When you are pregnant, people tell you that you should take folic acid because it will help your new little one. But what about when you are not pregnant? Will folic acid do any good if you take it daily? Read on to find out why you probably should get a daily intake.
Folic acid is a part of the Vitamin B family. It helps the body to grow new cells. Folic acid is also called folate. Folate is found in some foods while folic acid is man-made folate. Some women may not get all of the folic acid that they need just from food alone, so they must take a supplement every day.
Everyone needs folic acid in their body, but it is especially important for women who are of a childbearing age. It helps with fetal development and also helps to prevent birth defects such as Spina Bifida and Anencephaly (born without a brain). Not only does it prevent these defects but it keeps your blood healthy as well.
Folic acid is also recommended for people with the following conditions:
- Celiac disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Sickle Cell disease
That is just to name a few. There are many more out there. Women who are able to get pregnant should consume 400 to 800mcg of folic acid per day. Even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant, this is an acceptable amount, and your body will be better off should you become pregnant. It can only be taken orally, so you will always know how much you are taking for the day.
Folic acid is found in pills, but is also found in leafy greens, legumes, citrus fruits, and whole grains. It is also added to foods that are “enriched” such as white bread. Most companies will put the information on the label if the food has folic acid added.