Foods High in Folic Acid

Updated on November 19th, 2019
foods high in folic acid

Folic acid is a form of folate, a water-soluble B-vitamin, where the folate occurs naturally in food, while folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin. It is especially important for women who are going to get pregnant or are already pregnant.

On average, a woman needs 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This count is double for pregnant women. The low blood levels of folate are prevented and treated by using folic acid.

Folic acid is important for the body as it keeps the blood healthy by assisting in the formation and growth of red blood cells.

Pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy in the near future need it most essentially, as folic acid helps in protecting unborn children against neural tube defects and even helps sustain a pregnancy.

Apart from folate, foods high in folic acid can prove to be highly beneficial in overcoming a folic acid deficiency.

Did You Know?

Folic acid is a B vitamin that the body uses to make DNA

7 Foods High in Folic Acid

Instead of relying completely on folic acid supplements, it is always better to go the natural way by including foods that contain folate in your daily diet. Some of the sources of folate are:

1. Eggs

eggs benefits

Why does it help?

Eggs come loaded with protein, riboflavin(1), selenium and vitamin B12. They are a rich source of folate, with about 6% of the RDI in just one large egg.

How to use and how much to use?

Folate intake can be boosted by just including a few servings of egg in your daily diet every week. Remember, one large egg contains 23.5 mcg of folate, which is sufficient to meet your folic acid needs if eaten regularly.

[ Read: How Many Eggs a Day Is Considered Healthy ]

2. Green leafy vegetables

Why does it help?

Green leafy vegetables like arugula, spinach, kale, etc. are highly rich in many vitamins and minerals, including folate. They are low in calories and rich in fibre too. One cup of spinach (30 grams) can make up for 15% of the RDI.

How to use and how much to use?

Including green leafy vegetables to your everyday meals, both during lunch and dinner time can add drastically to your folate levels. For example, one cup (so grams) of spinach provides 58.2 mcg of folate to the human body.

[ Read: Benefits of Green Leafy Vegetables ]

3. Broccoli


Why does it help?

Broccoli is well known for its multiple health benefits. It consists of a beneficial plant compound that is extremely useful in supplying folate to the body and also in terms of its anti-cancer properties.

How to use and how much to use?

Broccoli can be eaten in its raw as well as cooked form. Where raw broccoli (91 grams) provides 57 mcg of folate to the body, cooked broccoli, in any form, contains even more folate. A half-cup serving of cooked broccoli can provide 21% of the RDI or 84 mcg of folate.

[ Read: Health Benefits of Broccoli ]

4. Avocadoes

Why does it help?

The creamy texture and buttery flavor of avocados are an excellent source of folate(2), along with many other important nutrients. They are highly rich in heart-healthy mono-saturated fats and folate, potassium, vitamins K, C, and B too.

How to use and how much to use?

One-half of a raw avocado contains 82 mcg of folate and can make up for 21% of RDI of folate required for the human body.

[ Read: Benefits of Avocado ]

5. Citrus fruits

Citrus Fruits

Why does it help?

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes are extremely rich in folate and Vitamin C, which help boost immunity and even aid in preventing many diseases.

How to use and how much to use?

At least one or more citrus fruits should be eaten every day to make up for the folate levels required for a healthy living. Having one single large orange on a daily basis can make for 14% of the RDI, as it contains 55 mcg of folate.

[ Read: Goodness Of Citrus Fruits ]

6. Nuts and Seeds

nuts and seeds for better health

Why does it help?

Nuts and seeds are good sources of folate, are rich in protein, contain lots of fiber, and are rich in minerals and vitamins that the body needs to keep healthy.

How to use and how much to use?

Incorporating nuts in your everyday diet can help in meeting your daily requirement for folate. However, the amount of folate content in each type of nut may vary. While one ounce of walnuts contains 28 mcg of folate and makes up for 7% of the RDI, the same serving of flaxseeds consists of 24 mcg of folate and makes up for 6% of the RDI.

[ Read: Nuts and Seeds for Diet ]

7. Beetroot

Why does it help?

Beetroots are well known not just for their flush of color but also for important nutrients like potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C. They are a great source of nitrate and folate as well. Their micronutrient content provides many health benefits, including the lowering of systolic blood pressure.

How to use and how much to use?

Including beetroots as a raw salad or in a cooked state in your daily meals can provide a considerable amount of folate to the body. One cup of raw beetroot (136 grams) contains about 148 mcg of folate, which makes up for 37% of the RDI.

When considering foods high in folic acid for pregnancy, and even otherwise, there are many options available in our everyday diet, which can provide sufficient micronutrients required for the same. A variety of healthy foods like citrus fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts, are a convenient way of including and increasing folate intake in one’s daily regime.

[ Read: Benefits of Beetroot Juice ]

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