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Green Goodness!

by Vickie Myers | Photography by Elisabeth Nixon Photography

Chick Pea and Beet Salad (455 mcg folic acid)

Green Goodness, Chick Pea and Beet Salad!

Folic acid, sometimes called folate, is a B vitamin (B9) found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, orange juice, and enriched grains.

Studies from Nemours have shown that women who get 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) daily prior to conception and during early pregnancy reduce the risk that their baby will be born with a serious neural tube defect (a birth defect involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord) by up to 70%.

The most common neural tube defects are:

  • spina bifida (an incomplete closure of the spinal cord and spinal column)
  • anencephaly (severe underdevelopment of the brain)
  • encephalocele (when brain tissue protrudes out to the skin from an abnormal opening in the skull)

All of these defects occur during the first 28 days of pregnancy — usually before a woman even knows she’s pregnant.

That’s why it’s so important for all women of childbearing age to get enough folic acid — not just those who are planning to become pregnant. Only 50% of pregnancies are planned, so any woman who could become pregnant should make sure she’s getting enough folic acid.

Chick Pea and Beet Salad

(455 mcg folic acid)

1 cup spinach
1 cup romaine
¼ cup garbanzo beans
¼ cup sliced carrots
½ cup raw beet julienne
½ cup raw broccoli florets
1 teaspoon flax seeds

Arrange all ingredients on a plate. For a different taste try using cooked beets instead of raw.

Avocado Orange Dressing

(170 mcg folic acid)

1 small Hass avocado
2 oranges
5-10 sprigs of thyme
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of black pepper
Salt to taste

In blender combine avocado, juice from 2 oranges, the leaves from the sprigs of thyme, pepper and salt. While blending drizzle olive oil until smooth.

Green Smoothie

(700 mcg folic acid)

2 ½ cup spinach leaves
½ cup Romaine lettuce
1 cup green grapes
1 apple

Put all ingredients through a juicer. Pour over ice. OR use a blender for a thicker texture. Add ice to the blender as you blend all ingredients together.

A Not-So-Green Smoothie

(With the strawberries added, the end result is not green.)
(690 mcg folic acid)

2 ½ cup spinach leaves
1 cup carrots
1 cup strawberries
One apple



Green Smoothie - Kid tested, babyourself approved!

Green Smoothie
Kid tested, The Moms Magazine approved!

Take the Folic Acid Quiz!

  1. How much folic acid is recommended?
    A. 100 mcg
    B. 1000 mcg
    C. 400 mcg
    D. 80 mcg
  2. What is another name for folic acid?
    A. Vitamin F
    B. Vitamin B9
    C. Vitamin B6
    D. Vitamin B2
  3. What are good sources of folic acid?
    A. Green leafy vegetables
    B. Orange juice
    C. Enriched grain
    D. All of the above
  4. When should I start taking folic acid?
    A. Once I find out I’m pregnant
    B. In my second trimester
    C. Before becoming pregnant
    D. When my doctor tells me to
  5. What are benefits of folic acid?
    A. Prevents birth defects
    B. Production, repair, and functioning of DNA
    C. Reduce the risk of preeclampsia
    D. All of the above

Answers:  1.  |   2.  |   3.  |   4.  |   5. D


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