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 early foetal development.
Adequate folate 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.
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Wholegrain bread
- Green leafy vegetables
- Yeast extracts (e.g.vegemite)
|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
|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
|Mulitgrain bread, 1 slice||86 µg
|Vegemite, 1 teaspoon||200 µg|