Top 31 Folic Acid Rich Foods
Folic acid is essentially a source of the vitamin B complex, which is a man-made form of the complex vitamin folate. Folate and folic acid are sometimes considered to be synonymous but they are actually quite different when it comes to their metabolic function and efficiency.
Folic acid is most important for women, mostly pregnant women (1). It has been found that if women consumed the optimum level of folic acid per day, then nearly 70% of all the neural tube defects could be avoided (2).
The recommended dietary allowance per day for a pregnant woman above the age of 19 is 600 microgram and that of a breastfeeding mother is 500 microgram (3).
Folic acid is also important for men and children. In this post, we have discussed folic acid rich foods which are easily available and healthy.
Why is Folic Acid Important for your Body?
There are many reasons why folic acid is important for the body.
It is very important in cellular growth and has been identified as the most important and underestimated micronutrient (4). There have also been research studies that have shown a connection between the lack of folic acid to certain mental disorders like depression (5).
As a source of vitamin B9, folic acid also performs a lot of different essential functions like nucleotide synthesis in cells, DNA synthesis, and red blood creation (6).
Folic acid in association with calcium and iron has been considered the holy trinity of prenatal health. Deficiency of folic acid may cause significant underdevelopment of the child’s mental development (7). Intake of folic acid rich foods prevents these complications.
Have a look at this informative video about foods rich in folic acid
31 Folic Acid Rich Foods
Folic acid food sources are cereals, seasonal vegetables, fruits, dry fruits. Here is folic acid containing food list.
1. Breakfast Cereals
Cereals are the easiest way to achieve the folic acid need of your body. All the varieties of breakfast cereals are composed of around 100 to 400 micrograms of folic acid. You should, however, be careful enough to read the nutritional label before buying a pack of cereals to ensure maximum intake of folic acid. Other such grain products that are folic acid rich foods are rice pasta, bread, rice, and instant oatmeal.
Broccoli is a great detoxifying agent. Half a cup of serving of broccoli provides around 52 micrograms of folic acid which is about 13% of an average adult’s daily quota of folic acid need. This vegetable can be easily added to salads or pasta and is also really low in calories too.
Beans are not only healthy but also extremely affordable. They provide plenty of folic acid to pregnant women, which is necessary for the baby’s development.
All kinds of beans, namely, black beans, cooked lentils, navy, soy, and kidney are all important sources of folic acid. Beans add 46 micrograms of folic acid in a ½ cup serving of it.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds give a healthy dose of folic acid. Just ¼ cup of sunflower contains almost 82 micrograms of folic acid whereas 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds contain as much as 54 micrograms of folate.
These seeds provide us also with beneficial fats and also vitamins like vitamin A and E, along with a heavy dose of omega-3 fatty acid and other cancer-preventing lignans. You can add a handful of these to your salads and cereals too.
Asparagus is one of the most nutritious foods of all times. This vegetable is also low in calories and has a considerable amount of medicinal benefits.
Four stalks of asparagus provide around 90 micrograms of folic acid. Asparagus spears contain vitamin A, C, K as well as manganese.
6. Yeast Extracts Spread
Yeast extract foods are salty and savory. They can be spread on crackers, sandwiches or even toasts. 1 teaspoon of yeast extract spread contains around 61 micrograms of folic acid and has only 9 calories.
Turkey and beef liver are both good sources of folic acid. Only a 100g of turkey has around 690 micrograms of folic acid. However, 3 pounds of beef consists around 215 micrograms of folate.
A pregnant woman can have just one serving of beef liver to meet the entire recommended daily value of folic acid. A simple way to incorporate folic acid in the meal is to add it in stuffing or make soups out of it.
8. Dried Spearmint
Mints not only add flavor to the mouth but also a great source of vitamins and minerals. A tablespoon of dried spearmint consists of 3% of the daily recommended amount of folic acid. Spearmint can simply be added to green tea, water or even lemonade.
Avocadoes are considered to be a super fruit, and a single serving of this fruit is good enough to meet the daily needs of folic acid.
You can add avocado to your salads and sandwiches to render them even tastier.
Bananas can be consumed at any time in the days and turning them into fresh smoothies is a great way of reaching your daily needs of folic acid. It is one of the best post-workout foods.
11. Tomato Juice
If you are trying really hard to incorporate folic acid into the diet, the best way is to drink up some tomato juice.
A 6 ounce serving of tomato juice has around 36 micrograms of folic acid. You can add some pepper or Tabasco to make the tomato juice even tastier.
12. Chilli Powder
If you are a fan of spicy food, getting folic acid in your body is no task at all. Only a teaspoon of this spice contains around 2 micrograms of folic acid.
Besides folic acid, chili powder is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.
One small papaya contains up to 58 micrograms folic acid which is around 14% of the daily value. Papaya also provides you with vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphorus as well as potassium.
