Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is a very important micronutrient for the prevention of spina bifida, a serious malformation of the
spinal column. Several studies conducted to establish the causes that lead to this anomaly agree on the fact that a folic acid deficiency in the first weeks of gestation is the cause the failure of the vertebrae to close, leaving the spinal cord unprotected resulting in more or less
severe paralysis at birth. Prevention against spina bifida must be implemented from the moment the couple decides to have a baby, In fact, it is essential that women take a folic acid supplement for at least 3 months before conception. The recommended daily dose is 400 micrograms. per day, which should be increased in the case of diseases such as insulin-dependent diabetes and epilepsy. Folic
acid supplementation is recommended at least for the first trimester, but it can also be prolonged in the following months as a correct intake of Vitamin B9 in women prevents the onset of anemia during pregnancy.
Folic acid should be taken in the morning, preferably away from tea, coffee
and dairy products. Folic acid only supplement should be preferred over multivitamins, which are recommended starting from the second trimester.
In addition to the recommended supplementation, it is important to take foods rich in Vitamin B9, such as walnuts, every day (0 , 21 mg / 100 g), asparagus (0.11 mg / 100 g), beans (0.2 mg / 100 g), soy (0.2 mg / 100 g), spinach (0.1 mg / 100 g) and green leafy vegetables (chard, broccoli, ribs),
orange (0.1 mg / 100 g), whole grains, peas and legumes in general. Pay attention to the cooking of vegetables, spinach and green leafy vegetables should not be boiled in plenty of water, but they should be cooked a little, at a low temperature and with very little water to avoid the dispersion of vitamins.