Folic Acid Foods

Eric Bakker N.D.May 10, 2022

Folate is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, wholemeal bread, yeast, liver and legumes (peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.)

Eric Bakker Naturopath » Recipes » Folic Acid Foods

Folic Acid Required For Optimal Health

Folate is a B-vitamin compound that is important for many metabolic processes in the body.  It is used in the manufacture of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain), in preventing heart disease and for synthesising DNA. You will find that it is probably the world’s most deficient vitamin, overall. Folate is required by your body in the areas which your cells are rapidly reproducing, areas which have the highest cell turnover metabolically – like the gums, mouth, digestive system, the heart, and the cervix. It is particularly important with rapidly growing and “cell dividing” tissue like the foetus – hence its importance with preventing neural tube defects. (spina bifida)

Go to my Folic Acid page here

Folic Acid Sources

Folate is best found in avocados, bananas, orange juice, cold cereal, asparagus, fruits, green leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas, and yeast.  The synthetic form, folic acid, is added to commercial grain products.

Pregnant women who do not take folate supplements often have a folate deficiency, which places them at risk for neural tube defects in newborns.  Women who are planning to become pregnant should take 400 mcg of folic acid before conception, as well as during pregnancy and when breast-feeding.  Folate deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia, affect concentration and memory and may cause hearing loss.  As with vitamins B6 and B12, folate deficiencies also elevate homocysteine, and recent studies suggest a strong link between low folate levels and the onset of heart disease.

Poor diet coupled with heavy alcohol consumption is the most common cause of folate deficiency.  Any condition that disturbs the small intestine can contribute to folate deficiency.   High-dose aspirin, smoking, anti-epileptic drugs used in the treatment for seizures, and oral contraceptives may increase the risk for folate deficiency.  Some studies have associated high doses of folate with central nervous system disorders, zinc deficiency, and seizures in epileptics.   Although the risk appears to be low, these results indicate that megadoses of folic acid should be avoided.  High amounts in the elderly may also mask symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiencies.

Best Folate Sources

Brewer’s yeast, Green beans, leek, parsnip, cabbage, beetroot, green peas, spinach, capsicum, cauliflower, chick peas, oranges, orange juice, peanuts, oats, wholegrain bread, wheat germ & wheat bran, cos lettuce, banana, avocado, carrot, parsley, tomato, strawberry, canned salmon, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds.

Here is the food list of highest folate containing foods

(amounts are micrograms, mcg, of folic acid per 100 grams of these foods)

  • Brewer’s Yeast 2,022
  • Wheat Bran 195
  • Barley 50
  • Oatmeal 33
  • Wheat Germ 305
  • Rye 143
  • Bananas 19
  • Blackberries 14
  • Oranges 5
  • Figs 32
  • Dates 25
  • Kidney Beans 180
  • Mung Beans 145
  • Navy Beans 125
  • Chick Peas 110
  • Lentils 105
  • Split Peas 50
  • Lima Beans 130
  • Beef 295
  • Peanuts 56
  • Coconut 28
  • Pecan Nuts 27
  • Walnuts 77
  • Almonds 45
  • Cabbage 32
  • Avocado 30
  • Brussels Sprouts 49
  • Beans-Green 28
  • Mushrooms 25
  • Kale 70
  • Broccoli 53
  • Corn 28
  • Spinach 75

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