Fruits That Contain Folic Acid

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Fruits That Contain Folic Acid is known to have a number of health benefits, including the prevention of life-threatening birth defects. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and in fruits. Why are fruits good for you? As well as being rich in vitamins and minerals, fruits can also provide other essential nutritional benefits such as helping you to manage your weight

Foods High In Folic Acid To Include In Your Diet

A diet including these foods ensures that your body gets its daily dose of this vital nutrient.

All of us want sound health. Of course, the right foods and adequate sleep and exercise play a major role in keeping us healthy.

But have you ever considered foods rich in folic acid? Folic acid is one of the major nutrients that play a vital role in bodily functions.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much attention, and many are unaware of its health benefits.

Learn more about folic acid, why it is important, and the foods rich in this nutrient. Continue reading.

Top 14 Foods Rich In Folic Acid

Folate – A Brief

Most of us would have probably heard of folate a number of times. But what is it? What has it got to do with our being healthy?

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin. It is naturally present in some foods, added to certain others, and also available in the form of supplements. This vitamin is vital for cell growth and metabolism

Now, the vital question – we can consume folic acid through supplements, right? Why rely on natural foods? Both are same anyway, aren’t they? Before I answer this question, there is something else you must know.

Folate Vs Folic Acid

We have seen what folate is. But what about folic acid? Well, both are one and the same – except for a distinct difference.

Folate and folic acid are the different forms of vitamin B9. Only that folate is the natural form of vitamin B9. Folic acid, on the other hand, is the synthetic form of vitamin B9. It is used in supplements and added to certain food products like breakfast cereals or flour.

The digestive system converts folate into the biologically active form of vitamin B9, called 5-MTHF. But this is not the case with folic acid. Folic acid is converted into 5-MTHF in the liver or other tissues, and not in the digestive system. Which is partially why the process is not as efficient. Other factors include those who have genetic mutations in the enzyme that converts folic acid to 5-MTHF, which results in reduced activity of this enzyme and conversion process.  Hence, when you take a folic acid supplement, the body may take more time to convert it into 5-MTHF, allowing the unmetabolized, folic acid to accumulate

This is where the actual problem arises. Even a small dose of 200 mcg of folic acid a day may not get completely metabolized until the next dose. This can result in higher levels of unmetabolized folic acid in the bloodstream, which can cause a variety of symptoms and side-effects in some individuals such as depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and sleep disturbances.

This is where we answer the question we asked before. When it is folate (naturally occurring), there is no question of it going unmetabolized. Of course, it’s natural. It is metabolized in the digestive system. Hence, no complications.

Now that we have seen which form of folate is better, let’s take a look at the best folic acid rich foods.  It’s important to note that when we discuss “folic acid” from natural food sources, the form of vitamin B9 is typically methyl-folate or folinic acid (calcium folinate), another natural form of folate.

14 Foods High in Folic Acid

1. Broccoli

Serving size – 1 cup chopped (91 g)

A single serving of broccoli contains 57.3 mcg of folate. This meets 14% of the daily value of the vitamin. Apart from this, broccoli is also rich in vitamins A and K.

Vitamin A is vital for maintaining skin and teeth health. It also plays a role in producing pigments in the retina of the eye. Broccoli contains carotenoids that act as antioxidants. Vitamin K helps prevent osteoporosis and inflammation

2. Pinto Beans

Serving size – 1 cup (193 g)

One serving of pinto beans contains a whopping 1,013 mcg of folate. It has 670 calories, but negligible saturated fat.

Pinto beans are also rich in potassium. According to a study conducted by Purdue University, USA, optimum potassium consumption is linked to decreased risk of stroke 

3. Seeds And Nuts

Serving size for flaxseeds – 1 cup, whole (168 g)
Serving size for sunflower seeds – 1 cup, with hulls (46 g)
Serving size for almonds – 1 cup, ground (95 g)

Seeds like flaxseeds (146 mcg per serving) and sunflower seeds (104 mcg per serving), or nuts like almonds (48 mcg per serving) are rich in folate. You can simply consume these raw or add them to your salad for a healthy dose of folate.

