For pregnant women, folic acid foods consumption is essential to prevent birth defects. Folic acid, also known as folate, folacin, vitamin B9, vitamin BC, pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, L-glutamate-pteroyl, pteroylmonoglutamic acid, is a water soluble vitamin. Vitamin B9 is essential for various body functions ranging from synthesis nukleotid to remetilasi homocysteine. This vitamin is essential in cell division and growth period. Children and adults require folic acid to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. Folate and folic acid gets its name from the Latin word folium (leaf).
Folic acid is very sensitive to light, oxygen and high temperature. Because folic acid is also rapidly dissolves in water, if the foods that contain folic acid washed, it often happens folic acid will be lost to the water. Therefore advised to consume vegetables containing folic acid to be consumed in its raw form as in the salads. In pregnant women, folic acid also serves to help the development of the fetal brain, thus preventing birth defects as mentioned above. Pregnant women need at least 400 mcg - 600 mcg of folic acid every day. Below are daily recommendations for dietary folic acid that was taken from umm.edu.
- Infants 0 - 6 months: 65 mcg (adequate intake)
- Infants 7 - 12 months: 80 mcg (adequate intake)
- Children 1 - 3 years: 150 mcg (RDA)
- Children 4 - 8 years: 200 mcg (RDA)
- Children 9 - 13 years: 300 mcg (RDA)
- Teens 14 - 18 years: 400 mcg (RDA)
- 19 years and older: 400 mcg (RDA)
- Pregnant women: 600 mcg (RDA)
- Breastfeeding women: 500 mcg (RDA)