There are many reasons why it’s important to get an adequate amount of folic acid. Perhaps most importantly are cellular growth and regeneration. A 2010 article from the New York Times identified folic acid as one of the most, underappreciated micronutrients and multiple studies suggest a link between a lack of folic acid and mental conditions such as depression.
Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid helps the body perform many essential functions, including nucleotide biosynthesis in cells, DNA synthesis and repair, red blood cell creation, and prevention of anemia. Folic acid also encourages normal fetal development. In fact, folic acid, calcium, and iron have long been considered the holy trinity of prenatal wellness. A deficiency of the vitamin in pregnant women can have significant negative effects on unborn children’s brain development. Here are the foods that are rich in folic acid:
Dark Leafy Greens
It should come as no surprise that one of the planet’s healthiest foods is also one of the highest in folate.Adding more spinach, collard greens, kale, turnip greens and romaine lettuce into your daily diet provides an immediate boost in folic acid. Just one large plate of these delicious leafy greens will fulfill nearly all of your daily folate needs.
Broccoli is one of the best detox foods you can eat, and it’s a great source of folic acid. Just one cup of broccoli provides approximately 26% of your daily folic acid needs, not to mention a whole host of other important nutrients. I recommend enjoying organic broccoli raw or lightly steamed.
Out of the entire vegetable kingdom, asparagus is one of the most nutrient dense foods with folic acid.Eating just one cup of boiled asparagus provides 262 mcg of folic acid, which provides approximately 65% of your daily needs. Not only is asparagus delicious, but it’s also full of nutrients your body craves, including vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and manganese.
Beans, Peas, and Lentils
Beans and peas that are especially high in folic acid include pinto beans, lima beans, green peas, black-eyed peas and kidney beans. A small bowl of any type of lentils provides most of your daily folate needs. Here is a short list of beans with the most folic acid.
Many fruits contain folic acid, and citrus fruits rank the highest. Oranges are an especially rich source of folic acid. One orange holds about 50 mcg, and a large glass of fresh-squeezed juice may contain even more. Other folate-rich fruits include papaya, grapefruit, grapes, banana, cantaloupe and strawberries. Here is a short list of fruits high in folic acid.
The avocado, also known as the butter pear, holds up to 110 mcg of folate per cup, which accounts for approximately 28% of your daily needs. Not only are avocados one of the best foods with folic acid, but they’re an excellent source of fatty acids, vitamin K, and dietary fiber. Adding them to sandwiches or salads makes for an extra-healthy treat.
There is no denying that Brussels sprouts are one of the best foods for folic acid. Eating one cup of boiled brussels sprouts will provide approximately 25% of your daily recommended amount. Brussels sprouts are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, and potassium.
Corn is a fun and popular vegetable that contains plenty of folate. Just one cup of cooked corn will provide you with approximately 34 mcg of folic acid, accounting for almost 9% of your daily needs. I recommend avoiding canned veggies and opting for fresh and organic.
Everyone needs folic acid, but it’s especially important in women who are pregnant, because it plays a major role in cellular growth and regeneration. A diet that’s high in folic acid can prevent anemia, Alzheimer’s disease, several cancers, and birth defects. Many foods contain plenty of folic acid, so make sure you’re eating right.