What you eat not only affects you, it could affect your unborn child.
Folic acid is a critical element needed for proper spinal cord development during the first three weeks of pregnancy. Because this is often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant, it’s important for women of child-bearing age to follow a healthy lifestyle and to include folic acid as part of her diet.
The Grain Foods Foundation (GoWithTheGrain.org) would like to remind all women of child-bearing age of the important role folic acid plays in preventing birth defects. Enriched breads – and many other grains such as rice, tortillas, pasta and cereal – are important sources of folic acid.
- White flour is enriched with three major B vitamins (niacin, thiamin and riboflavin), as well as iron, and is fortified with the B vitamin folic acid.
- Enriched flour contains two times as much folic acid as its whole grain counterpart – making enriched grains the largest source of folic acid in the diets of most Americans. Whole grain products, with the exception of some breakfast cereals, are not fortified with folic acid.
- Since the FDA required fortification of enriched grains, the number of babies born in the United States with neural-tube birth defects, which include certain birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, has declined by 26 percent.
For a balanced diet, the USDA recommends at least six one-ounce servings of grains daily. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal and even tortillas and pretzels are examples of grain foods.
Breakfast Fruit Turnovers â†’
This recipe is a simple way to start incorporating enriched breads into a healthy diet.
View full recipe â†’