Folic acid’s key role is to make new cells by helping produce genetic material, DNA and RNA. That’s why folic acid is so important during periods of rapid cell growth, like pregnancy. Folate also acts in red blood cells and might protect against developing heart disease and breast cancer.
Insufficient levels of folic acid can be a reason of many serious health issues such as high risk of cervical, colon, brain, and lung cancer. That’s why it is recommended for women of childbearing age consume at least 400 mcg of folate daily. Pregnant women or those who are planning to become pregnant should have up to 600 mcg each day.
Here are top 7 foods that contain folic acid:
- Pulses, including lentils (179 mcg per half-cup serving) and chickpeas (121 mcg per can).
- Raw spinach (58 mcg per cup).
- Cooked broccoli (84 mcg per half-cup).
- Asparagus (70 mcg per cup).
- Avocado (54 mcg per serving).
- Eggs (24 mcg per egg).
- Peanuts (175 mcg per half-cup).
According to a recent study, singing in a group may significantly help new mothers to recover from postnatal depression.
For their study, a team of scientists analyzed data of 134 new mothers received during the first forty weeks of motherhood. The women were divided into three groups dedicated to different workshops. One of the workshops included such activities as listening and learning new songs, as well as creating them.
Lead researcher Dr Rosie Perkins from the Centre for Performance Science in London, says: “Postnatal depression is debilitating for mothers and their families, yet our research indicates that for some women something as accessible as singing with their baby could help to speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives.”
A recent study from the Sichuan University in China finds that work at night shifts connected to the increased risk of cancer in women.
For the research, a team of scientists conducted a meta-analysis of 61 studies that in total included 3,909,152 participants from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and more than 114,000 cancer cases.
The researchers discovered that women engaged in long-term night shift work had 41% higher risk of skin cancer, 32% higher risk of breast cancer, and 18% higher risk of gastrointestinal cancer.
Study co-author Xuelei Ma, Ph.D., says: “Our study indicates that night shift work serves as a risk factor for common cancer in women. These results might help establish and implement effective measures to protect female night shifters. Long-term night shift workers should have regular physical examinations and cancer screenings.”
A new research from the UK has discovered a link between the higher risk of stillbirth and a common sleep position adding to the growing body of evidence that mothers to be should try sleeping on side during the last trimester.
For the research, a team of scientists interviewed 1024 women from 41 maternity hospitals across the UK and found that 291 of them had a stillbirth late in pregnancy.
Lead study author Alexander Heazell, an obstetrician at Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre, University of Manchester, says: “Stillbirth is devastating, with long-lasting effects on bereaved parents. Parents want to know why their baby has died, whether it might happen again if they try for another baby and what they can do to avoid further stillbirth. We believe that identifying, and avoiding, risk factors that are strongly associated with stillbirth will reduce the number of babies who are stillborn.”
A new study, conducted by a team of researchers lead by Dr. Hongchao Pan of University of Oxford, has found that breast cancer can return after remaining dormant for 15 years after the successful treatment.
For the study, the scientists analyzed data the progress of 63,000 women for 20 years. All of them had the most common form of breast cancer.
Lead researcher Dr. Hongchao Pan says: “It is remarkable that breast cancer can remain dormant for so long and then spread many years later, with this risk remaining the same year after year and still strongly related to the size of original cancer and whether it had spread to the (lymph) nodes.”