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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Preconception/Pregnancy
- Folic Acid / Folate Acid Daily

Over 1/3 of women do not take enough folic acid in Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark...
  • Press Release
  • Foods Rich in Folate

Folic acid/folate
is an important vitamin to include in your eating habits before you are pregnant and during early pregnancy. Folate (found in food) or folic acid (in pill form) is a B vitamin that has been proven to help decrease the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs).

NTDs are birth defects that occur when the neural tube fails to close properly during the early weeks of pregnancy, resulting in abnormalities of a baby's spine, brain or skull such as spina bifida. This means that most women find out they are pregnant after the neural tube already forms, which is why supplementation is important before finding out about a pregnancy.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada both recommend that all women who have any chance of getting pregnant take a multivitamin containing 0.4mg of folic acid every day. The multivitamins should be taken at least 2-3 months before pregnancy, throughout the pregnancy and for six weeks after the birth. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada further recommend that women with certain health or lifestyle risks might need to take a folic acid supplement up to 5 mg per day.

Taking a multivitamin does not replace the need to eat healthy. Choose foods rich in folate and foods fortified with folic acid.
Foods that are rich in folic acid:


Enjoy 3 of these good food sources everyday:

  • beets ½ cup,

  • broccoli ½ cup,

  • cauliflower ½ cup,

  • corn ½ cup,

  • bran cereal 30g,

  • cantaloupe or melon 1/10 fruit,

  • eggs 1 large,

  • green peas ½ cup,

  • romaine lettuce 1 cup,

  • oranges and orange juice ½ cup,

  • peanut butter 2tbsp.



Enjoy 2 of these excellent food sources everyday:

  • asparagus 4 spears,

  • sunflower seeds ¼ cup,

  • baked beans with pork 2/3 cup,

  • peanuts ¼ cup,

  • kidney beans ½ cup,

  • lentils, or chick peas,

  • spinach 1 cup.



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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit