Folic Acid Rich Foods

Posted 5 months ago by Tharaa Nagendran in

Nothing could make a woman happier than knowing that she is pregnant. The exquisite feel that you get after knowing this is really an unmatchable one. The nine months with the three trimesters are really going to be the greatest strive for you. But then, when you know it is for our baby all those struggles would literally mean a trifle to you. And there starts the importance of consuming the prenatal nutritional foods to make your baby healthy. And here comes folic acid into the picture. As soon as you go and suggest your doctor, the very first advice they give you is to eat sufficient levels of folic acid foods every day. This is because folic acid plays a vital role in the growth and development of the baby inside your womb. Now you might not know what all the foods that contain folic acid are. So, here we are to help you with this by giving the list of foods that contains folic acid in it.

Folic Acid Rich Foods

Folic Acid

Folic acid can be termed as one of the forms of vitamin B that is a water-soluble one. This folic acid is the synthetic form of the folate obtained from the vitamins. These folic acid or folate content will be naturally produced in many of the food items. The only way and the healthiest way to obtain folic acid is with the help of folic acid rich foods.

It is not that they play a vital role during pregnancy, but also they are very important for each and every individual. They could play a vital role in the growth and development of our body parts. Many researchers have also stated that they help in preventing the occurrence of cancer in our body. So with no further delay let us see the foods that are rich in the folic acid or folate content.

Best Folic Acid Rich Foods

There are a wide variety of food items that are rich in folic acid. Some of the most important food items that could provide a larger amount of folic acid to the human body are listed below.

  1. Eggs
  2. Citrus Fruits
  3. Brussels Sprouts
  4. Nuts And Seeds
  5. Liver
  6. Wheat Germ
  7. Bananas
  8. Avocado
  9. Papaya
  10. Carrots
  11. Cauliflower

#1. Eggs

Eggs[1] are generally known to be the powerhouse of nutrients. They are loaded with a lot of proteins[2], selenium[3], riboflavin[4] and vitamin B12[5] in it. They are also rich in certain antioxidants[6] like lutein[7] and zeaxanthin[8]. These antioxidants help in reducing eye disorders[9]. One of the most widely cured disorders is macular degeneration[10]. Consuming one large sized egg can fulfill up to 10% of the daily requirement of folic acid[11] in our body.

The omega-3 enriches eggs are very helpful in the baby's growth. The docosahexaenoic acid present in the egg is the key ingredient that provides the benefits. They help in the baby's brain development when consumed during pregnancy. In order to obtain proper 80 calories per egg, you can start consuming a couple of hard-boiled eggs for your breakfast. You can also slice them on top of the salads which you have for lunch. The eggs can also be fried and consumed with a pasta dish for a dinner.

#2. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits[12] are known to be an excellent source of vitamin C. However, like all the other foods, the list of other nutrients, vitamins and minerals present in the citrus fruits goes very long. They are composed of both the glycaemic[13] and non-glycaemic carbohydrate content (fiber and sugars). Some of the most essential components are potassium, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, pantothenic acid. They are also composed of a wide variety of phytochemicals in it.

Citrus fruit generally does not contain sodium, fat or cholesterol in it. They also play a vital role in reducing the body weight of a person. In addition to all these components, folate or folic acid content is also rich in citrus fruits. The commonly preferred fruits that are rich in folic acid are grapefruit, strawberries and raspberry.

#3. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts[14] are one of the best ingredients that are rich in folic acid. They are composed of a list of vitamins like vitamin A, C and K. It also comprises of nutrients and minerals like potassium and manganese in it. Eating one cup of Brussels sprouts can fulfill up to 25 % of the daily folic acid requirement in our body.

These Brussels sprouts are also known to be a great source of Kaempferol. Kaempferol is an antioxidant which is associated with a lot of health benefits. Certain studies have also found that it can help in the reduction of inflammations and also prevents oxidative damage to the cells.

