Folic Acid is a water soluble vitamin (B9) that prevents serious birth defects and plays a very important role before and during pregnancy in women. The best folic acid supplements also prevent neural tube defects (NTDs), which affect thousands of pregnancies a year in India.
Neural Tube Defects include:
- Spina Bifida: Incomplete development of the vertebrae or the spinal cord; Babies with this condition may be disabled permanently.
- Anencephaly: Incomplete development of important parts of the brain; Babies with this condition usually don’t live that long.
Getting adequate folate or folic acid before and during pregnancy will protect your baby against any birth defects.
What is Folic Acid?
It is a man-made form of a B Vitamin, which is also known as Folate. If you don’t know already, Folate helps in the production of RBC’s (red blood cells) and prevents your baby from developing the brain and spinal cord defects.
Folic acid is usually found in foods such as spinach, lentils, liver, whole-wheat products, beets, asparagus, brussel sprouts, dried beans, peas and broccoli.
How Much Folic Acid You Should Take?
The experts recommend 400 mcg of folic acid per day and women should start the folic acid supplements at least 1 month before you’re planning to get pregnant.
P.S: If you’re taking multivitamin supplements every day, then check the amount of folic acid or folate you’re getting from it. It is usually found on the back of the bottle labeled ‘Supplement Facts’.
Never go above 1000 mcg per day of folic acid unless you’re advised by your physician. Vegans are especially at risk of getting vitamin B12 deficiency and if they consume too much folic acid, then it would become difficult to diagnose the deficiency.
To prevent the deficiency, you can use the folic acid supplements that are available in different forms like tablets/capsules, powder and liquids.
Best Folic Acid Supplements in India
Below is a list of the top 10 folic acid supplements for Women before or during pregnancy. Please note that we’ve made sure to list only the products from top brands which have high potency, efficiency and purity.
1.Nature’s Blend Folic Acid (tablets)
Each serving of these folic acid tablets provide 1000 mcg to your body. It is made with high potency formula that doesn’t contain any fillers, artificial colors, preservatives or additional ingredients.
It does not contain sugar or corn syrup or starch and provides complete prenatal nutrition.
Protect your unborn baby against any disabilities and at the same time improve the baby’s heart health by taking these vitamin supplements daily.
- Folic acid (1000 mcg)
- Calcium Phosphate
- Silicone Dioxide
- Magnesium Stearate
- Croscarmellose Sodium
Quantity: 100 tablets per bottle, each with 1000 mcg
2.NOW Foods Folic Acid (tablets)
Each serving gives your 800 mcg of folic acid along with Vitamin B12. These supplements are manufactured in a GMP approved facility with highest purity and excellent quality.
The special formula helps with easy digestion and will not upset your stomach like those lesser known or cheap brands.
These tablets are free from gluten and completely vegan. No wheat, soy, sugar, gluten, salt, yeast or milk is added in the preparation.
Use these folic acid supplements to improve your overall health and also reduce the risk of congenital disabilities in infants.
- Folic Acid – 800 mcg
- Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) – 25 mcg
- Magnesium Stearate (veg source)
- Stearic acid (veg source)
Quantity: 250 tablets per bottle, each with 800 mcg of Folic acid & 25 mcg of Vitamin B12
3.Nature’s Bounty Folic Acid Tablets for Women
This is a non-GMO product and is a perfect choice for vegetarians.
If you’re planning to get pregnant or already pregnant, then you can use this vitamin to promote heart and cardiovascular wellness.
Getting enough folate per day reduces the risk of having a child with brain or spinal cord birth defects.
- Folic Acid – 400 mcg
- Dicalcium Phosphate
- Vegetable Cellulose
- Vegetable Stearic Acid
- <2% of Vegetable Magnesium Stearate
- <2% of silica
Quantity: 250 tablets per bottle, each with 400 mcg of folic acid
Who Should not Take Folic Acid Supplements?
If you’re having any of the below conditions, then you should either lower the dose or need special tests to determine the amount of folic acid you can consume, which is usually done by experts.
- Kidney disease
- If you’re not diagnosed with anemia by lab tests
- Hemolytic anemia
- Pernicious anemia
- Have any allergic reaction to folic acid
How Should I Take Folic Acid?
You should generally check with your doctor who’ll then suggest the dosage based on your requirements.
This is because the folic acid requirement varies with one individual to another. Say for example, pregnant women will need more folic acid when compared to women who’re breast-feeding a baby.
Here is how much folic acid you should take daily:
- If you’re trying to conceive – 400 mcg
- During pregnancy for first 3 months – 400 mcg
- From 4 to 9 months during pregnancy – 600 mcg
- While you’re breastfeeding – 500 mcg
Folic Acid Overdose Symptoms
In case if you consume too much of folic acid, then you should immediately seek the expert advice.
Common symptoms of overdose include:
- Mouth or tongue pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Trouble concentrating or confusion
- Tired feeling
Common Side Effects of Folic Acid
Not everyone would encounter these side effects, but you should better know them and contact your doctor in case of any severe signs like hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling of face, tongue, lips or throat and allergic reactions.
Below are some less serious side effects:
- Bitter/Unpleasant taste in mouth
- Loss of Appetite
- Sleep disorders
List of Foods Rich in Folic Acid
You can get enough folic acid by including these foods in your regular diet.
- Fortified Cereals (¾ cup) – 400 mcg
- Cooked Beef Liver (3 oz) – 215 mcg
- Boiled Lentils (½ cup) – 179 mcg
- Spinach (1 cup) – 263 mcg
- Egg Noodles (½ cup) – 110 mcg
- Boiled Beans (½ cup) – 90 mcg
- Collard Greens (1 cup) – 177 mcg
- Boiled Asparagus (1 cup) – 262 mcg
- Broccoli (1 cup) – 26% DA
- Orange (1) – 50 mcg
- Papaya (1) – 115 mcg
- Grapefruit (1) – 40 mcg
- Avocado (1 cup) – 110 mcg
- Cooled Okra (½ cup) – 103 mcg
- Flax seeds (2 tbsp) – 54 mcg
- Almonds (1 cup) – 54 mcg
- Cauliflower (1 cup) – 55 mcg
- Beets (1 cup) – 148 mcg
- Corn (1 cup) – 34 mcg
- Celery (1 cup) – 36 mcg
Most of these foods contain adequate folic acid, but still if you’re not able to make for the deficiency or can’t eat them, then you can use the best folic acid supplements in India before or during the pregnancy and help your child from getting prenatal birth defects.
If you’re unsure of how much folic acid you should take during pregnancy or breastfeeding, please do make a visit to your doctor for suggested dosage.