15 Foods High In Folate – Best For Pregnant Mommies

There is a vitamin called Folate, a water-soluble vitamin, responsible for supporting the healthy division of cells. It also reduces the risk of a baby having congenital disabilities by promoting proper growth and development of the fetus, which is why pregnant mommies can benefit so much from folate-enriched foods. Folate is also found in fortified foods, and adults are recommended intake of up to 400 mcg every day to avoid folate-related deficiencies.

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15 Foods High In Folate

1. Legumes

If you’re not familiar with the term legumes, then you might know beans and peas, right? Those vegetables are considered legumes. There is no exact amount or measurement of folic acid or folate found in legumes. They vary in each type of bean or pea serving, but all legumes are a good source of folate.
A 177-gram or one cup of cooked kidney beans is already enough to satisfy the 33% of your RDI. This means that one cup of cooked kidney beans already has 131 mcg of folate. Cooked lentils also have a lot of folate in it. One cup has 358 mcg of folate, a whopping 90% of the RDI. Aside from folate, legumes can also provide you with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and many more.
NOTE: Legumes contain folate and other essential nutrients. It’s so concentrated that in one cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils, it contains 190% of the RDI. One cup with 177 grams of cooked kidney beans has an RDI 33%.

2. Asparagus

Asparagus is a great vegetable to eat since it has a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is very rich in folate, too. Half a cup of this vegetable can already fulfill 34% of folate RDI since it has 134 mcg of it. Being rich in antioxidants, asparagus can also help you with inflammation and bacteria. This can also fulfill 7% of your fiber needs in just one serving. It is one of the foods high in folate.

Source: pexels.com

3. Eggs

Aside from protein, selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, eggs also contain folate. You can boost your intake of folate with just one large egg as it already contains 23.5 mcg, which is 6% of RDI.
Prevent macular degeneration too by eating eggs as it contains two antioxidants named lutein and zeaxanthin. It reduces the risk of developing eye disorders.

4. Leafy Greens

Vegetables like kale and arugula are leafy greens low in calories yet packing a punch in fiber and vitamins and minerals. It richly contains vitamins K, A, and folate too.
A 30-gram cup of raw spinach has 15% RDI or 58.2 mcg of folate. Eating more of these veggies can also lower the risk of cancer and will reduce body inflammation.

5. Beets

Besides adding color to your dishes, beets also contain essential nutrients like manganese, potassium, vitamin C, and of course, folate.
A cup or 136 grams of raw beets can provide 37% of your RDI with 148 mcg of folate. Beets are also high in nitrates, a plant compound that gives a lot of health benefits too. Beetroot juice was shown to lower a person’s systolic blood pressure temporarily. And yes, it is one of the foods high in folate.

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6. Citrus Fruits

If you’re hungry, just snack on some citrus fruits like grapefruit to quench your hunger and also solve your folate problems. A large orange already contains 14% of your folate RDI as it has 55 mcg.
Since they are also rich in vitamin C, your immune system can also be boosted as vitamin c boosts immunity. Some studies showed that people who eat citrus fruits regularly have lower risks of stomach, breast, and pancreatic cancer.

7. Brussels Sprouts

Related to vegetables like kale and broccoli, Brussel sprouts are rich in various vitamins and minerals, especially in folate. A half-cup of 78-gram cooked Brussel sprouts already contain 12% of your RDI or has 47 mcg of folate. As mentioned also here at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-folate-folic-acid, it is a good source of kaempferol and antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and prevent cellular damage.

8. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in manganese, vitamins C, K, and A, and folate. One cup of raw broccoli weighing 91 grams is 14% of your RDI for folate. But when cooked, you can cut those in half and have half a cup of broccoli weighing 78 grams. The RDI for that will increase to 21% and 84 mcg of folate.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which has anti-cancer properties.

Source: flickr.com

9. Nuts and Seeds

Consider increasing your intake of nuts and seeds as they are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and folate. However, the amount of folate differs from the types of nuts and seeds. For walnuts, one ounce or 28 grams has 28 mcg of folate or 7% of the RDI. The same amount of flaxseeds has 24 mcg of folate or 6% of your RDI for folate.

10. Beef Liver

One of the best sources of folate is beef liver. It has 3 ounces or 85 grams of the cooked beef liver, which is 212 mcg of folate or around 54% of the RDI.
This food can also help you reach your RDI for vitamin A, B12, and copper. It is also high in protein, which is essential for an increase in enzymes, hormones, and tissue repairs, with 85 grams per serving.

