Folate is a type of vitamin called vitamin B9. It is a water-soluble vitamin that has a different function in the body. It helps healthy cell division and boosts proper fetal growth and development to lower the risk of birth defects. Vitamin B9 is available naturally in different foods, also in the form of folic acid in fortified foods. It is suggested that healthy adults get at least 400 mcg of folate every day to stop a deficiency.
Folate Vs Folic Acid
Table of Contents
As you know folate is a vitamin. Similarly folic acid is a different form of vitamin B9. But folate is the natural type of vitamin B9. Folic acid, on the other hand, is the synthetic type of vitamin B9. It is utilized in supplements and included in some food products like flour or breakfast cereals.
The digestive system change folate into the biologically active type of vitamin B9 called 5-MTHF. But it is not the case with folic acid. Folic acid changed into 5-MTHF in the tissues or the liver and not in the digestive system. Which is somewhat the process is not as efficient. Other factors include those who get genetic mutations in the enzyme and change process. Hence, when you take a folic acid supplement, the body may take extra time to change it into 5-MTHF, making unmetabolized folic acid build-up.
It is where the real problem occurs. Even a smaller dose of 200 mcg of folic acid a day may not have completely metabolized till the next dose. It can result in high levels of unmetabolized folic acid in the bloodstream, which can lead to different symptoms and side effects in some people, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, and sleep disturbances.
25 Foods High in Folic Acid
1 cup chopped have 91 g
One serving of broccoli consists of 57.3 mcg of folate. It meets 14% of the everyday value of the vitamin. Broccoli also has rich vitamin K and A. Vitamin A is essential for managing teeth and skin health. It also helps in pigmentation production in the retina of the eye. Broccoli consists of carotenoids that work as antioxidants. Vitamin K helps prevent inflammation and osteoporosis.
1 cup has 193 g
One serving of pinto beans consists of a whopping 1013 mcg of folate. It contains 670 calories, but insignificant saturate fa. Pinto beans also have rich potassium. According to one study conducted by Purdue-University, USA, optimum potassium intake is linked to a lower risk of stroke.
Seeds And Nuts
• Flaxseeds – 1 cup 168 g
• Sunflower seeds – 1 cup 46 g
• Almonds – 1 cup 95 g
Seeds like flaxseeds and sunflower seeds every serving, or nuts like almonds have folate. You can simply eat these raw or include them in a salad for a healthy dose of folate. Flaxseeds also have rich manganese and different vitamins, all of which support your nervous systems, and immune, and different body processes. Almonds and Sunflower seeds are also rich in vitamin E that boost healthy eyes and skin.
1 cup -134 g
A single serving of asparagus consists of around 70 mcg of folate. It consists of only 27 calories, though one large portion of these calories is presented in sugars.
Asparagus also consists of an extra source of riboflavin and iron. Iron is needed to produce hemoglobin, an important part of the blood cells that provide life Riboflavin is necessary for folate metabolism.
Yeast Extract Spread
1 tsp – 6 g
One serving of yeast extract provides 60.6 mcg of folate, though high sodium presents around 9-calories. You can utilize it with crackers, toast, or even sandwiches. Use only some as it has a strong taste. Another major synthesis the yeast extract spread consists of is niacin, which has low bad cholesterol mentioned by an American study.
Serving size – 28 g
If you are a non-vegetarian, this could be the best news for you. Both beef liver and chicken liver consist of a good quantity of folate.
They are also the best sources of selenium, which has been discovered to stop different types of cancers, heart disorders, and muscle. But one thing has to be remembered, eat liver in moderation as it also has cholesterol and trans-fat.
Rosemary – 1 tbsp (2 g)
Basil – 2 tbsp (chopped) (5 g)
Some herbs like basil and rosemary are the best source of folate. One serving of basil and rosemary offers 1.6 mcg and 3.6 mcg of folate.
Research conducted in Indian states the efficiency of herbs, particularly basil help to treat hypertension.
One leaf (2 g)
One serving of arugula consists of 1.9 mcg of folate. This food is very low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Being a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, it provides several benefits.
1 cup – cubes (150 g)
Avocado is a very healthy fruit. One serving of avocado provides around 122 mcg of folate. Additionally, avocados also have rich vitamin C that promotes cardioprotective properties in obese and smokers or overweight people. Also, the phytochemicals in avocados pack strong properties.
1 cup (186-256 g)
Mature soybean seeds consist of 697 mcg of folate while green soybeans 422 mcg of folate every serving. They have high calories one serving of soybeans consists of 376 calories.
Soybeans are also the best source of protein. As per one study researched by the University-of-South-Carolina, soybean protein lower the concentrations of bad cholesterol. It also influences the calcium and bone balance in postmenopausal females.
1 cup (172 g)
One serving of black-eyed peas consists of 3588 mcg of folate. Additionally, the food also has saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
1 cup, mashed (225 g)
One serving of banana consists of 45 mcg of folate, which is 11% of the everyday vitamin value. Bananas also have rich vitamin B6, which helps the body to prepare antibodies to fight various diseases. The vitamin also helps to manage normal nerve function and balance the blood sugar within normal limits.
