Four Ways for Soon-To-Be Moms to Add More Folic Acid to Their Diet

Folic acid is important in everyone’s diet, but it is especially important for pregnant women. According to Nifty Benefits, data has shown that a lack of this important nutrient can lead to problems with the fetus, which includes an increased risk of developing a neural tube defect. It can also cause mental health problems in the baby after it is born.

One of the first things a healthcare provider will suggest is a supplement that includes folic acid. Although supplements can be very helpful, it’s much better to get as much of this important nutrient as you can from the food you eat.

Beans, Lentils, and Chickpeas

The best natural sources of folate include beans, lentils, chickpeas, and even dried peas. This group of foods is also known as pulses.

Just a half-cup serving is loaded with folate, so they should be added to your meals wherever you can find room. A few ideas include:

  • Adding cooked lentils with ground beef
  • Using chickpeas to make a hummus
  • Add roasted chickpeas to a salad
  • Put black-eyed peas in a wrap
  • Make a lentil soup

Dark Leafy Greens

Everyone could stand to add more dark leafy greens to their diet. They contain a wide variety of nutrients that are important to your health, including folic acid.

Spinach is a favorite because a single cup contains 65 percent of your daily value of folic acid, but it’s also a favorite because it can be added to nearly anything from smoothies to salads to chicken dishes.

However, you have many more options that include:

  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Turnip greens
  • Romaine lettuce

Citrus Fruits

Pulses and dark leafy greens can be turned into delicious savory treats and meals, but sometimes, you need something a little different. You don’t want to have to munch on a stalk of kale every time you need a snack!

Citrus fruits are a surprisingly good source of folic acid. However, some fruits are better than others.

For example, papaya is the highest in folate at 29 percent of your daily value. Oranges are good too, at 10 percent, while raspberries only contain 4 percent of your daily value.

A mix of different kinds of fruit is best, especially when you pair a fruity snack with a spinach salad for lunch.


Avocado seems to be all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why. These fruits have some amazing health benefits, one of which is a high concentration of folate.

They’re easy to add to your daily routine too! Make some guacamole for an afternoon snack, add a little avocado to make a creamy ranch dressing for a salad, or place a few slices on a piece of toast in the morning for breakfast.

It never hurts to add a folic acid supplement to your diet when you’re expecting, but if you really want to make sure your little one gets all the benefits of this nutrient, try adding the foods on this list to your diet.

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