Which Foods are Rich in Folic Acid

Who needs folic acid?

1. People who are not pregnant

Folic acid is vitamin B9. If the average person does not take vitamin B enough, red blood cells will decrease, leading to anemia. People with a partial eclipse, gastrointestinal diseases, or excessive alcohol consumption can also reduce the absorption of folic acid.

2. Pregnant women and BB

Pregnant women need more folic acid than adults, mainly to provide BB nutrition. Because folic acid can make red blood cells and synthesize and repair DNA, it is particularly important for the development of the baby’s central nervous system, reducing the chance of developing neural tube defects, brain or spine abnormalities. Therefore, women who are preparing for pregnancy, pregnancy and breastfeeding need to consume more folic acid than ordinary people.

Folic acid intake for pregnant women aged 14-18: 600mcg (upper limit of intake is 800mcg)
Folic acid intake for pregnant women 19 years or older: 600mcg (upper limit of intake is 1,000mcg)

Folic acid intake of novice mothers aged 14-18 (breastfeeding): 500mcg (upper intake is 800mcg)
Folic acid intake for novice mothers aged 19 or above (breastfeeding): 500mcg (up to 1,000mcg)

Folic acid intake for average girls over 14 years old: 400mcg (upper intake is 800mcg)
Folic acid intake for a girl aged 19 or above: 400mcg (upper limit of intake is 1,000mcg)

Is it possible to take in too much vitamin B9?
No, there is no risk of over-vitamination through
diet: even if the foods you eat are
very rich in folate, the excess will be eliminated naturally by
your body. If your doctor has prescribed folic acid for you
in medicinal form, it is important to respect the
recommended doses.

Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is a key vitamin during pregnancy. A deficiency can cause serious malformations of the fetus and a risk of premature birth. Outside of this particular period, folate plays an equally essential role in the body, particularly in terms of cell maturation and renewal.

Characteristics of vitamin B9:

Water-soluble vitamin not synthesized by the body
Essential role in cell renewal and the synthesis of red blood cells
Found mostly in liver and leafy green vegetables
Folate requirements doubled during pregnancy
Deficiency responsible for fetal malformations, Spina Bifida and megaloblastic anemia
Why eat foods rich in folic acid?
Definition, benefits and roles of folic acid
Pregnancy and folate
Due to the link between neural tube defects and folate intake, it is recommended that women planning to become pregnant consume 400 µg of synthetic folic acid, from fortified foods or supplements, in addition dietary intake of folate. This supplementation should ideally start 3 months before conception and continue during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Cellular renewal
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) plays an important role in protein metabolism and in DNA production. Folic acid is involved in the production of rapidly renewing cells such as white and red blood cells, skin cells, etc.

Vitamin B9, vitamin B12 and cardiovascular protection
These two vitamins could act in synergy to decrease the level of homocysteine. It is now known that an excess of homocysteine ​​in the blood is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. A good intake of vitamins B9 and B12 could then participate in cardiovascular prevention.

Hair beauty
Folic acid promotes the regeneration of integuments (nails and hair) and stimulates the hair follicle. A good supply of vitamin B9 strengthens the hair and prevents it from falling out.

What foods is vitamin B9 in?
Vitamin B9 is found mainly in organ meats, legumes and some green vegetables. Here is a list of the 20 foods highest in folic acid:




Poultry offal, grilled or braised

100 g

345-770 µg

Lamb or veal liver, sautéed

100 g

331-400 µg

Cooked legumes

100 g

229-368 µg

Pork or beef liver, braised or sautéed

100 g

163-260 µg

Boiled spinach

125 ml (1/2 cup)

139 µg

Boiled asparagus

125 ml (1/2 cup)

134 µg

Enriched pasta, cooked

125 ml (1/2 cup)

120-125 µg

Soy beans, boiled or sautéed

125 ml (1/2 cup)

83-106 µg

Boiled broccoli

125 ml (1/2 cup)

89 µg

Roasted sunflower seeds

60 ml (1/4 cup)

81 µg

Romaine lettuce

250 ml (1 cup)

80 µg

Sunflower seed butter

30 ml (2 tbsp.)

