Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9, whereas folate is the naturally occurring and highly bioavailable form. Folic acid’s most important roles include regulating folate levels in the blood, improving nutrient uptake in the body, and preventing neural tube defects in unborn children. It is most commonly found in supplements and other foods fortified with this vitamin. However, for discussion’s sake, many people consider folate and folic acid to be interchangeable since they do have the same effects on the body.
Folic Acid Deficiency
Folic acid deficiency can have a number of unwanted symptoms and health consequences, including
- Chronic fatigue
- Small sores on the mouth
- Poor digestion
- Poor immune function
- Pale skin
- Greying of the hair
So if you are constantly getting sick, it may be a good indication that you are lacking this vitamin.
Foods High in Folic Acid
The best way to increase your levels of folic acid/folate is to alter your diet with folic acid-fortified foods; however, if you are suffering from a serious deficiency, using additional folate supplements may be required. These foods high in folic acid include the following:
- Dark leafy greens
- Brussels sprout
- Sunflower seed
Let us discuss them in detail below.
Dark Leafy Greens
Most leafy greens, like spinach, have between 75 and 250 mcg per cup, making them one of the best foods high in folic acid.
1 orange will deliver approximately 10% of your daily needs for this essential vitamin.
Similarly, grapefruit also delivers about 40 mcg of this vitamin, approximately 10% of your daily requirement.
A single cup of broccoli serves approximately 26% of your daily requirement of folic acid, making it one of the best sources of this nutrient compound.
All beans are high in folic acid, typically offering between 150 and 300 mcg per cup.
Peas offer between 100 and 130 mcg of folic acid per cup, depending on the variety.
One of the best foods high in folic acid, lentils deliver 360 mcg in a single cup.
Per cup, you can get more than 100 mcg of folic acid if avocados are your favorite snack food!
Okra or Lady Finger
1 cup of okra delivers more than 70 mcg of folic acid.
Boil one cup of Brussels sprouts and gain 25% of your folic acid requirement.
Just 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds will deliver more than 20% of your folic acid needs each day.
Strawberries are considered a good source of this compound as a single cup serves 20mcg of folate to the body.
A single cup of cauliflower will offer 55 mcg of this essential vitamin.
An excellent source of folic acid, one cup offers more than 30% of your folic acid needs per day.
1 cup of celery delivers roughly 10% of your daily requirement of folic acid.
Depending on the herb, a 100-gram sample could have between 100 and 300 micrograms of folic acid.
There is 65 mcg of folic acid in every 100 grams of this potent and powerful herb.
One medium tomato contains about 20 mcg of folic acid.
With more than 110 mcg of folic acid, papaya delivers nearly 30% of your daily needs.
Eating 1 cup of almonds will provide just over 10% of your daily needs for folic acid.
Not the best source of folic acid, carrots only deliver 5% of your daily requirement per cup.
Two tablespoons of flaxseed will give you more than 50 mcg of folic acid.