YAKIMA, Wa. -- Dietitians are advising pregnant women to add folic acid to your diet to help prevent birth defects.
This week is National Folic Acid Awareness Week which is why Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is stressing the importance of folic acid in a healthy pregnancy.
A study shows from 2010 to 2016 Benton, Franklin and Yakima County had around 64 cases of birth defected pregnancies.
YVFWC Senior Director of Quality Lori Kelley says Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is necessary for proper cell growth and can prevent up to 70 percent of some serious birth defects of the brain and spine.
“There’s lots of ways to get folic acid without taking the supplement, for individuals who are not of child barring age, including through their diet, you might take in more green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits or fortified cereals, grains," said Kelley.
National experts say women need folic acid even if they are not planning to become pregnant.
Women are encouraged to visit their clinic and speak with a dietitian about ways to add folic acid to your diet.