Food Sources of Folate

Posted: Oct 28, 2016

Information about Folate

  • Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin. It is found naturally in foods. This vitamin cannot be stored in your body. You should eat folate-rich foods every day.
  • Folate is important for everyone. It helps make red blood cells. If you do not have enough folate, you can get a type of anemia. If you have anemia you may feel tired, weak and unable to concentrate.
  • Folate is very important for infants, children and women who are pregnant. It helps to prevent some birth defects.
  • Folic acid is a form of folate. This is the type of folate found in vitamin supplements.
  • Folacin is the generic name for folic acid and folic acid-related substances. It may be used instead of the words folic acid and folate.

How Much Folate Should I Aim For?

 
Use the following chart to determine how much folate you need every day.
Women who could become pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding need more folate. They should take a daily folic acid supplement of 400 mcg (0.4 mg). 

Age Aim for an intake of*
(mcg/day)
Stay Below* (mcg/day)
Men and Women 19 years and older 400 1000
Pregnant Women 19 years and older 600 1000
Breastfeeding Women 19 years and older 500 1000
*This includes sources of folate from food and supplements

 

Folate Content of Some Common Foods

 
Dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach and dried legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are naturally good sources of folate. In Canada, folic acid is added to all white flour, enriched pasta and cornmeal products.
 
The following table will show you which foods are sources of folate.

Food Serving size Folate (mcg)
Vegetables and Fruit
Vegetables
Edamame/baby soybeans cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 106-255
Okra, frozen, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 97
Spinach, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 121-139
Artichoke, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 79-106
Turnip greens, collards, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 68-93
Broccoli, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 89
Asparagus, cooked 4 spears 128-141
Brussels sprouts, frozen, cooked 6 sprouts 83
Lettuce, (Romaine, mesclun) 250 mL (1 cup) 65-80
Escarole or endive, raw 250 mL (1 cup) 75
Beets, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 72
Potato, with skin, cooked 1 medium 48-66
Spinach, raw 250 mL (1 cup) 61
Fruits    
Avocado ½ fruit 81
Papaya ½ fruit 56
Orange juice 125 mL (½ cup) 25-39
Grain Products    
Pasta, egg noodles, enriched, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 138
Pasta, white, enriched, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 88-113
Bagel, plain ½ bagel (45 g) 86
Bread, white 1 slice (35 g) 64
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice (35 g) 11
Milk and Alternatives This food group contains very little of this nutrient
Meat and Alternatives  
Meat Alternatives  
Beans, cranberry/roman, cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 271
Lentils, cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 265
Peas (chickpeas, black-eyed,, pigeon)
cooked
175 mL (¾ cup) 138-263
Beans (mung, adzuki), cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 234-238
Beans (pink, pinto, navy, black, white, kidney, great northern), cooked 175 mL (¾ cup) 157-218
Sunflower seeds, without shell 60 mL (¼ cup) 77-81
Meatless (fish sticks, meatball, chicken), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 59-77
Soy burger/vegetarian meatloaf or patty, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 59
Soy nuts 60 mL (¼ cup) 59
 
Organ Meats
   
Liver (turkey, chicken), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 420-518
Liver (lamb, veal), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 262-300
Liver (beef, pork), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 122-195
Miscellaneous    
Yeast extract spread (vegemite or marmite) 30 ml (2 Tbsp) 360

Source: "Canadian Nutrient File 2016"
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/index-eng.php
[Accessed June 2016].
 


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