#4. Nuts And Seeds

Nuts and seeds have a lot of beneficial qualities when it comes to the health of a person. They are comprised of a wide variety of components like vitamin A, E and omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains certain cancer preventing lignans that can help you to get rid of cancer problems. The fats present in the nuts and seeds turn out to be a beneficial factor for maintaining our health.

Other than these components, they are also known to be an excellent source of folic acid content. Generally, most of the nuts and seeds have at least a small amount of folic acid content in it. But the most commonly preferred nut and seeds that are rich in folic acid content are almonds[15], walnut and peanut. Adding one handful of seeds and nuts to your daily diet can improve the level of folic acid in your body to a greater extent. You can also add them along with the oats or cereals and have it for your breakfast or as evening snacks. This can also be consumed raw, dried or roasted forms based on your preference.

#5. Liver

Liver obtained from animals like beef, the goat will contain a lot of vitamin A content in them. Normally most of the animal products will contain a lot of vitamin A content in them. One single beef liver is capable of offering about 28 grams of protein to your body. And they could offer you a higher amount of folic acid or folate content to your body. Consuming liver daily is not healthy. You can consume them weekly once or once in two weeks. Pregnant women can prefer eating this. But then, also do not consume this as it could offer a higher amount of vitamin A content. Increased levels of vitamin A can cause birth defects in the baby during pregnancy.

#6. Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is the one that is obtained from the refined wheat products. They are brought along with the husk during the removal process. They are available in both the raw formats and also added as an ingredient along with the cereals and cornbreads. They are also used as toppings in the desserts, sweets and yogurt due to its high health benefits. Apart from the folic acid they also provide other minerals like zinc, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. They are also a great source of vitamin E that contains a lot of antioxidant properties in it.

#7. Bananas

Bananas may not serve a large amount of folic acid content but they are considered to be an important one among the fruits. Normally bananas are known to provide a lot of nutritional benefits to our body. They contain a list of proteins, vitamins and minerals contained in them. They serve you vitamins like vitamin B6, C, E and minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium and folate. They are extremely good for your heart and the other important parts of your body.

#8. Avocado

Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin B6. They also contain a lot of potassium, dietary fiber and fatty acids in it. It consists of a heart-healthy fat content called monounsaturated fat in it. This fat is highly effective in protecting your heart from heart diseases. They are also popularly termed as butter pear due to their buttery flavor and creamy texture.

#9. Papaya

Papaya is known to supply abundant levels of vitamin C to your body. It is stated that consuming one papaya can fulfill about 157% RDI requirement of vitamin C in your body. They also supply a good amount of fiber, protein, vitamin A, potassium and folic acid. And it is always better to avoid the consumption of papaya during pregnancy. This is because papaya might trigger for the uterine contractions which might lead to the very early birth of the baby. So, avoid including papaya in your diet after knowing that you are pregnant.

#10. Carrots

Carrots are known to be the best source of a special type of nutritional content called the beta carotene. They also contain proteins, fiber, vitamin, minerals in it. It is composed of a large number of antioxidant properties with it. And it has a higher water content of about 88% that can be a great beneficial factor for the human body. Eating carrot every day can make you have proper eyesight. The beta carotene and vitamin A are very essential for having proper eyesight which is known to be the supplements that can be obtained from carrots.

#11. Cauliflower

Cauliflower seems to be one of the vegetables that have a bundle of nutritional benefits comprised in it. It is composed of vitamin b6, C, K, fiber, potassium and many other nutrients in it. It also contains a good amount of folic acid and pantothenic acid in it. And cauliflower will always offer a delicious taste to us while consuming it. The anti-inflammatory properties present in the cauliflower helps in preventing us from many of the infections and side effects. Also, they are enriched with a high amount of phytochemicals that help in enhancing our health to a greater extent.

Folic Acid Rich Foods That You Must Eat Before Pregnancy

Folic acid really plays a very vital role during pregnancy. It is a must for all the pregnant women to consume proper levels of folic acid regularly throughout the nine months and even after the pregnancy. This will really help them to have their babies without any birth defects and also prevent any miscarriages. You can refer your doctor regarding the intake of folic acid rich foods. Then you can refer the following food items that should be consumed during the pregnancy. According to the required levels of folic acid, you can plan your diet chart with the following food items.