Flaxseeds are also rich in manganese and other vitamins, all of which support your immune and nervous systems, bones, and several other bodily processes

Sunflower seeds and almonds are also rich in vitamin E that promotes healthy skin and eyes

4. Asparagus

Serving size – 1 cup (134 g)

A single serving of asparagus contains about 70 mcg of folate. It contains just 27 calories, though a large portion of these calories comes from sugars.

Asparagus also is an excellent source of iron and riboflavin. Iron is required to produce hemoglobin, an essential part of the blood cells that sustain life. Riboflavin plays a major role in folate metabolism

5. Yeast Extract Spread

Serving size – 1 tsp (6 g)

One serving of yeast extract spread has 60.6 mcg of folate. Though high in sodium, it contains just about 9 calories. You can use it with toast, crackers, or even sandwiches. Use just a little of the spread as it has a strong taste.

Another major compound the yeast extract spread contains is niacin, which, according to an American study, has shown to lower the levels of bad cholesterol

6. Liver

Serving size – 28 g

If you are a non-vegetarian, this could be great news for you. Both beef liver (81.2 mcg per serving) and chicken liver (165 mcg per serving) contain good amounts of folate.

They are also are excellent sources of selenium, which has been found to prevent various types of cancer and muscle and heart disorders. But one thing has to be kept in mind – eat liver in moderation as it also contains trans fat and cholesterol.

7. Herbs

Serving size for rosemary – 1 tbsp (2 g)
Serving size for basil – 2 tbsp, chopped (5 g)

Certain herbs like rosemary and basil are good sources of folate. One serving of rosemary and basil provides 1.6 mcg and 3.6 mcg of folate respectively.

A study conducted in Jammu and Kashmir, India, states the efficacy of herbs, especially basil, in treating hypertension

8. Avocados

Serving size – 1 cup, cubes (150 g)

Who wouldn’t love to binge on an avocado! A single serving of the fruit offers about 122 mcg of folate. Additionally, avocados are also rich in vitamin C that displays cardioprotective properties in smokers and obese or overweight individuals. Also, the phytochemicals in avocados pack a powerful punch.

9. Soybeans

Serving size – 1 cup (186-256 g)

Mature soybean seeds contain 697 mcg of folate while green soybeans 422 mcg of folate per serving. They are high in calories – one serving of soybeans contains 376 calories.

Soybeans are also an excellent source of protein. As per a study conducted by the University of South Carolina, soybean protein reduces the concentrations of bad cholesterol. It also positively influences the bone and calcium balance in postmenopausal women.

10. Arugula

Serving size – 1 leaf (2 g)

One serving of arugula contains 1.9 mcg of folate. This food is extremely low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Being a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, it is replete with numerous benefits.

11. Black-Eyed Peas

Serving size – 1 cup (172 g)

One serving of black-eyed peas contains about 358 mcg of folate. In addition, the food is also low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium.

12. Bananas

Serving size – 1 cup, mashed (225 g)

A serving of banana contains 45 mcg of folate, which is 11% of the daily value of the vitamin. Bananas are also rich sources of vitamin B6, which helps the body prepare antibodies to fight numerous diseases. The vitamin also helps maintain normal nerve function and keeps the blood sugar within normal limits.

13. Tomatoes

Serving size – 1 cup (149 g)

One serving of tomatoes contains about 22 mcg of folate. Tomatoes are also low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. They are excellent sources of carotenoids, like beta-carotene and lycopene, which exhibit antioxidant and antitumor properties.

14. Chilli Powder

Serving size – 1 tbsp (8 g)

For us Indians, our food probably is incomplete without a dash of chilli powder. Which is good in a way, as one tablespoon of chilli powder contains 7.5 mcg of folate. Chili boosts metabolism, digestive function, and may reduce the risk of metabolic syndromes like diabetes, hypertension, and stroke

What Foods Contain Folic Acid?

