Star Recipe: Adobo Black-Eyed Peas
Star Quality: On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is this B vitamin? “It’s a 10!” says Allison Tannis, M.S., R.H.N., co-author of The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy (Fair Winds Press). “Not only does it prevent spinal bifida, it’s important for the division of cells—something that happens a lot in pregnancy.” Studies show that if moms-to-be got the recommended dose before and during early pregnancy, 70 percent of all neuraltube defects could be prevented. Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, might also prevent heart defects and cleft lip/palate, plus new research links taking a folic acid supplement before and during early pregnancy to a 40 percent lower risk of autism. Folate provides benefits for you, too, helping to prevent anemia and lowering your risk of breast cancer.
How Much You Need: Pregnant, 600 micrograms a day; lactating, 500 micrograms a day
Best Sources: Peas, fortified cereals, leafy greens, beans, asparagus, peanuts, oranges, Brussels sprouts, wheat germ