Folate, B9 in the B vitamins group, is found naturally in many types of foods. Folic acid is thesynthetic version of folateand is mostly available in fortified vitamins and cereals. Folic acid supplements are also available to help you boost your levels of this important vitamin.

The body can easily absorb folic acid than folate, which is the natural version. This type of vitamin helps make red and white blood cells, breaks down carbohydrates into energy, and develops RNA andDNA. Having enough folate is important for phasesinvolving rapid growth, such as pregnant women, infants, and adolescents. So, what are these foods that are high in folic acid?

Food rich in folic acid

Dark leafy greens

Most dark leafy greens contain high concentrations of folate. Raw spinach, a giant when it comes to nutrients, will provide your body with 58mcg in only one serving cup.A half-cup of cooked version will provide131mcg of folate. Boiled mustard greens will contain 52mcg in half a cup, while raw collards will give you 46.4mcg in one cup.

Beef liver

The liver is known to be beneficial in many ways. While most types of meat are low in folate, the liver is one of the richest sources available. On top of enriching you with 215mcg of folate in a serving of 3 ounces, it’ll also give you a proper amount of proteins, copper, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B12. It’ll be wise to replace meat in your diet with liver.


Legumes provide the body with a decent amount of folate, and different types provide different amounts. Apart from offering vitamin B9, peas, lentils, and beans are also great sources of proteins, fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, and iron. With only half a cup of kidney beans, you’ll get 46mcg of folate. Black-eyed peas have 105 mcg, while a half cup of peas contains47mcg.


 Asparagus offers many essential nutrients. Folate being one of them, four spears can give you 89mcg, and you can get more nutrients if you consume more. In addition, this vegetable offers anti-inflammatory and antibacterial abilities.


This vegetable is the body’s savior when it comes to providing vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A. But what is more magical with it is its richness in folate. With 1 cup of raw broccoli, you’ll get 57mcg amount. The content is even more when you take a cooked version which, through half a cup, you’ll get 84mcg.


Citrus fruits never miss in the list when it’s something to do with vitamins. Oranges and their counterparts are greatly known for their large concentration of Vitamin C. They’re also high in folate. You can get 39mcg of this vitamin with only one small orange. You can imagine how much more folate you’ll get if you increase the size and the number of fruits you’ll eat.


Banana is not helpful in potassium only. This fruit is a great pre-workout punch, high in carbohydrates, and a great source of folate. A medium-sized will provide 24mcg of folate.


Eggs are great breakfast foods, and adding them to your diet will always enrich your body with many important minerals and vitamins that’ll sustain your day.In addition to riboflavin, selenium, protein, and vitamin B12, one boiled egg will provide 22mcg of folate. A cup of egg yolk will contain355mcg.However, when it comes to eggs, you may have to be mindful of how much you’ll take. Despite being healthy, the yolks are high in cholesterol. If you have heart illnesses or watchful of the cholesterol in your body, you may have to limit the eggs you consume.

Other sources of folate and the content they provide in one cup include;

  • Lettuce 14mcg
  • Mushrooms 16mcg
  • Avocado 118mcg
  • Lentils 920mcg
  • Beans 784 mcg

What’s the recommended intake of folate?

Taking folate that is not enough can cause deficiency. Having too little of this vitamin can result in megaloblastic anemia and symptoms like irregular heart functions, poor concentration, fatigue, and changes in nails, skin, and hair. The recommended intake of folate varies, and it’s as follows;

  • Less than 6 months-65mcg
  • 7-12 months-80mcg
  • 1-3 years-150mcg
  • 4-8years-200mcg
  • 9-13 years-300mcg
  • Above 14years-400mcg
  • While pregnant-600mcg
  • While lactating-500mcg

Why do you need folate acid?

Like other Vitamin B types, folate is also water-soluble, meaning that it’s not stored in the body. Instead, the excess amount is excreted through urine. You’ll have to make sure you’re providing your body with it every day to stay protected from being deficient in this vitamin. The benefits of taking adequate folate include;

Healthy pregnancy-even though everyone needs folate, it’s more critical for pregnant women. It leads to a healthy pregnancy and prevents diseases like autism spectrum, anencephaly, andspina bifida.

Healthy heart-folate reduces levels of homocysteine, a compound that is associated with cardiovascular diseases. Intake of folic acid will reduce the chances of getting stroke and other heart illnesses.

Reducing depression-low intake of folate increases depression and affects the response to antidepressant treatment. Taking foods high in folate will help you have lower risks of depression and have a better response to antidepressants.

Lower cancer risks: Cancer is highly associated with low folate intake, especially breast, lung, pancreatic, esophageal, cervical, ovarian, and stomach cancer. However, some studies are still doubtful about the connection between the B9 vitamin and cancer. More research is needed to confirm this.

Who needs folic acid the most?

While everyone needs folic acid, some people may need it more than others. These individuals include; individuals with high alcohol consumption, pregnant women, people of childbearing age, individuals with poor nutrient absorption such as celiac disease, and persons with MTHFR polymorphism.

How will you know you need more folic acid?

You’ll become a folate-deficient if you don’t have enough concentration of B9 in your body. You may experience body weakness, headache, sores on the tongue and inside the mouth, and shortness of breath.


It’s necessary to supply your body with enough folic acid. You can get folate from foods rich in this vitamin or through taking supplements. It’s needed you maintain the proper amount of folic acid because it can badly interact with vitamin B12. Too much dose than what the body can manage will cause undesirable effects.

MS, Lund University, Sweden

Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.

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