Folic acid natural sources

The word folic acid is derived from foliage. Folic acid is commonly found in dark green and leafy vegetables such as:

  • spinach
  • asparagus
  • romaine lettuces
  • turnip greens
  • dried or fresh beans and peas, etc.

Food containing folic acid - Celery, arugula, avocado, Brussels sprouts, basil, cucumber romaine salad. Image Credit: Komarina / Shutterstock

Food containing folic acid – Celery, arugula, avocado, Brussels sprouts, basil, cucumber romaine salad. Image Credit: Komarina / Shutterstock

Other sources of this vitamin include:

  • sunflower seeds
  • avocados
  • peanuts
  • orange juice
  • canned pineapple juice
  • cantaloupe
  • honeydew melon
  • grapefruit juice
  • banana
  • raspberry
  • papaya
  • grapefruit
  • strawberry
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • corn
  • tomato juice
  • vegetable juice
  • Brussels sprouts
  • wheat germ
  • bok choy etc.

Food containing folic acid / vitamin B9, dietary fiber, natural minerals and folic acid. Image Credit: ratmaner / Shutterstock

Folic acid in fortified foods

Folic acid is also found in fortified foods such as flour, pasta, cereal, bread. Breakfast cereals, for example, are fortified with 25% to 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folic acid.

Certain countries have mandatory fortification of grains with folic acid. In these places fortified products make up a significant source of the population’s folic acid intake.

To make the intake of folates universal and to standardize intake of folates a dietary folate equivalent (DFE) system was established. 1 DFE is defined as 1 μg of dietary folate, or 0.6 μg of folic acid supplement. This is reduced to 0.5 μg of folic acid if the supplement is taken on an empty stomach.

Folic acid supplements

Folic acid is commonly administered as pills or supplements as well. This is required in conditions where the daily need for the vitamin exceeds that provided in regular diet. Some of these conditions include pregnancy, breast feeding mothers, those with inflammatory bowel disease, HIV, those on anticancer drugs and other drugs that interfere with folate absorption and utilization.

Nature of folic acid found in foods

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin. It is thus lost on open boiling and cooking. Folic acid is susceptible to high heat and UV rays as well. It is heat labile in acidic environments and may also be subject to oxidation.

 Folic Acid Rich Foods, Fruits & Vegetables Good For Your Health

A healthy body is essential for a good quality of life. However, folate is a crucial nutrient that’s very often overlooked. This water-soluble type of Vitamin B is vital for RBC’S formation & development of the fetus. Therefore, it is indispensable to have a diet plentiful in Folic Acid Rich Foods. Read this article to learn about yummy foods with good folate content and some unique recommendations to improve your health.

Folic Acid Rich Foods

10 Healthy Folic Acid Foods

Food is a crucial source of energy & nutrient. Folate (Vitamin B9) deficiency in the body can cause tiredness, anemia, temporary infertility, etc. Additionally, folate is vital for maternal health. Luckily, there are many delicious Folic Acid Rich Foods that you can eat for better fitness. So, read on!

1. Eggs

This poultry product has incredible health benefits. Fortunately, eggs have an excellent folic acid profile. What’s even better is that they’re readily available! Therefore, you can easily include them in your diet.

Nutritional Fact – 60 g (one egg) contains about 40–86 µg of folate.

Health Benefit –

  1. Eggs are rich in antioxidants & folic acids, and this can improve your overall immunity. 
  2. Moreover, folic acid in eggs can help with managing tiredness.

Serving Suggestion – Why not have a hard-boiled egg & toast for a healthy breakfast?

2. Beef liver

Beef liver is one of the most incredible foods high in folic acid. It is one of the most concentrated sources of folic acid on our list! It is also rich in essential amino acids, copper, vitamin A, etc. Isn’t that awesome?

Nutritional Fact – 85g (Cooked serving) of beef liver contains about 212 µg of folate.

Health Benefit –

  1.  The good folic acid content in the beef liver can be good for your skin health.
  2. For men, folic acids in beef can help improve fertility.

Serving Suggestion – Have a delectable pan-fried beef liver curry with brown rice.
Caution – Health experts suggest eating just 1 serving of beef liver per week for good health.

