ACT Nutrition Support Service » Folate before and during pregnancy

Folate before and during pregnancy

ACT Nutrition Support Service » Folate before and during pregnancy

Folate before and during pregnancy

Folate (or folic acid as it is known in its synthetic form) is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for healthy growth and development, particularly during early foetal development.

Adequate folate before and during pregnancy prevents neural tube defects (the areas which go on to develop into a baby’s brain and spinal cord). The neural tube is developed in the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant. Because of this, it is recommended that all women of childbearing age ensure they consume adequate folate daily. 

A daily folate intake of 500 micrograms (µg) per day is needed from pre-conception planning (12 weeks prior to pregnancy) through to the end of the first trimester.

It can be difficult to meet these needs through diet alone, hence supplementation of 500 micrograms of folic acid per day is recommended.

Sources
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Avocado
  • Yeast extracts (e.g.vegemite)
Food Folate content       
Special K cereal, 40g  50 µg
All Bran cereal, 40g 50 µg
Weetbix cereal, 2 biscuits 80 µg
Cabbage raw, 100g 42 µg
Baby spinach (raw), 60g 
97 µg
Silverbeet (cooked), 100g                             46 µg
Broccoli (raw), 75g 119 µg
Kale (raw), 75g 106 µg
Avocado, half 90 µg
Orange, 1 medium 63 µg
Peanuts (raw), 30g 72 µg
Peanut butter, 30g 47 µg
Sunflower seeds, 30g                  69 µg
Chickpeas (tinned), 100g 63 µg
Kidney beans (tinned), 100g
40 µg
Mulitgrain bread, 1 slice  86 µg
Vegemite, 1 teaspoon 200 µg