponkan, papaya, grapefruit, avocado, strawberries, cantaloupe.
Seeds and Nuts – peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds.
How I Get My Folate Fix:
Maternity milk – Anmum Materna, 2 glasses a day (approx. 340 mcg per glass)
Pre-natal vitamins – Sangobion Pre-natal FA, 1 capsule a day (1.5 mg per capsule)
Citrus fruits – one orange or ponkan, or 1 cup of grapefruit a day
Legumes and leafy greens – at least 1 cup of lentils or kidney beans and 1 cup of green veggies a day
Hard-boiled eggs – at least 1 egg a day
Fortified cereals – at least 1 cup a day