Folic acid, also called vitamin B9, is not produced by the body. We must therefore ensure a sufficient intake of natural food folate by eating green vegetables (e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, etc.), citrus fruits and wholegrain foods. However, cooking vegetables can cause the efficacy of folate to degrade significantly. Folic acid has a clear function in our body. It helps with normal blood formation and contributes to normal psychological functions such as concentration, learning, memory, reasoning and the resistance to temporary stress.
In addition, folic acid (400 μg/day) increases the folate status of the future mother. Reaching optimal folate status is important for at least one month before and up to three months after conception. Suboptimal maternal folate status is a risk factor which may lead to neurological development defects (neural tube defects) in the unborn child. Since, in the very beginning, a future mother does not know that she is indeed pregnant, she should take sufficient amounts of folic acid as soon as she plans to conceive.
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