Folic Acid, Calcium and Iron – Why They Are Most Important During Pregnancy?

Folic Acid, Calcium and Iron – Why They Are Most Important During Pregnancy?

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By Dr. Anjuli Dixit , Gynaecology

Some of the most important nutrients for the health of a mother and the growth of a baby are folic acid, calcium and iron. These nutrients are discussed below:

Folic Acid-

Folic acid, also known as folate, is an important source of Vitamin B which affects the baby’s health. Its importance stems from the fact that it helps in preventing certain abnormal formations called neural tube defects, which include anencephaly (major parts of the skull, scalp and brain missing) and spina bifida (the spine of a baby doesn’t develop fully). Intake of folic acid is extremely important for women who are or who plan on becoming pregnant.

The required amount of consumption of folic acid is around 400-800 micrograms daily. It is possible to take folic acid through your regular diet. Folic acid is found in the following items.

  1. Green leafy vegetables
  2. Strawberries
  3. Whole grain breads and cereals
  4. Oranges
  5. Dried beans and peas

Iron-

Iron is very important to support the health and growth of a baby during pregnancy. In order to reduce the chances of iron deficiency, the baby’s body needs to accumulate a large amount of iron before birth. It helps in forming blood cells for both the mother and the baby. Daily intake of 27 milligrams is advised in combination with Vitamin C. Common sources of iron include:

  1. Spinach
  2. Lean Red Meat
  3. Whole grain breads and cereals

Calcium-

Calcium intake is important for the baby as it is essential for the formation and growth of the baby’s muscles, heart, bones, teeth and heart. Intake of 1000 milligrams of Calcium for adults is advised. Common sources of Calcium include:

  1. Yogurt
  2. Low-fat milk
  3. Tuna
  4. Broccoli
  5. Beans
  6. Nuts and seeds
  7. Sardines