Folate and vitamin B-12:
An important combo for women's health
All women of child-bearing age should get the recommended amounts of folate and vitamin B-12, whether they plan to get pregnant or not. These nutrients help prevent defects in the brain and spinal column that occur during the first 28 days of pregnancy, often before many women even know they are pregnant.
The simplest way to make sure you’re getting enough folate and vitamin B-12 is to take a daily multi-vitamin that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid and the recommended dietary intake (2.6 micrograms) of vitamin B -12.
Dark, leafy green vegetables; fruit; dried beans; and peas are rich in folate. Milk, meat, eggs, poultry, and fortified cereals are high in vitamin B-12. That’s why women who are vegetarians or eat few animal products are at higher risk for a vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Sources: National Institutes of Health; Pediatrics, Vol. 123, pg. 917