#1. Flaxseeds

Flaxseed is known to be an excellent source of healthy fat, proteins, fiber and most importantly the omega-3 fatty acids. Added to the above list, they are also enriched with many minerals and vitamins. While consuming flaxseed make sure that you consume them in the appropriate levels. This is because increased intake of flaxseed can increase the levels of hormones in your body. So, this will cause an ill effect on your body during pregnancy. Consuming a sufficient amount of flaxseed is always safe during the pregnancy and also during the normal days too. Some women may also find the flaxseed to be an allergic one. If you find yourself allergic to the flaxseed then omit it from your diet plan.

#2. Oranges

Most of the citrus fruits contain a large amount of folic acid content in them. Likewise, oranges also contain a good amount of folic acid content in them. Consuming oranges can help you to nourish your babies with high amounts of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are required for the growth. You can either consume it in the raw format or you can also drink it in the form of juice. The pulp of the orange is from where you will be getting the supply of nutrients to your body.

#3. Beets

Beets are nothing but the beetroot that we consume regularly in our daily lives. They could offer you a bundle of nutritional benefits. You can consume them by mixing it with the other vegetables to obtain a higher level of nutrients. Other than the folic acid, it also provides a rich amount of iron content. The iron content can help in the production of red blood cells for your baby inside the womb.

#4. Broccoli

Broccoli is known to be an excellent detox food you can have every day. It is also known to be a great source of folic acid content. It comprises of a lot of health-promoting properties that could help in preventing many of the diseases. They are known to be rich in manganese and vitamins like A, C and K.

Consuming one cup of broccoli on a daily basis can fulfill up to 26% of daily need of folic acid content in our body. You can consume it in the form of both raw and steamed. However, cooked broccoli is known to provide a large amount of folic acid. They also comprise of sulforaphane which is known to have powerful anti-cancer properties with it.

#5. Legumes

Legumes are one of the most essential food items that your body needs most during your pregnancy. This is due to the abundant level of nutrients it offers for your health. These are the plant-based resource that supplies most of the essential nutrients to your body and baby. They supply a good amount of calcium, folic acid, proteins, fiber, and iron to your body. This will help the baby to grow healthier with sufficient levels of nutrients.

#6. Fortified Grains

Fortified grains are the one to which extra nutrients and minerals are added. Both of the refined and the unrefined grains can be added with the extra nutrients. The extra nutrients include vitamins like vitamin A, B and D and also the minerals like folic acid, iron and many more. So, the fortified grains will be loaded with the folic acid content. This is mainly done for reducing the amount of nutrients deficiency in individuals. They should be consumed in sufficient amounts for making you feel energetic and fresh during pregnancy times.

#7. Asparagus

Asparagus is known to be one of the most nutrient dense foods that contain a lot of folic acid content in it. It consists of a lot of nutritional benefits and qualities with it. They are composed of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and manganese in it. Consuming one cup of asparagus can fulfill up to 65% of our daily needs of folic acid content for our body.

Other than this, they are also rich in antioxidant content. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in it. It is known to be an excellent source of heart-healthy fiber. Eating this can fulfill up to 7% of daily fiber needs in our body.

#8. Dark Leafy Greens

All the dark leafy greens that are available in the market are known to be a great source of folic acid content. Consuming a large amount of spinach, kale, turnip greens, romaine lettuce and collard greens can boost your health to a greater extent. Including all these items in your daily diet can help in increasing the folic acid content in your body.

These green leafy greens are low in calories but comprise of sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in it. They are also rich in Vitamin K and vitamin A. It also has a lot of advantageous features like the low risk of cancer, reduction in body weight and inflammations.

