The importance of folic acid for moms-to-be

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PHOENIX – The March of Dimes March for Babies is Saturday, April 13, and the event will help raise money and awareness for newborn health.

Important topics that the event will highlight include the health of both moms-to-be and newborns.

One important way moms-to-be can ensure their newborn is healthy is by taking folic acid.

“I would say every woman in the reproductive age group needs to take a multivitamin every day with folic acid,” said Dr. B.J. Johnson.

This B vitamin is essential before and during pregnancy as it may help reduce the baby's risk for neural tube defects.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women need 400 micrograms of folic acid each day.

“Most one-a-day vitamins have plenty of folic acid in them,” Johnson said.

Women can also eat the right foods to make sure they are getting enough folic acid.

“Green is good, we always want to have green,” said Johnson, who noted the importance of spinach, asparagus and leafy greens.

Johnson pointed out beans and lentils as good sources of folate. Fortified foods are also important.

“One cup of Cheerios a day will give you 50 percent of your folic acid,” Johnson said.

Folic acid is one of many important components essential to women of childbearing age in helping their babies live healthy lives and women can learn about this and many other important issues at the March for Babies.

The Phoenix march is April 13 at Wesley Bolin Plaza located at 1700 W. Washington St. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the march will start at 8 a.m. For more information visit the March for Babies website.