Get your daily dose of vitamin B9 naturally and add some of these foods high in folate to your diet!
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9. It is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in a variety of plant-based foods and is essential for many different processes in the body including the formation of both DNA and RNA, as well as for protein metabolism.
Folate also supports healthy cell division and is essential for fetal growth, therefore pregnant and lactating women need to have more of it. Folate supplements are often recommended during pregnancy, but even if you’re not pregnant or a woman, you need to make sure to be getting enough of this essential vitamin on a daily basis. Here is a list of foods high in folate so that you can easily get your daily supply.
1. Lentils (358 mcg per 1 cup cooked)
First on our list of foods rich in folate are those delicious filling lentils. Just one cup will provide you with 358 mcg of your daily needs. You can find lentils in different varieties, such as brown, green, red, or black, but here’s the good news – they all have high nutritional content.
Lentils are rich in fiber as well as polyphenols that have strong anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Not only does 1 cup deliver 90% of the daily value for folate, but it is also extremely rich in copper, manganese as well as iron. So, if you need to warm up at the end of a cold day and make sure you take enough folate, then try some delicious lentil soup.
2. Asparagus (268 mcg per 1 cup cooked)
Next on our list of top foods with folate is asparagus. Here one cup of the cooked vegetable will cover 67% of your daily needs for vitamin B9. Although the most popular type is green, you may also find white or purple asparagus.
Whatever the color, this delicious vegetable is packed with vitamins C, K, and A, and helps support your health. It is also low in calories but high in fiber, which means that asparagus can help with weight loss and digestive problems. Whether boiled, steamed, or grilled, it makes the perfect side dish, here’s a must-try 10-minute recipe.
3. Spinach (263 mcg per 1 cup cooked)
Spinach is an extremely popular and healthy leafy green that can be eaten either cooked or raw. It is also one of the most nutrient-dense foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, including folate. One cup of cooked spinach is enough to cover 65% of your daily need for folate.
4. Broccoli (168 mcg per 1 cup cooked)
If you still haven’t included broccoli in your diet, this is your sign to do it! It is one of the best sources of folate delivering 57 mcg per cup raw. But if you cook it, then you can get even more – 42% of the daily value in just one cup of the cooked vegetable! Broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane, which can have anticancer properties, while the high content of lutein and zeaxanthin supports eye health.
5. Avocado (163 mcg per 1 avocado)
Avocadoes are considered berries, e.g fruits that we consume as vegetables, and are one of the foods high in folate that should be a kitchen staple. Not only are they rich in folate with 1 avocado providing 40% of your daily need, but they are also a great source of pantothenic acid (56% of the DV) and copper (42% of the DV).
6. Beets (148 mcg per 1 cup raw)
If you are looking for good vegetable sources of folate, then beets are not to be missed. Not only do they add some bright color to your dish, but they are also extremely rich in essential nutrients. One cup of raw beet delivers 37% of your daily need for folate as well as a good amount of vitamin C, potassium and manganese. They are so versatile that it is really easy to incorporate them into your menus as a salad, a side dish, or even a dessert.
7. Kidney beans (131 mcg per 1 cup cooked)
Kidney beans are a type of beans that have a striking resemblance to human kidneys and can come in many different colors, such as white, cream, black, red, purple, spotted, striped as well as mottled. Whichever type you choose, treat yourself to a highly nutritious meal because only one cup of kidney beans will provide you with 33% of your daily need for folate. What’s more, kidney beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber.
8. Brussels Sprouts (94 mcg per 1 cup cooked)
These mini green cabbages are one of the foods that can certainly boost your folate intake. They are cruciferous vegetables that are close relatives to kale, cauliflower, and mustard greens. One cup will provide you with as much as 24 % of the daily need for folate, loads of vitamin K (182% of the DV), and vitamin C (106 % of the DV). They are also high in fiber and help maintain blood sugar levels. So, if you are wondering what side dishes to cook for dinner tonight, then make some Brussels sprouts in 10 minutes.
9. Mango (71 mcg per 1 cup)
Mango is sometimes called “the king of the fruits” and has been cultivated for over 4000 years. It is not only extremely sweet and tasty but has an impressive nutritional profile as well. One cup is enough to cover 18% of your daily need for folate as well as 67% of the DV for vitamin C and 20% of the DV for copper. So, when in season (May through September), make sure you include mango in your daily menu.
10. Sunflower seeds (67.5 per 1oz/28 gr)
Sunflower seeds are not only rich in folate, but they are also an excellent source of plant-based protein and healthy fats. Their high content of vitamin E and selenium – both essential nutrients and antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds can be an excellent addition to multi-grain bread and high-protein bars. They can be eaten as a healthy snack as well.
11. Oranges (55 mcg per 1 orange)
Who doesn’t like oranges? Being one of the most popular fruits around the globe, oranges are also one of the foods with high folate content. These citrus fruits originated in China but are now grown in many countries around the world! They are packed with vitamins, minerals as well as antioxidants. They are also a good source of fiber and only one orange provides you with 9% of your daily value for folate and 92% of the DV for vitamin C.
12. Papaya (53 mcg per 1 cup)
One cup of this fruit covers 13% of your daily needs for folate. Papaya is also rich in vitamins C and A, and can have anticancer properties. The lycopene found in papayas protects the human skin against damage and makes it look more toned as well as youthful. Enjoy ripe papaya as it is, in salads, desserts, or smoothies.
13. Strawberries (34.6 mg per 1 cup)
Nothing can be compared with the flavor, beauty, and color of these sweet and juicy fruits. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and can provide you with a good amount of folate and potassium. You can easily find them from May to July when in season and use them for your healthy desserts and snacks. One thing to watch for, however, is an allergy to strawberries. It is quite common, especially in children.
14. Bananas (23.6 mcg per 1 banana)
Last on the list of folate rich foods come bananas! One banana can provide you with as much as 6% of your daily value. There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t like or hasn’t heard of this delicious, convenient, and affordable fruit. Bananas are easily available all over the world and they may support digestive, heart, and kidney health and are extremely delicious and easy to add to your diet.
More Healthy Foods To Enjoy
Well, I sure hope you learned something new and start eating more of these foods high in folate to support your immune system and overall health! We do need other nutrients as well, so here are some other healthy foods to feel good about eating regularly:
- 12 Fruits That Are High In Vitamin C
- 7 Vitamin-D Rich Foods To Enjoy Often During Winter
- 11 High-Iron Vegetables To Enjoy Daily and Prevent Anemia
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, soaked overnight
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp dry mint
- In a small cooking pot, sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil and mint for 1 minute at medium-high heat. Stir in the chopped tomato and sauté for another minute.
- Add the lentils, the carrot, tomato paste and some salt (around 1/3 tsp).
- Pour in water or stock to cover well, cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat and cook until lentils are ready.
- Taste the broth after 5-10 minutes of cooking and add salt to taste and water if needed.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 10gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g