11. Wheat Germ

Since it’s the embryo of a wheat kernel, this is often removed when milled. However, it has high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
One ounce or 28 grams of wheat germ already has 20% of the RDI for folate or 78.7 mcg. It can also fulfill your daily fiber needs as it can provide up to 16% of the RDI for fiber with the same serving.
Note: Fiber can promote regular bowel movement and regulate your blood sugar levels too.

12. Papaya

Found in tropical countries like Mexico and Central America, Papaya is not only full of flavor but also rich in nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids, and folate. A serving of this is 140 grams and consists of 13% of your RDI for folate at 53 mcg.

13. Bananas

Banana is considered a nutritional powerhouse due to its being high in many nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, and folate.
Since a medium serving of it already supplies 6% of the RDI for folate or 23.6 mcg, it’s best paired with other folate-rich foods. Eat it as a snack with some peanut butter for a boost in energy.

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14. Avocado

Extremely popular these days for its MUFAs or monounsaturated fats (the good kind of fats), avocados are not only tasty but also packed in many nutrients like folate, potassium, and vitamins K and C and as mentioned, MUFAs. MUFAs are good for the heart.
One-half serving of a raw avocado has 21% of your folate need for the day. That is 82 mcg of folate.

15. Fortified Grains

There are many kinds of grains; some examples are bread and rice. Most often, they are fortified to boost the folate content in them. This is a usual practice and a good thing at that since it increases the nutrient within. Fortified grains even has a higher amount of folate compared to natural veggies or fruits.

A study found how folate in foods like fruits and vegetables is only 78% bioavailable compared to folate or folic acid fortified foods. However, there is also research that says, breaking down the folic acid in fortified foods is more difficult. People can end up in having unmetabolized or unused folic acid.

To fix this, make sure to balance your consumption of fortified and natural foods. The folate amount depends on the product, but generally, one cup or 140 grams of cooked spaghetti can provide you 26% of the RDI or 102 mcg of folate.

Source: pxhere.com

The Bottom Line

To maximize folate intake, especially for pregnant mommies, eat a mixture of fortified foods containing folate and healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are very healthy. They also contain your RDI for folate and other nutrients.

FAQs On Foods High In folate


What foods are high in folate?

Foods high in folate are usually fruits and veggies. These are legumes, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and more.

How do you increase folate levels?

You can increase your folate levels by eating foods that are rich in folate. You eat leafy greens, eggs, beans, etc.

What is the best source of vitamin b9?

There are many nutritious foods rich in vitamin B9. These include oranges, leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, and more.

Do eggs have folate?

Yes, eggs have folate. It is high in folate. One hundred grams of the egg contains 44 mcg.

What does folate do to the body?

Folate is necessary to help in the body’s genetic development. It assists in the development of one’s DNA and other genetic matters of the body.

Which is one of the first symptoms of folate deficiency?

A person who has problems with folate deficiency is usually unhealthy. He will be overly tired, weak, lethargic, pale, experiences shortness of breath, and sometimes irritable.

What is a low folate level?

When a person has a low folate level, it can mean that he is not that healthy. It can go to extreme conditions like folate-deficiency anemia, which is the lack of folic acid in the blood.

Are folic acid and vitamin b12 the same thing?

No, it is not. Folic acid or folate is vitamin B9. But both B12 and B9 are vitamin B complex that works for hand in hand to maintain the body’s cell function.

How can I increase my folate intake?

Folate is not created within the body. You can only get folate from food and drinks. And so, you need to eat food or supplements rich in folate to increase your folate intake.

Is folic acid the same as folate?

Yes. Folic acid is the same as Folate. It is also known as vitamin B9 (read further on this page).

Is it better to take folate or folic acid?

Yes. It is advisable to eat foods rich in folic acid regularly. Your cell, nerves, and DNA function will normalize partly due to high levels of folate in your system.

What is a good folate level?

The normal range of folate in a person’s system is 2 to 10 ng/mL. The blood plasma is tested in a sterile laboratory to determine such folate levels.

Who is at risk for folate deficiency?

People who don’t eat much leafy vegetables, beans, or citrus fruits are at risk of developing folate deficiency. Just make sure to eat your daily dose of folate-rich foods to avoid folate deficiency, and get rid of smoking and alcohol consumption.

What is a good source of folate?

Food and supplements can be your source of folate. Eggs, legumes, beans, leafy greens, oranges, and other citrus fruits, and whole grains are good sources of folate.

Which fruits are rich in folic acid?

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are rich in folic acid. Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and the likes are also high in folic acid.

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Rejie Salazar

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