If You Think You Might Have A Baby Some Day -- Think Folate Now
The next time you enjoy a hearty breakfast including orange juice and cereal you may be doing yourself -- and any children you may have in the future -- a big favor.
Recent research shows that the B vitamin folate is an important nutrient, especially for women before and in the first weeks of pregnancy. If enough folate is in the mother's system at these times, it can help reduce the risk of certain serious birth defects, called neural tube defects, affecting the baby's brain and spinal cord. That's why it's important for all women of childbearing age to include folate in their diets daily. Folate is found in such foods as citrus juice and fortified cereal, and is available in some vitamin supplements as folic acid.
"Adequate folate should be eaten daily and throughout the childbearing years," says FDA's Elizabeth Yetley, Ph.D.
There are several ways to do this:
Folate's potential to reduce the risk of birth defects is so important, the FDA says food manufacturers must fortify enriched grain products with folic acid by 1998. This will give women another way to get sufficient folate: by eating fortified breads and other grains. Folic acid will be added to flour, bread, rolls, buns, farina, corn grits, cornmeal, rice and noodles.
- Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily, especially citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, and dark green leafy vegetables. such as collards, Romaine lettuce, broccoli, and asparagus. Dried beans and peas, such as pinto, navy and lima beans; and chick peas and blackeyed peas, are also good sources.
- Eat breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid.
- Take a vitamin supplement containing folic acid.
For more information call FDA at 1-800-FDA-4010 (1-800-332-4010) or the March of Dimes at 1-800-326-BABY (1-800-326-2229).(NAPSI)
B4-U-BUY | FYI Main Page | Texas Lottery Results | B4UEAT Houston Restaurant Guide | Business Services | Wellness Resources | Comments