Why Should We Include Folic Acid In Our Diet Before Getting Pregnant

Normally all the birth defects that occur in a baby will happen within the first 3 to 4 weeks of your pregnancy. Folic acid can play a vital role in preventing the baby from getting affected by most of the birth defects. Sometimes, deficiency in the folic acid level can be the root cause for many of the major birth defects. So, it is very important to make sure that you consume proper levels of folic acid during your pregnancy. Folic acid is the key ingredient which is involved in the growth and the development of the brain and the spinal cord of a baby.

It is advised to intake proper levels of folic acid in one month prior to the time of getting conceived. So, it is better if you start consuming folic acid rich foods when you plan to get conceived. This can help in preventing the baby from various defects.

Defects Due To Insufficient Folic Acid Content

When your body does not have proper levels of folic acid content during pregnancy, it tends to a variety of problems. The major defect that can be caused in your baby is neural tube defects. They are the problems that are associated with the brain and spinal cord of your baby. Spinal Bifida and Anencephaly are the two major neural tube defects that would affect your baby.

Spina Bifida

Spinal Bifida is one of the major defects that can be caused due to this deficiency. Spina Bifida is a condition where the backbone and the membranes around your spinal cord do not close properly. This condition can vary from mild to severe effects. The complications and the severity of this defect vary with the location, type and the size of the defect.

This can lead to a wide variety of other problems in a baby. Some of the common problems are listed below.


Anencephaly is a state where the baby will not have the major portion of the skull, scalp and the brain that gets developed during the embryonic stages. This is one among the neural defect that causes due to the low level of folic acid deficiency in its body. The embryonic stage is the primary one where the primary and the most important parts of a human body will get developed. Folic acid plays a key role in developing those organs in the baby. When there is an insufficient amount of folic acid, then there will be an improper growth in those organs of the baby. So, this leads to the occurrence of the anencephaly in the baby. This neural defect mostly occurs between the 23 rd and the 26th day that is followed by the conception. This is the time where the rostral or the head part of the baby gets closed.

This can lead to a wide variety of other problems in a baby. Some of the common problems are listed below.

Salads Rich In Folic Acid

There are many of the salad varieties that can be prepared with the help of the food items that are rich in folic acid. More than consuming a single food item, consuming more number of folic acid rich foods can be highly beneficial. Salads can help you with this by offering many advantageous features. So, following are the instructions for preparing some of the salads that contain a lot of folic acid rich food items in them.

#1. Romain Lettuce And Spinach Salad

The following are the ingredients that you will be required for preparing this salad.

romaine lettuce

2 cups


2 cups

kidney beans

1 cup

chopped broccoli florets

1 cup

sliced pickled beets

1/4 cup

sunflower seeds

1/4 cup

boiled eggs (chopped)



Following are the dressing ingredients that will be required for preparing this salad.

red wine vinegar

2 tbsp

extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp

milled flaxseeds

1 tbsp

minced garlic clove


dried thyme

1/4 tbsp

Directions For Preparation

  1. Take a small bowl and put all the ingredients which are given in the dressing section.
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together and place the bowl aside.
  3. Now we have to prepare the salad. For this, we will be requiring either two plates or one large bowl.
  4. First place the spinach and the romaine lettuce on the plate or in the bowl.
  5. Then place all the other ingredients covering the romaine and spinach in the plate.
  6. Place all the ingredients such that it does not look messy.
  7. Now take the dressing kept in the bowl. Drizzle the dressing upon the arranged salad in the bowl or the plate.
  8. This can be one of the folic acid rich salad that could enhance your health.
  9. Each serving of this salad will provide you 318 mcg of folic content to your body.

The Romain Lettuce And Spinach Salad are composed of many folic rich food items in it. Each of the ingredients used in this salad contains at least a small amount of folic acid content in it. So, pregnant women can prefer preparing and consuming them regularly. It can really help in offering a great strength to you and the baby inside you.

#2. Mixed Sprouts Beetroot Healthy Lunch Veg Salad recipe

The following are the ingredients that you will be required for preparing this salad.

