Are you expecting a child? If yes, you should have food rich in folic acid. Also known as vitamin B9, it is a water-soluble vitamin. Present in broccoli, carrots, avocadoes, beans, peas almonds, etc., folic acid has an array of health benefits. It stimulates the production of new red blood cells and prevents the onset of anemia. It can also reduce your likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases. Pregnant women are usually advised to take folic acid as a supplement as they are more prone to various diseases and conditions due to a weak immune system. Here is how folic acid is beneficial for pregnant women.

Prevents anemia

As the multiplication of cells occurs at a fast rate during pregnancy, expecting mothers require more folic acid. Also, during pregnancy, a woman is generally deficient of this nutrient and this deficiency can lead to maternal anemia and cause issues during childbirth.

Reduces the likelihood of birth defects

Every woman who is expecting a baby is at increased risk of developing a birth defect called spina bifida in her child. It is a form of neural tube defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form correctly. Notably, a neural tube is a significant structure that forms a baby’s brain and spinal cord. This tube ideally forms during the early days of pregnancy and closes by the 28th week. However, in babies with the defect, the structure doesn’t close properly. This may cause minor physical disabilities in your child. In case the situation is severe, the affected baby may experience mobility problems, orthopedic complications, bowel and bladder problems, etc. Notably, deficiency of folic acid is one of the risk factors of this condition. So, in order to prevent the onset of neural tube defects, pregnant ladies must have folic acid supplements or eat food rich in this nutrient.

Helps in error-free replication of cells

Just like antioxidants, folic acid is important for the correct replication of cells. It can neutralize free radicals and ensure proper DNA replication. This is why a deficiency of folic acid is linked to the onset of cervical cancer, dementia, depression, hearing loss, osteoporosis, etc.

Helps in the assimilation of other nutrients

Insufficient folic acid in the body can lead to reduced number of white blood cells. This can lead to a weak immune system. The deficiency of folic acid can also cause a reduced level of iron and vitamin B12 in the body. Some other problems that may occur due to this problem include stomach and bowel irregularity, inflammation of the tongue, etc.