Folvite contains Folic Acid, it is a dietary supplement used to help ensure you have enough of this vital nutrient, it is often given during pregnancy, because a deficiency in it can cause birth defects.
I too have taken folic acid tablets during my pregnancy
Folic acid (folate) is a vitamin and is needed to make new cells in the body. The body does not store very much folic acid. You need a regular fresh supply to keep healthy. Pregnant women in particular need a good supply of folic acid, which is used by the developing baby. The very early stages of pregnancy are crucial in the need for folic acid. This is why folic acid supplements are recommended for women planning a pregnancy.
If you take folic acid tablets (supplements) in early pregnancy you reduce the risk of having a baby born with a spinal cord problem. This is because the early development of the baby's spinal cord requires a regular, good supply of folic acid.
- For most women, the dose is 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) a day.
- If your risk of having a child with a spinal cord problem is increased then the dose is higher (5 mg a day - you need a prescription for this higher dose). That is, if:
- You have had a previously affected pregnancy.
- You or your partner have a spinal cord defect.
- You are taking medication for epilepsy.
- You are obese - especially if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or more.
- You have coeliac disease, diabetes, sickle cell anaemia, or thalassaemia.
It's good to eat as much folate-rich food as you can. But even if you eat a balanced diet, it's hard to get the amount you need from your food. This is why doctors recommend taking a supplement. The risk to your baby from folic acid deficiency is much greater than any inconvenience you might feel in taking a supplement.
Here are some foods with lots of folate for you to try:
Vegetables: Leafy green vegetables are a good source, so try to have fenugreek (methi) or raddish leaves or spinach daily. Other folate-rich vegetables are peas, corn, cauliflower, green pepper, beetroot, mustard greens and ladyfinger.
Nuts such as almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, walnuts and sesame seeds.
Legumes such as soya bean, lobhia, kidney beans, dried peas, chickpeas and lentils.
Fruits such as strawberries, honeydew or cantaloupe melons, bananas, pineapple, oranges and raspberries.
Grains Whole grain flour and pasta, wholemeal bread and oats.
As well as taking a supplement, you could make a few small changes to your diet:
- Include orange juice at breakfast or chopped fruit with your breakfast cereal.
- Choose a bowl of fruit salad at snack time.
- Include a serving of stir-fried vegetables in sesame oil at dinner time
The folic acid in foods is delicate and can be destroyed by cooking. Try to cook in a covered pan with the minimum amount of boiling water. Eat vegetables lightly steamed, microwaved, or raw.