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 Overview of Folic Acid Rich Foods

Folic acid is a type of folate that is found naturally in the body. It helps in the generation of DNA and other genetic materials. Folate or Vitamin B9 is present in certain foods and plays an important role in critical body functions like the creation of new red blood cells (RBCs). Red blood cells are responsible for the transport of oxygen to all parts of the body. Scarcity of RBCs in the body leads to less oxygen supply and can cause anaemia. Fatigue, weakness and paleness are some of the most common anaemic symptoms. Lack of folate also leads to another condition known as folate deficiency anaemia. Folate is responsible for cell division, repair and synthesis. Hence, it’s important for all to consume folic acid rich food to maintain adequate levels of folate in your body.

3 Benefits of Folic Acid You Must Know

As discussed, folic acid is essential for the creation of new RBCs and regulating the supply of oxygen to the bloodstream. It’s one of the most vital nutrients. Folate deficiency also leads to anaemia known as megaloblastic anaemia. Some of the other benefits of folic acid are:

  • Prevents Birth Defects

    Getting a regular amount of folate is necessary for pregnant women, as its deficiency can lead to complications in unborn children. Folic acid is responsible for the growth of the spinal cord in the foetus and lack of it can lead to deformities like spina bifida and anencephaly. As per some studies, regular consumption of folate by pregnant women reduces the risk of autism in children.

  • Improves Brain Health

    Studies suggest that folate deficiency could cause the risk of depression. Patients with depression and folate deficiency may not be able to respond well to antidepressants as compared to patients with adequate levels of folic acid in their blood.

  • Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

    Folic acid, or folate plays a major role in the metabolism of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of this amino acid can increase the risk of heart disease. Research shows that folic acids may be useful in reducing homocysteine levels, thus preventing the risk of developing heart diseases.

     

    It’s now time to look at the natural sources of folic acid. Read on to know about some of the foods containing folic acid.

4 Vegetables that are High in Folic Acid

  • Asparagus

    This green vegetable is a storehouse of multiple essential vitamins and micronutrients. Asparagus is folic acid rich food and has anti-inflammatory properties as well. It's also a rich source of healthy fibre. As per estimates, just about 100 gm of boiled asparagus contains more than 30% of the daily recommended folate dosage.

  • Broccoli

    Broccoli is one of the most popular superfoods these days. A common ingredient in various types of salads, it's tasty and a source of nutrition. In fact, raw broccoli is even healthier than cooked one. A plate of broccoli alone is said to meet over 20% of daily folate intake. Broccoli is also packed with Vitamins A, C and K. As a green vegetable, it also contains minerals like manganese, iron and fibre that aid in digestion.

  • Spinach

    Spinach is not just a powerhouse of iron, it's also a folic acid rich food. Any properly cooked spinach dish can meet up to 20% of your daily folate requirement.

  • Brussels sprouts

    This nutritious vegetable is closely related to green vegetables like broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, and cabbage. Brussels sprouts are packed with different minerals and vitamins and are high in folate.

4 Fruits that are High in Folic Acid

  • Citrus Fruits

    Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and strawberries are not just refreshing fountains of Vitamin C but are also packed with folate. Daily intake of citrus fruits helps boost immunity and rejuvenate the body cells. Citrus fruits are all mostly folic acid rich food.

  • Banana

    Banana is arguably the most common and widely consumed tropical fruit. It's also a reservoir of vital nutrients like folate and is also rich in Vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. Regular consumption of folic acid rich foods like bananas provides the body with a host of nutrients.

  • Papaya

    Papaya is another yummy repository of folate. It's also high in antioxidants, potassium and Vitamin C. It’s a delicious and tangy folic acid rich food.

  • Avocado

    While avocados are known for their peculiar taste and texture, they are also loaded with vitamins, minerals and folate. Avocados are also an important source of mono-unsaturated fats that are healthy for the heart.

Other Foods High in Folic Acid

  • Eggs

    Best thing about eggs is not just the various ways in which they can be cooked and served but also the lip-smacking taste and high nutritional value. Eggs are abundant in folate and also provide the body with protein and essential nutrients like selenium and riboflavin. Eggs are also a rich source of few antioxidants that mitigate the risk of eye disorders. They are among the most easily and cheaply available folic acid food sources.

  • Seeds and Nuts

    Besides being evening snacks or healthy foods for proper intake of proteins and fibre, seeds and nuts are also packed with folates. Less than a gram of seeds may meet about 7% of the daily recommended intake. Folic acid rich food like seeds and nuts are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Now that we know about the different fruits, vegetables, and other food items that are packed with folic acid, let us take a look at the folate content in each of these.

Folic Acid Rich Food Items

Food

Portion Size

Folate/Folic Acid Content (mcg)

Asparagus (cooked)

90 grams

134

Brussels Sprouts (cooked)

78 grams

47

Orange

1 large orange

39

Broccoli

91 grams

57

Banana

1 medium-sized banana

23.6

Egg

1 egg

22

Papaya

140 grams

53

Walnuts

28 grams

28

Flax Seeds

28 grams

24

Spinach

30 grams

58.3

Avocados

Half avocado

82

How Much Folic Acid Does Your Body Need?

Daily intake of folate depends on factors like age, health, and medical conditions. For an average adult, over 400 mcg of folate is recommended. For infants, the limit is less than 80 mcg. On the other hand, for toddlers it's between 150-200 mcg. Pregnant women require the most folate (between 500-800 mcg) as it plays a role in the development of the spinal cord and other organs of the unborn child. Lactating mothers should also consume over 500 mcg of folate daily. Those suffering from diabetes, lupus and epilepsy should consult a doctor before taking any folic acid food supplements.

To Wrap Up

Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential micronutrients keeps the body fit, boosts disease-fighting mechanisms, repairs cells and also undertakes crucial bodily functions. Folic acid rich food such as green vegetables, citrus fruits and fortified grains should be eaten regularly. If you suffer from any medical condition, you must consume folate only after consulting with a doctor. While you take care of your health, it is important to be prepared for the risks and medical expenses that could be beyond managing due to any deficiencies. For extensive financial coverage, there are various health insurance plans available on Finserv MARKETS, which could be an ideal pick.

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FAQs on Folic Acid Rich Foods

  • ✔️What are some of the folic acid foods I can add to my diet?

     Some folic acid rich food items you can add to your diet are spinach, avocados, oranges, bananas, and legumes.

  • ✔️Should I take a folic acid supplement?

     Generally, most of us do not need to take folic acid supplements as long as we consume foods containing folates. However, if you are feeling the effects of folic acid deficiency, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking folic acid supplements.

  • ✔️Can pregnant women have a folic acid diet?

     Yes, folic acid is essential for pregnant women. Pregnant women can consume 500-800 mcg of folic acid, as it plays a major role in the development of the spinal cord and other organs of the unborn child.

  • ✔️Can a folic acid diet lead to weight gain?

     Increasing the folic acid intake in your diet may not lead to weight gain if it is done by consuming folate from natural sources.

  • ✔️What are the symptoms of folic acid deficiency?

     Some of the common symptoms of folic acid deficiency are fatigue, weakness, and paleness.