Folate (or folic acid) is very important for your baby’s development. You can boost your folate intake by eating certain foods, which I’ve listed for you below! Doctors also recommend that women who are pregnant or trying for a baby take a folic acid supplement for at least a month beforehand until their 12th week of pregnancy.
Foods rich in folate:
Make sure you include a mix of folate-rich foods in your diet, such as green vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, beans and asparagus), citrus fruit, wholegrain breads and legumes in your diet. Folate is easily destroyed during cooking, so it's better to enjoy raw or lightly steamed fruits and vegetables instead of well cooked.
- Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli
- Wholegrain cereals
- Citrus fruit
- Beans and legumes
- Folic acid fortified foods such as breakfast cereals
When you need it most:
The most important time to make sure you’re getting enough folate is a few months before you conceive and during your first trimester (12 weeks). During this period, it's important that you’re eating a nutritionally balanced diet as well as taking a folic acid supplement to help your baby grow and thrive.