3. Lentils

Lentils, commonly called “Daals” are delicious & have a strong nutrient profile. They are available in many varieties and colors, so why not spice up your food habit by including them in your diet? Also, they are readily available and quick to cook, which is a relief!

Nutritional Fact – 100g of lentils contains around 181μg (45% DV) folate.

Health Benefit –

  1.  Excellent folic amounts in lentils can help prevent anemia.
  2. Folate in daals can help with uncomfortable bloating issues.

Serving Suggestion – You can eat delicious lentil fry & basmati rice for a good meal.

4. Sunflower Seeds

Yes, crunchy sunflower seeds are also on our list of folic acid rich foods. In addition to their rich folate content, they make a good light snack! Moreover, they are also high in healthy fatty acids that may improve your overall health.

Nutritional Fact – 100g of Sunflower seeds kernel contains 227 µg (37% DV) of folic acid.

Also Read:-

Health Benefit –

  1.  Plentiful folic acids in delicious sunflower seeds can give you energy throughout the day!
  2. The rich folic acid content in the seeds can help protect against DNA damage.

Serving Suggestion – Add some sunflower seeds to your quinoa!

5. Chilli Powder

For us Indians, no dish is complete without adding some spicy chili powder! It brings a hearty flavor & color to the dishes. But, did you know that it is also high in folic acid? Yes! Moreover, it is also rich in body-building proteins & fiber.

Nutritional Fact – Just 1 tsp of chili powder contains 7.5 µg of folic acid!

Health Benefit –

  1.  Folic acids in chili powder can help RBC production in the body. 
  2. The excellent folic acid content in chili powder can sharpen your memory!

Serving Suggestion – Spice up your poha by adding some chili powder!

6. Sesame Seeds / Til

Interestingly these nutritious sesame seeds also make a great addition to our Folic Acid Foods List! You might find sesame seeds in your burger buns, but they have an excellent folic acid content. Furthermore, they are bountiful in healthy fats and proteins.

Nutritional Fact – 100 g of sesame seeds has a folic acid content of 97 µg.

Health Benefit –

  1. The folic acid in sesame seeds can be essential for pregnant women.
  2. The suitable folic acid content in sesame seeds can help improve sleep quality.

Serving Suggestion – Sprinkle in some sesame seeds in your salad for an incredible meal.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are crunchy nuts that are available annually. They have a hard outer shell and a soft inner fruit. One can easily include them into their diet as they are very nutritious & easily available.

Nutritional Fact – 100 g of Walnuts has a folic acid content of 98 µg.

Health Benefit– Good folate content in walnuts can help regulate blood pressure.

Serving Suggestion– Add some crunchy to your salad with walnuts!

8. Rajma / Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are known as “Rajma” in Hindi. Rajma chawal (rice) is a very popular curry dish in northern India. Its color ranges from brown to red. Out of all varieties, Kashmiri rajma is one of the best types of rajma available in India?

Nutritional Fact:- 1 cup of Kidney beans contains 131 mcg of folate.

Health Benefit:- Plentiful folate content in kidney beans can improve eye health.

Serving Suggestion:- Why not devour a healthy plate of low-calorie rajma chawal?

9. Peanuts

Peanuts are extremely healthy nuts. They are Mostly grown in tropics & subtropical regions. These nuts are extremely versatile as they can be used to extract oil, peanut butter, or can be consumed raw.

Nutritional Fact – 146 g of peanuts contains about 359.16 ug

Health Benefit:- Folic acid in peanuts may improve cardiovascular health.

Serving Suggestion:- Add some crunchy peanuts to muesli for a healthy breakfast

10. Fortified Cereals

They are basically commercially made cereal that has extra nutrients added to them. Their purpose is to boost overall health. They have rich folate, calcium, and iron content.

Nutritional Fact – ½ – 1 ½ cup of fortified cereal has a folic acid content of 100 to 400 mcg.

Health Benefit – Ample folic acid in fortified cereals may improve brain health.

Serving Suggestion – Add some milk to your cereal for a hearty breakfast!

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