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Eating for Two – A Healthy Pregnancy Starts with a Healthy DietThe saying “you are what you eat” takes on a new meaning when a woman learns she is expecting a baby. For the next several months, her growing baby’s health is directly dependent upon what she eats, and what she chooses to avoid. What is more, a woman’s diet during pregnancy has been shown to affect her child’s health long after she is no longer eating for two.
Folate & Folic Acid- Healthy Moms Mean Healthy BabiesBefore they may even know they are pregnant; women’s bodies and their level of folate play a critical role in preventing certain birth defects, specifically neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs are birth defects in the brain, spinal cord, or spine. Considered ‘one of the most important public health discoveries of this century’ is that daily supplemental folic acid taken before becoming pregnant significantly reduces the risk of NTDs (1). In 1998, the United States made sweeping efforts that fortified cereal grains with folic acid to ensure all Americans consume adequate amounts of this vitamin. So what exactly is folate? What are the functions of this vitamin? What foods have high levels of folate and what is the recommended daily intake? This article will answer these questions and will go on to explain folic acid fortification and the impact fortification has had on the incidence of NTDs in Arizona.