1 cup (149 g)
One serving of tomatoes consists of 22mcg of folate. Tomatoes provide low sodium, low saturated fat, and cholesterol. They are the best sources of carotenoids, like lycopene, and beta-carotene which are created antitumor and antioxidant properties.
1 tbsp (8 g)
For Indians, the food is probably incomplete without some chili powder. Adding one tablespoon chili powder consisting of 7.5 mcg of folate. Chilli powder provides other benefits also, which stimulate circulation and boost metabolism and digestion.
1 cup, cubes (140 g)
One serving of papaya consist of 53 mcg of folate. It also provides rich vitamin C and A. The fruit is utilized to treat and stop gastrointestinal tract problems and intestinal infections.
oranges – 1 cup (180 g)
strawberries – 1 cup (152 g)
Grapefruit – 1 cup, with juice (230 g)
Citrus fruits are popular since ancient times and it is the favorite of everyone from childhood. Citrus fruits such as strawberries (36.5 mcg every serving, oranges (54 mcg per serving), grapefruit (29.9 mcg per serving) consist of good amounts of folate.
According to a Chinese study, citrus fruits work best for the brain, heart, and liver health. They also show anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that allow one to enjoy the best of health.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
spinach – 1 cup (30 g)
kale – 1 cup, chopped (67 g)
Green vegetables are considered one of the good foods with folic acid. Dark leafy green vegetables in the diet provide a good amount of folic acid.
Dark greens, like kale and spinach, also have folic acid. One serving of spinach consists of 58.2 mcg of folate, and one serving of kale provides 19 mcg of folate.
One packet (28 g)
Fortified cereals are popular in the present time. One serving of fortified cereals consists of 80.1 mcg of folate. According to an American study, fortified cereals play a primary role in lowering nutrient deficiency.
1 cup (192 g)
Lentils also provide excellent folic acid. Every serving of lentils provides 920 mcg of the vitamin. Lentils also contain rich potassium that benefits managing healthy blood pressure levels. They are the best source of protein also, and you can consider them if you are vegan and do not rely on poultry or meat.
1 cup (100 g)
One serving of okra consists of 88 mcg of folate. Additionally, okra comes with several other benefits. It provides rich vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and potassium. It is extremely rich in antioxidants that boost complete health and well-being. Okra can also be utilized as a good source of protein.
1 cup (88 g)
It is not much appetizing according to taste but provides rich folate. One serving of brussels sprouts consists of 53.7 mcg of the vitamin. There are different ways brussels sprouts can help you. They are a rich source of other minerals, vitamins, and fiber that promote bone health and the immune system. In fact, after spinach and kale, brussels sprouts consists of a high number of antioxidants.
1 cup (166 g)
Corn is one of my favorite snacks. One serving of corn vegetable consists of 32 mcg of folate. Corn also contains 32 mcg of folate. Corn also provides rich manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and copper, all provide different health benefits.
1 cup, (chopped) (128 g)
One serving of carrots consists of 24.3 mcg of folate. It can be included in vegetable and rice preparation.
Carrots are also provided fiber, beta-carotene, and many other micronutrients.
These are foods rich in folate. They are natural and affordable, and the best part, they come with several benefits for health.
Are You Receiving Enough of Folate?
Getting enough amount of folate on the regular basis is not rocket science. A balanced diet would benefit you.
Folic Acid Dosage for Particular Health Conditions
The dosage given below is based on expert opinions, scientific research, and publication. We have mentioned the health condition, the specified dosage, and the vitamin results have created.
Health Condition: Anemia, created by folate deficiency
Dosage: 1-5 milligrams used orally
Health Condition: Bipolar disorder
Dosage: 200 IU taken orally every day for 52 weeks (for patients maintained on lithium)
Health Condition: Cancer (general)
Dosage: 0.2-40 mg taken orally every day for 3-8 years
Health Condition: Colorectal cancer
Dosage: 0.5-5 mg used by mouth daily for 3-8 years
Health Condition: Chronic kidney disease
Dosage:2-15 mg taken orally every day, or 3-times a week, for 1-3.6 year
Health Condition: Depression
Dosage:0.5-3 mg practiced orally for 3-52 weeks
Health Condition: Diabetes
Dosage:5 mg used orally for 1-6 months
Health Condition: Folate deficiency
Dosage:250-1,000 micrograms consumed orally daily; in the case of critical folate deficiency, 1-5 mg taken orally every day until blood levels are adjusted
Health Condition: Fragile X syndrome
Dosage:10-250 mg taken by mouth daily for 2-8 months
Health Condition: Heart disease
Dosage:0.8-40 milligrams consumed orally daily for 3-88 months
Health Condition: High homocysteine levels
Dosage:0.2-5 milligrams used orally every day for 21-168 days
Health Condition: High blood pressure
Dosage:5-10 milligrams used orally every day for 2-16 weeks
Health Condition: Methotrexate toxicity
Dosage: 1.2-5 milligrams used orally every day or weekly for 12 weeks
Health Condition: Prevention of birth defects
Dosage:0.36-5 mg used orally daily
Health Condition: Prevention of pregnancy complications
Dosage: 0.25-5 mg used orally daily for 12-24 weeks
Health Condition: Stroke
Dosage:0.5-40 mg used orally daily for 6-88 months
Health Condition: Vein clots
Dosage:5 milligrams used orally every day during pregnancy
Health Condition: Gum overgrowth caused by phenytoin
Dosage: Applied to the gum
Health Condition: Pregnancy-related gum disease
Dosage: Applied to the gum
Folic acid has also been utilized for common health management in children. The dosage was 0.005-15 mg, consumed orally every day for two weeks to 18 months. The results were combined.