Boiled mixed sprouts

1 cup

Boiled Kabuli chana (white chickpeas)

1/4 cup

Grated beetroot

1/4 cup

Iceberg lettuce torn into pieces

1 cup

Alfalfa sprouts (placed in the cold for 5 mins)

1/4 cup

Chopped spring onions

1/4 cup

Cherry tomatoes (cut into halves)


Crumbled feta cheese

2 tbsp


Following are the dressing ingredients that will be required for preparing this salad.

Extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp

Lemon juice

2 tbsp


1 tbsp

Chilli powder

1/4 tbsp


As per the requirement

Directions For Preparation

  1. Place all the ingredients given in the dressing section in a large bowl.
  2. Mix all the dressing ingredients together in the bowl and place it aside.
  3. Now it's time for us to start with the salad. To prepare this we will be requiring one large bowl.
  4. Place all the given ingredients inside the large bowl at proper places.
  5. Make sure that the bowl does not look messy. So, arrange them properly.
  6. Now you can take the mixed dressing ingredients kept in the bowl aside. Start drizzling all the dressing ingredients little by little on the salad in the large bowl.
  7. You can prepare the salad before and drizzle the dressing ingredients before starting to consume it.
  8. Once you add the dressing into the salad, it should be consumed as soon as possible.

The mixed sprouts present in the salad are rich in a wide variety of vitamins like vitamin C, A and K. They are also equally rich in minerals and nutrients like magnesium, protein, calcium and fiber. All these essential qualities make the salad to be a healthy and filling one.

#3. Seared Tuna With Mango Salsa

Good olive oil

2 tbsp

Diced yellow onion (2 onions)

1 1/2 cup

Fresh garlic (peeled, minced)

1 1/2 tbsp

Fresh ginger (peeled, minced)

2 tbsp

Ripe mangoes (peeled and sliced into small cubes)


Freshly squeezed orange juice

1/3 cup

Light brown sugar

2 tbsp

Kosher salt

1 tbsp

Black pepper (freshly ground)

1/2 tbsp

Jalapeno pepper (freshly minced)

1 to 2 tbsp

Fresh mint leaves (minced)

2 tbsp

Tuna steaks


Directions For Preparation

  1. Take a small saucepan and start heating it under a medium flame.
  2. Pour 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 1/2 cup of chopped onions and 2 tbsp of the freshly minced ginger into the hot saucepan.
  3. Saute these ingredients until the onions become translucent.
  4. Now add 1 1/2 tbsp of freshly minced garlic into the saucepan.
  5. Allow the ingredients to get cooked for about 1 minute.
  6. Now add the sliced mango pieces into the saucepan and allow them to get cooked for about 10 minutes.
  7. Then add 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 tbsp of light brown sugar, 1/2 tbsp of black pepper and 1 to 2 tbsp of jalapeno pepper into the hot saucepan.
  8. Cook the ingredients for an additional 10 more minutes until the orange juice in the mixture gets reduced.
  9. Stir the ingredients occasionally to makes them cook well.
  10. Once the orange juice gets reduced completely, remove the saucepan from the heat. Put the mixture in a plate. Allow the ingredients to get cool down for some time.
  11. Now sprinkle the fresh mint leaves on the cooked food kept int the plate.
  12. On the other hand, you should heat another saucepan for about 5 minutes until it becomes hot.
  13. Then place the tuna in a separate bowl. Sprinkle a few tbsp of salt and pepper on the tuna kept in the bowl.
  14. When the saucepan becomes extremely hot, take one tbsp of olive and drizzle it on the saucepan. Also, place the seasoned tuna steaks in the hot saucepan.
  15. Sear it for about 2 to 3 minutes until both of the sides turns to light brownish color.
  16. Now place the tuna on top of the prepared mango salsa.
  17. You can have this during your summer seasons.

Mangoes are really a great source of folic acid content. One cup of fresh mangoes can offer you a folic acid content of about 71 mcg to your body. So, this Seared Tuna With Mango Salsa is highly beneficial and will offer you a good amount of folic acid content to your body.