Papaya can be incorporated in both sweet and savory dishes.
As it is commonly known, orange is a great source of vitamin C. But, it is not the only reason for the inclusion of this fruit in your diet. Orange is also very high in folic acid. It is an excellent fruit for glowing skin.
A medium-size orange contains about 29 micrograms of folic acid. You can also use orange juice for the purpose of meeting the daily recommended value of folic acid, in this case, a ¾ cup of orange juice consists of around 35 micrograms of folic acid.
15. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, collard, arugula, turnip greens, and lettuce. These are undoubtedly the healthiest food available on the planet. You can add any of these in your diet to get a boost in your folic acid level.
A single serving of these greens is enough to provide you with the daily need of the folic acid. A serving of spinach gives you 26 micrograms of folic acid, whereas a plate of collard greens gives you 177 micrograms of folic acid and turnip greens provide 170 micrograms of folic acid.
16. Brussels Sprouts
These little vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrients. Besides folic acids, they also contain potassium, important vitamins and manganese which are all very essential for the normal functioning of the body.
One cup of Brussels sprouts provides you with 25% of the daily input of folic acid. This vegetable is also very important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and is a great antioxidant. They also make bowel movement smooth and avoids bloating.
Cauliflower is not only a great source of folic acid but is also a great source of vitamin C. Just a cup of cauliflower contains 55 micrograms of folic acid. You can add these foods full of folic acid with any other preparation for a nutritious meal.
The nutritional benefits of squash are undeniable. It contains an unparallel amount of vitamins and minerals. Summer and winter squash are both great sources of nutrition.
Just a cup of winter squash provides 57 micrograms of folic acid whereas a cup of summer squash contains 36 micrograms of folic acid.
Beets are best known for their role as a liver cleanser. It is a good detoxifying agent and also gives a boost to the immune system. Beets are very well known for their high content of folic acid. Consuming a cup of boiled bets contains 13 micrograms of folate.
This fruit is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C and also folate. ¾ cups of cantaloupe provides you with 25 micrograms of folic acid. While purchasing a cantaloupe, you should make sure that it makes a hollow sound when tapped and it has no bruises or soft spots.
Considered as an extremely slimy vegetable, okra is also highly nutritious. Okra cleans up the digestive tract as well as supplies the body with a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. Half a cup of cooked okra contains up to 103 micrograms of folic acid.
To strip the corn out of the cob is quite a hassle but it is absolutely worth the hard work.
Corn contains abundant folic acid, almost 34 micrograms in a cooked cup of it. It is always advised to use the fresh corn rather than the canned variety. It also helps to burn belly fat.
Celery is widely popular because it helps with kidney stones. Little do people know that it is also a great source of folic acid.
Just a single cup of raw celery provides your body with 36 micrograms of folate, which is about 95% of the recommended value of daily intake.
Carrots are always available in your pantry. This is widely versatile and can be prepared in a number of ways.
Just a cup of raw carrots provides the body with about 5% of the daily recommended value of folic acid need. You can add these vegetables to your salad or simply snack on baby carrots for a boost in folate.
Herbs like rosemary and basil are rich sources of folic acid. 1 tablespoon of rosemary contains 1.6 micrograms of whereas 2 tablespoon of basil contains 3.6 micrograms of folic acid. These herbs are readily available and can be added as a dressing or flavoring agent to our pasta and pizzas.
In a study conducted in Jammu and Kashmir of India, has shown the effect of basil in treating hypertension.
Mature soybeans contain around 697 micrograms of folate in a serving. They are also an excellent source of protein. Soybeans are one of the best and easily available folic acid rich foods
Lentils are an excellent source of folic acid. A cup of lentils contains 920 micrograms of folic acid.
Besides this, they are also a rich source of protein and help to maintain a normal blood pressure level. This folic acid rich food can be stored throughout the year.
This citrus fruit is a great source of vitamin C and also provides with a ton of folic acid. A single grapefruit consists of about 40 micrograms of folic acid which is about 8% of the daily recommended value.
A special mention must be made of almonds when it comes to the high folic acid content in them. A cup of almonds contains 54 micrograms of folic acid. Almonds can be garnished over any dessert to increase the nutritive value of it. They are one of the best folic acid rich foods.
Strawberries are an all-time favorite fruit that is added in desserts. A cup of this fun fruit contains about 40 micrograms of folate which is about 6.5% of the daily recommended value of folate. Nature has provided us with natural sources of folic acid throughout the year.
31. Mustard Greens
The health benefits of green vegetables are limitless. Mustard greens are another such green leafy vegetable that has a folic acid content of 103 micrograms in just a cup of it, which accounts for 26% of the daily value. It is a rich source of folic acid.
Folic acid supplements are also readily available in the market, but these fresh and organic foods are undoubtedly the best sources of not just folic acid but also many other nutrients.