What role do foods high in folate play in the development of a fetus during pregnancy?

This article will explore the importance of foods that are rich in folate, and how they contribute to fetal growth during pregnancy. In my role as a nutritionist and dietician, I'll provide comprehensive insight based on research and studies . You can expect to learn more about the benefits of folate and how to include it in your daily diet.

It is important to consume foods rich in folate for fetal development.

The vitamin B9 (also known as folate) is vital for the health of everyone, but especially pregnant women. Folate is essential for the repair and creation of DNA. It also promotes rapid cell growth in pregnancy. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that folate intake can reduce the risks of neural tube disorders (NTDs), which are serious abnormalities of brain and spine, for newborns. Folate not only promotes healthy growth in the fetus but also in mother's tissues, especially in the uterus.

Getting Started: Incorporating Folate into Your Diet

It is important that pregnant women get enough folate, given its importance. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults should consume 400 micrograms of folate per day. This amount increases to 600 for pregnant women. Although folate is available in dietary supplements as well, it's often better to get this vitamin from food because these foods contain many other essential nutrients. Consider adding more fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, meat, milk, dairy, or nuts to your diet. Remember that cooking may reduce folate levels, so try to eat these foods as raw or only lightly cooked.

Folate-Rich Functional Foods

More Tips and Suggestions

Pregnant women who consume a lot of foods rich in folate should also take a prenatal supplement that contains folic (a synthetic form folate), to make sure they get enough nutrition for both themselves and the developing child. In addition, it's important to maintain an overall balanced diet and limit processed food intake. For a healthy pregnancies, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and stress management is equally as important.


Functional foods high in folate are essential for fetal growth and development, as they reduce the risks of neural tube defects. You can give your child the best start possible by incorporating folate-rich food into your diet, and living a healthy life.