#4. Broccoli Cole Slaw Recipe

The following are the ingredients that you will be required for preparing this salad.

Broccoli Stalks

4 to 5


2 to 3


Following are the dressing ingredients that will be required for preparing this salad.

Honey (optional)

2 tbsp


1/2 tbsp

Pepper (ground)

1/2 tbsp

Garlic powder

1/2 tbsp


1/2 tbsp


1/2 tbsp

celery seed

1/2 tbsp


1 tbsp

Lemon juice

1 tbsp


3/4 cup

Apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp

Directions For Preparation

  1. Firstly, you have to take the broccoli stalks and cut them into small pieces.
  2. Then take the fresh carrot and peel the outer layer of it.
  3. Then cut the carrot into small slices and place them inside a small bowl.
  4. Add the small broccoli stalk pieces along with the sliced carrots.
  5. Broccoli stalks are edible one and are perfect to be consumed in the raw format. But, some people might not like it to consume it in the raw format. If you want you can steam the broccoli stalks and then add it along with the carrot slices.
  6. Now mix both the broccoli stalks and the carrot slices together.
  7. Then it's time to add the dressing ingredients into the broccoli and carrot slices.
  8. Now you can add the celery seed and the mustard in a small pan for frying it in the oil. Use only a little amount of oil for this.
  9. Then add the fried mustard and celery seed into the carrot and broccoli mixture.
  10. Then add the apple cider vinegar, honey, fresh lemon juice and mayo into the bowl.
  11. Add a sufficient amount of salt and garlic powder into the bowl and mix them with the salad mixture.
  12. After that add the basil and parsley leaves into the bowl.
  13. Then you can start to serve the salad in a plate.

This salad has a lot of fresh ingredients when compared with the other salads. Normally fresh and uncooked vegetables offer more strength and nutrients to our body. So, this will really be very helpful to maintain the proper levels of folic acid in your body.

Folic Acid For Healthy Hair Growth

Consuming B9 vitamin or folic acid on a daily basis can help in growing longer and thicker hair. Thus helps you in growing hair at a faster rate than the normal days. Blood cells play a vital role in increasing hair growth and maintaining healthy hair in our body. Consuming more folic acid can help in increasing the growth of the hindered tissues. This will eventually increase hair growth and reduce the hair fall.

Deficiency of a proper level of folic acid in our body remains to be a major reason for many of the hair problems. The premature greying of hair seems to be the first major problem that arises due to the insufficient level of folic acid in our body. Your hair growth also gets affected by these improper levels. This will also lead to an increase in hair fall by making your hair lose all the strength. So, your hair will become very weak and will be prone to damages and breakages easily.

How Much Folic Acid You Should Intake Daily

During Normal Days

On a normal basis, it is told that there are 13 vitamins in total that would be essential for a healthy body. These vitamins are known to be very essential for maintaining all the functions in our body. So, it is very important for us to consume a sufficient amount all those essential vitamins on a daily basis. Folic acid is one among the forms of vitamin B that our body needs for maintaining proper health. Folic acid should be consumed on a daily basis. Like all the other nutrients, folic acid also has some daily limits for consuming it.

The recommendation of a daily limit for consuming folic acid is 400 mcg per day. This is suitable in terms of adults. If it comes to children it differs with different age right from birth. It is also essential for pregnant women to consume it daily in order to give birth to a healthy baby.

Daily Requirement Of Folic Acid By Our Body

Age Group

Amount of folic acid to be consumed

0 to 6 months

65 mcg / day

7 to 12 months

80 mcg/day

1 to 3 years

150 mcg / day

4 to 8 years

200 mcg / day

9 to 13 years

300 mcg / day

14 years and above

400 mcg / day

Pregnant Women

600 mcg / day

Breastfeeding Women

500 mcg / day


This article has been medically reviewed by Dr.Geeta Sundar on 30/05/2019 

Folic Acid Rich Foods

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