State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
Get the "B" Attitude
Why you need Folic Acid
What is Folic Acid?
Folic Acid is a B vitamin. Women's diets are often lacking enough of this very important vitamin.
Why Do You Need Folic Acid?
- To prevent birth defects, if taken before becoming pregnant.
- To help a baby's brain and spine grow properly during the first months of pregnancy.
- It may prevent some cancers and heart disease.
Folic Acid also may be called Folate or Folacin on food labels.
How To Add Folic Acid To Your Diet?
- Take a multivitamin pill each day that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid. This may be shown on the label as 400 mcg.
- Eat foods that are high in folic acid.
- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Take 400 micrograms of the B Vitamin Folic Acid everyday.
Foods Rich in Folic Acid
Choose fruits and vegetables you enjoy eating from this list. They are good sources of folic acid. It is very important for you to eat fruits and vegetables every day.
Foods with Added Folic Acid
Enriched grain foods, such as rice, breads, corn meal, corn grits, and pasta have folic acid added to them. Look for folic acid listed on the label.
Beans and Peas
Choose pinto, navy, black-eyed peas, lentils, great northern, black, chick peas, and split peas. Check food labels if possible.
Chicken and beef livers are also very high in folic acid.
Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Folic Acid
- Brussel Sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Green Peas
- Lima Beans
- Mixed Greens
- Orange Juice
- Pineapple Juice
For more information:
Call or visit your Illinois Department of Human Services' Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).
If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:
You may speak to a representative between:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday (except state holidays)
For answers to your questions, you may also write:
Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer Support and Services
100 South Grand Avenue East, 2nd floor
Springfield, Illinois 62762
Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us
You can also contact:
March of Dimes
111 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, Illinois 60604
web site: www.modimes.org
Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.
DHS 4758 (R-04-15) "B" Attitude - Folic Acid
Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.
4,200 copies P.O.# 15-1778