Is Unmetabolized Folic Acid Harmful?
Different research shows that chronically raised levels of unmetabolized folic acid may get adverse health problems, including:
Increased Cancer Risk
Increased levels of unmetabolized folic acid have been linked with a high risk of cancer. However, no evidence proves that unmetabolized folic acid plays an important role.
Undetected B12 Deficiency
Among aged people, high folic acid levels can mask the deficiency of vitamin B12. Untreated vitamin B12 deficiency may raise your risk of impaired nerve function and dementia. Even a small, every dose of 400 mcg may lead to unmetabolized folic acid developing in your bloodstream
Although high folic acid consumption is a concern, the health implications are not clear, and further research is needed.
Natural Folate Supplements
Folate is best in its natural form. But when it comes to deficiency, supplements play their role. They adjust in an emergency.
Some essential pointers to remember if you are using the folic acid supplement.
If you have an allergic reaction to folic acid, you should not utilize the supplements.
Before consuming the supplement, tell your doctor about your infection, kidney disease, or if you are an alcoholic.
Folic acid supplementation has its risks and benefits. The benefits it has for pregnancy are immense. But beyond pregnancy is where the consideration begins.
Folic acid is an important vitamin that is helpful for the metabolism and primary functioning of the human body. The foods that you consume every day are rich in this vitamin, you only get to eat them in enough quantities.
Why is it important?
Folic acid may help to lower the preterm birth risk. It is essential for different body functions. It also helps to make healthy red blood cells for example. Red blood cells carry oxygen in the whole body. If the body does not create sufficiently, a person can get anemia, fatigue, a pale complexion, and weakness.
Without enough folate, a person can raise a type of anemia called folate deficiency anemia.
Folate is also important for the synthesis and restoring DNA and other genetic things, and cells must divide.
It is particularly important to get enough folate during pregnancy. Folate deficiency in pregnancy can lead to neural tube irregularities, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Because it is important for health, the Food-and-Drug-Administration, the manufacturers to add folic acid to bread, pasta, rice, and cereals. Since they highlighted this, the number of babies birth with neural tube irregularities has lowered.
Neural tube irregularities
Consuming folic acid supplements during and before pregnancy will benefit from preventing irregularities of neural tubes in the fetus. It may also lower the risks of heart irregularities, preterm birth, and cleft palate.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements say that every woman who could have early pregnancy should consume 400 mcg of folic acid every day from supplements or fortified foods with the folate they have on their regular diet.
The deficiency of folate levels causes depression. However, consuming folic acids supplements could lower depression more effectively.
Some research recommends that consuming folic acid during and before early pregnancy could lower the chance that the baby will get autism. However, the research results are not conclusive, and more research will be important to define the potential role of folic acid.
Doctors may utilize folic acid to balance a methotrexate medicine for rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate is a useful medication for this condition, but it may eliminate folate from the body, leading to gastrointestinal symptoms. Research recommends that consuming folic acid supplements could lower these side effects by around 79%.
Who should consume folic acid?
Most maximum people have adequate folate from their diet. Folate deficiency is rare in the USA. That being said, official guidelines suggest that every pregnant female should take folic acid. It is because folic acid is important for early fetal growth. The spinal cord is the first part of the body to create, and folate deficiency can cause spinal cord abnormalities.
The Office on Women’s Health suggested that females who are or might get pregnant consume 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid every day. People with a family history of spina bifida history of neural tube abnormalities consume 4000 mcg every day. Those women breastfeeding should aim to consume 500 mcg per day.
The body absorbs folic acid from supplements and strong foods better than folate from naturally happening foods.
The Office-of-Dietary-Supplements suggested that people get the following dietary folate equal from vitamin or food sources.
Age Recommended amount
0–6 months-(65 mcg DFE)
7–12 months -(80 mcg DFE)
1–3 years – (150 mcg DFE)
4–8 years – (200 mcg DFE)
9–13 years – (300 mcg DFE)
14–18 years – (400 mcg DFE)
19+ years -(400 mcg DFE)
It is necessary to note that folic acid can combine with some medications and may not be safe for all to consume. One person should speak to a physician before consuming folic acid if they get any following:
- type 2 diabetes
- celiac disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- People with kidney dialysis also avoid consuming folic acid.