As a 29-year-old woman, how much folate am I supposed to get, and how can I keep track of that? Are there certain foods that are the best sources, or is there a supplement I can take?

Women of childbearing age should aim to consume approximately 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. If you are planning to become pregnant, the intake of folic acid before and during the pregnancy is essential to proper development of the baby’s neural tube. I would check with your doctor for a prenatal vitamin regimen.

In addition to proper neural tube development, folic acid is an important part of the diet and may help reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke. I would encourage that you choose foods that are high in folic acid and include these daily into your diet. Examples of these foods are: asparagus, broccoli, lentils, fortified cereal, spinach, bananas, whole grains, orange juice and turnip, mustard, and beet greens. To put it into perspective, one serving of a “fortified” cereal may provide you with your recommended daily value of folic acid. You may also begin checking food labels and look for the 400 mcg goal. Finally, if you are unable to have adequate food intake of folic acid, a daily multi vitamin can be a way to get additional folic acid.

Login to Favorite