3. Folic Acid


Taking folic acid at least 3 months before you get pregnant and for the entire pregnancy will help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Your body does not store folic acid so you need to be sure to get enough every day.

It is recommended that all women of childbearing age, (that is from the start of menstruation to the end of menopause):

  • eat foods which are good sources of folic acid every day (asparagus, broccoli...).
  • take a multi-vitamin containing 0.4mg of folic acid every day (supplements containing more than 1 mg folic acid are not recommended)

The following table features easy tricks to add more folic acid to your food.

Folic acid is destroyed by heat, air, and water. Be sure to keep fruits and vegetables refrigerated. Eat raw fruits and vegetables whenever you can. When you cook fruits and vegetables, use as little water as possible. Try steaming your vegetables instead of boiling them.