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Foods High in Folic Acid

Mukta Gaikwad Apr 17, 2019
High amounts of folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, etc. Maintaining correct folic acid levels are especially important among pregnant women. Find out why...
Folic acid is a type of water-soluble vitamin B. It enables rapid cell division and growth, and is also the main fuel for productions of red blood cells to prevent anemia. The food items that contain iron, are rich sources of folic acid too. Reserve and consumption of this vitamin is extremely important for the development of a healthy body.
Folic acid is also important for the production of DNA synthesis and protein metabolism. Let's take a look at few of the food items that provide adequate amount of folic acid to the body.

Rich Sources of Folic Acid

Spinach

Spinach is the richest source of folic acid and iron. One cup of spinach gives about 260 mcg of folate, which is more than 60% DV (daily value). No wonder, it gives Popeye strength to beat up Bluto and save Olive every time.

Asparagus

Asparagus ranks second in the list of foods with highest folic acid. Similar to spinach, it also contains more than 60% DV. However, not all asparagus' are edible. It is only 'Asparagus officinalis', which can be consumed. Asparagus is delicious for making creamy soups, salads, snacks, etc.

Lettuce

Lettuce is rich with folic acid too and contains 20% DV. Romaine lettuce leaves can be used to make salad or sandwiches, etc., so as to increase your intake of folic acid. However, other greens like collard green and turnip green contain more than 40% DV.

Fresh Beans

Fresh beans such as green beans and peas are tasty to eat and easy to cook. Their high content of folic acid (more than 60% DV in lentils, navy, black, pinto and garbanzo beans) along with other nutrients is a good enough reason to include them in your daily diet.
Other rich sources of folic acid include mustard greens, broccoli, green peas, kidney beans, okra, peanuts, beet, corn, squash, orange, etc. With these examples, it must be evident that green leafy vegetables, are the ones that are rich in folic acids.
Children often avoid eating them, because their taste buds are more sensitive to the bitter taste of these veggies. Think of interesting recipes to encourage to eat a well-balanced diet.

Foods High in Iron and Folic Acid

Spinach, fenugreek, corn, millet, finger millet, dates, almonds, broccoli, kale cabbage, potatoes, clams, oysters, raisins, fig, whole wheat pasta, okra, orange juice, black-eyed peas, lentils, sunflower seeds, grapes, pineapple juice, chickpeas, liver and turnip greens are all the items that are rich in folic acid and iron.
Other than these, fish, poultry, collard greens and every other green leafy vegetable is rich in folic acid and iron.

Folic Acid and Pregnancy

Folic acid is essential for normal level of homocysteine levels. Women in the childbearing period are advised to consume 800mcg of folic acid. Inadequate levels of folic acid can lead to brain defects in the child and neural tube birth defects.
Folate deficiency increases the risk of spinal cord defect, known as Spina Bifida in newborns. This can arise in early pregnancy, so regular intake of folic acid or folic acid supplements is essential. As aforementioned, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits are high in folates. It helps in healthy development of the fetus by preventing birth defects.
Healthy folic acid levels reduce the risk of miscarriages, placental abruption and preterm delivery. Folate deficiency can also lead to anemia, which is shown through fatigue and weakness.
Folic acid gives the body adequate nutrients and works in tandem with other minerals to keep it healthy! It is recommended to consult the doctor before using folic acid supplements or making drastic changes in your diet, in case you are pregnant or planning for pregnancy.