77 µg

Cooked beet

125 ml (1/2 cup)

72 µg

Sprouted soy beans

125 ml (1/2 cup)

64 µg

Raw spinach

250 ml (1 cup)

61 µg

Orange juice

125 ml (1/2 cup)

58 µg

Cooked Brussels sprouts

4 cabbages (80 g)

50 µg

Okra (okras), boiled

125 ml (1/2 cup)

39 µg

Nuts, hazelnuts, filberts, dehydrated, unbleached

60 ml (1/4 cup)

39 µg


60 ml (1/4 cup)

37 µg

How to properly use vitamin B9 (folic acid)?
Use of folic acid
Daily vitamin B9 requirement
The need for folate changes over the course of life. Especially in pregnant women, it is essential to cover the needs which are then increased to avoid poor closure of the neural tube (Spina Bifida) and malformations of the fetus.

Recommended nutritional intake (ANC)

Babies 0-6 months

65 µg *

Babies 7-12 months

80 µg *

Infants 1-3 years

150 µg

Children 4-8 years old

200 µg

Boys 9-13 years

300 µg

Girls 9-13 years

300 µg

Boys 14-18 years old

400 µg

Girls 14-18 years old


Men 19-50 years old

400 µg

Women 19-50 years

400 µg

Men 50 years and over

400 µg

Women 50 years and over

400 µg

Pregnant women

800 µg

Breastfeeding women

500 µg

* Sufficient intake

Vitamin B9 food supplements
Vitamin B9 supplementation may be considered to support the immune system, reduce cardiovascular risk or prevent neurological disorders. In pregnant women, supplementation with folic acid must be systematic to avoid malformations of the fetus and the risk of premature delivery. It is therefore recommended to take 800 micrograms of folic acid per day, including a diet rich in folate. In other cases, the dosage and duration of the supplementation may vary. However, it is strongly recommended never to exceed 1 mg of folic acid per day and to seek the advice of a doctor.

Adverse effects of vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 deficiencies.

Vitamin B9 deficiency generally results in macrocytic anemia, nausea, neurological disorders which can go as far as dementia, or tissue inflammation. In pregnant women, a vitamin B9 deficiency can have dramatic consequences: Spina Bifida, growth retardation, premature labor, etc. This is why supplementation should be considered even before conception.

Excessive intake of folic acid
In very high doses folic acid can become neurotoxic and cause more or less serious disorders of the nervous system. It is recommended never to exceed 1 mg per day without prior medical advice.

Interactions (with other nutrients)
Vitamin B9 seems to act in synergy with vitamin B12, a good supply of these two elements is essential. Some drug treatments can, however, interact with folic acid and prevent its assimilation. Thus, oral contraceptives or methothrexate have a negative effect on blood folate levels. In people on treatment, it may be wise to consider supplementation.

Chemical properties
The crude formula of vitamin B9 is C19H19N7O6, its molar mass is 441.3975 g / mol. It is a water-soluble vitamin with many roles in the body. Folic acid is, in fact, metabolic precursor of THF, involved in DNA synthesis. In terms of protein metabolism, vitamin B9 allows the synthesis of key amino acids (serine, methionine, etc.).

While plants can synthesize folic acid, animals and humans must necessarily find it in the daily diet to avoid the risk of deficiency.

History of the nutrient
It was in 1930 that L. Wills discovered the existence of a severe anemia common to many pregnant women from underprivileged backgrounds in certain regions of India. The link between diet and this type of megaloblastic anemia is thus established. This form of anemia will be treated by adding yeast to the diet.

Later, researchers will be able to isolate vitamin B9 from certain foods (liver, vegetables, etc.). Henceforth, the study of this nutrient will reveal its many roles in cell maturation and renewal.

It was only in 1980 that scientists will be able to establish a precise link between vitamin B9 deficiency and Spina Bifida. These discoveries will quickly give rise to the first recommendations regarding vitamin B9 supplementation during pregnancy.




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