Vitamins Guide – FOLIC ACID
20 Folic Acid-Rich Foods
Folic acid is an essential nutrient for pregnant women, as it helps support the healthy development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Luckily, many delicious foods are rich in folic acid.
Folic Acid RDA
The recommended daily allowance for folic acid in folic acid-rich foods or supplementation is 200 mcg, but pregnant women should aim to intake 400 mcg.
About Folate and Folic Acid
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 in food, while folic acid is synthetic. Folic acid is monoglutamate, made from naturally occurring folate, polyglutamate. Folic acid is best because it is more readily absorbed and used more efficiently in the body. Therefore, vitamin B9 supplements are entirely folic acid. Our EV-16 Essential Vitamins contain 400 mcg of folic acid.
Folate Content Plunges on Processing Foods
It is difficult to obtain optimum amounts of folate from dietary sources alone, as foods hold a third less of their folate content after processing and cooking. This is why it’s best not to cook folic acid-rich foods apart from beef liver, which is loaded with the vitamin.
What Folic Acid Does in the Body
Folic acid participates in the synthesis and metabolism of proteins, sugars, and nucleic acids during cell division. The latter is why pregnant women must consume at least the RDA of folic acid, whether from folic acid-rich foods or supplementation. Together with vitamin B12, folic acid is desperately needed by rapidly dividing cells.
Folic Acid Deficit Dangers
When folic acid is in short supply, newly replicated chromosomes stand a higher risk of becoming abnormal. Cells, and in particular red blood cells, become larger than usual, leading to a form of anemia. This is why adequate folic acid supplies are vital during the first few weeks of the embryo’s development in the womb. A lack of the vitamin may cause developmental abnormalities such as spina bifida, a neural tube defect that arises between the 24th and 28th day after conception.
Folic Acid Storage in the Body
The body stores minimal folic acid, so lacking it in our food is likely the most widespread vitamin deficiency in developed countries. Typical deficiency symptoms are a sore tongue, tiredness, cracking at the corners of the mouth, insomnia, and muscular cramps.
20 Amazing Folic Acid-Rich Foods
As most foods contain some folic acid, eating a variety of foods each day should give you the recommended amount. Starting with the top six folic acid-rich foods, here’s a list of foods containing this essential vitamin (the RDA values below are for pregnant women)...
Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Beef Liver
Beef liver contains 212 mcg in 3oz or 53 percent of the RDA. How you cook liver meat is up to you, but to take the bitterness away, soak the meat in milk or lemon juice for a couple of hours first. Also, to keep the liver tender, don’t cook it at temperatures above 160° C.
Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a great source of folic acid for pregnant women. Spinach, kale, and collard greens are all excellent options. For example, one cup of cooked spinach contains 262 mcg of folic acid or 65 percent of the recommended daily intake for pregnant women.
Plus, leafy greens are also packed with other essential nutrients like iron and vitamin C. Incorporating leafy greens into your diet is an easy way to boost your folic acid intake. In addition, spinach, kale, and collard greens are all great options that can be easily added to salads, smoothies, or sautéed as a side dish. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on some leafy greens to support a healthy pregnancy.
Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Lentils
Lentils are excellent sources of folic acid for pregnant women. One cup of cooked lentils contains a huge 358 mcg of folic acid or 90 percent of the recommended daily intake for pregnant women. Similarly, one cup of cooked black beans contains about 256 mcg of folic acid, which is over half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant women. These legumes are also rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients that support a healthy pregnancy. Add beans and lentils to soups, stews, and salads, or even make them into veggie burgers for a delicious and nutritious meal.
Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Avocado
Avocado is an excellent source of folic acid for pregnant women. One medium-sized avocado contains 120 mcg of folic acid or about 30 percent of the recommended daily intake for pregnant women. Avocado is also rich in healthy fats, fiber, and other essential nutrients that support a healthy pregnancy. Plus, it’s a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. So go ahead and add some avocado to your next meal or snack for a delicious and nutritious boost!
Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Fortified Cereals
Fortified grains and cereals are a great source of folic acid for pregnant women. Many breakfast cereals and loaves of bread are fortified with folic acid, meaning they have been enriched with this essential nutrient. Check the labels of your favorite cereals and bread to see if they are fortified with folic acid. Just one serving of fortified cereal can provide up to 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of folic acid for pregnant women.
In addition to being a convenient and easy way to get your daily dose of folic acid, fortified grains, and cereals are also a tasty addition to your diet. Look for whole grain options to get the added benefits of fiber and other nutrients. When choosing bread, opt for whole grain varieties and check the label to ensure it is fortified with folic acid. Incorporating these fortified grains and cereals into your diet is an easy way to ensure you get enough folic acid to support a healthy pregnancy.
Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Peanuts
Peanuts are very rich in folic acid. 100 g supplies 240 mcg or 60 percent of the folic acid RDA. Peanuts are a great source of both protein and fiber, making them an ideal addition to any healthy diet. In fact, just one ounce of peanuts contains around 7 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fiber. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, while fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and can even lower the risk of certain diseases.
Healthy Fats: The Good Kind of Fat
Peanuts are not only a great source of healthy fats, but they also contain various essential vitamins and minerals. For example, one serving of peanuts (28 grams) contains 19% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and eyes. Peanuts are also a good source of vitamin B3, which helps to convert food into energy and plays a role in maintaining healthy skin and nerves. In addition, peanuts contain minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which are important for maintaining healthy bones and muscles.
Vitamins and Minerals: The Nutritional Powerhouses of Peanuts
Peanuts are not only a great source of healthy fats, but they also contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, one serving of peanuts (28 grams) contains 19% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and eyes. Peanuts are also a good source of vitamin B3, which helps to convert food into energy and plays a role in maintaining healthy skin and nerves. In addition, peanuts contain minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which are important for maintaining healthy bones and muscles. So, next time you're looking for a nutritious snack, reach for a handful of peanuts!
Other Folic Acid-Rich Foods
A varied diet, therefore, should easily give you all the folic acid from folic acid-rich foods you need.
Folic Acid Supplementation
Due to folic acid or folate not being retained by the body, it is wise the top-up with folic acid via supplementation. There is no better way to do this than supplementing with ALL 16 essential vitamins at the same time, not just folic acid (vitamin B9). Our EV-16 Essential 16 Vitamins give you TWICE the recommended daily allowance of most of these essential vitamins, and the RDA of folic acid for pregnant women. Below is a complete list of the vitamins in these supplements:
Vitamin A; Vitamin B1; Vitamin B2; Vitamin B3; Vitamin B5; Vitamin B6; Vitamin B7; Vitamin B12; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; Vitamin E; Vitamin K; Choline; Bioflavonoids
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