Folic Acid Awareness Week

January 6, 2013 6:35:41 AM PST
Sunday, January 6, 2013 marks the start of a campaign to help prevent birth defects. "Folic Acid Awareness Week" runs through next Sunday and the March of Dimes is participating in the effort.

Bob Kruchten, March of Dimes ( board member and spokesperson, came into our ABC7 studio to explain the importance of folic acid for women in their child-bearing years.

Also, Chef Markus Ford, Elever Chicago (, showed us how to prepare a dish rich in folate.

The March of Dimes recommends that all women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid (synthetic) or folate (naturally occurring) every day before and during early pregnancy to help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord known as neural tube defects.

The best way to get enough folic acid is to take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day and eat healthy foods.

Folate can be found in leafy green vegetables, fruits, beans and meat. Enriched grain products like pasta, cereals and breads have been fortified with folic acid.