Folate (Folic Acid) is known as one of the most important nutrients for pre-conception and pregnancy due to its known effects in avoiding spinal and brain defects in newborns.
Folate can be sourced through diet from liver, dark leafy greens, egg yolks, legumes, and other green vegetables. However it can be difficult to obtain adequate amounts of folate from dietary sources alone unless you are consuming substantial amounts of liver and dark leafy greens. Because of this, on top of consuming folate-rich foods, most doctors recommend supplementing with either folic acid or folate supplementation, but which one should we choose?
What is the difference between folic acid and folate?
Folate is the term used to describe a group of b-vitamins. A folate supplement is made up of natural by-products found in folate-rich foods, whereas folic acid is a synthetic compound added to supplements and foods. A great resource to help you understand folate more is a blog post written by Chris Kresser – please click here to read more.
From my research, I suggest swapping your folic acid supplement for a folate supplement that contains 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (make sure you check labels).
In keeping with national recommendations, I suggest taking a folate supplement several months before conception, and all the way through pregnancy, of 600mcg - 800mcg per day. Please note, always check supplementation with your health professional before adhering to these recommendations.
If you need more nutritional guidance during your pregnancy, I advise women on how to meet their baby’s and their own nutritional requirements, how to manage morning sickness and weight gain, and how to best prepare their bodies to develop a healthy baby. Please get in touch if you would like some guidance.
Feed, nourish, value yourself.