Where to Get Folic Acid Naturally During Pregnancy

Vegetables that are high in folic acid

Folate and folic acid are forms of vitamin B, which are necessary during pregnancy and helps prevent some birth defects.

Folate is naturally found in foods such as vegetables, fruits, and grains, whereas folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is added to supplements and fortified foods. It is best to get nutrients, such as folate, from unfortified foods.

The daily recommended intake of folic acid for pregnant women is 400 – 800 micrograms per day (0.4 – 0.8 milligrams), while the recommended upper limit is no more than 1000 micrograms (1.0 milligrams) of folic acid per day.

This leads many expecting mothers to question where can they get folic acid or folate naturally.

Natural Foods That Contain Folic Acid

Below is a list of some foods containing folate or folic acid:

Asparagus that is high in folic acid

Vegetables

  • Edamame
  • Okra
  • Spinach
  • Artichoke
  • Turnip greens
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Romaine or mesclun lettuce
  • Escarole or endive
  • Beets
  • Potato with skin
Avocados are high in folic acid

Fruit

  • Avocado
  • Papaya
  • Orange juice
legumes-for-folic-acid-naturally

Legumes

  • Beans (cranberry, roman, mung, adzuki, pinto, navy, black, white, kidney, great northern)
  • Lentils
  • Peas (black-eyed, chickpeas, pigeon)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Peanuts

Meat

  • Liver

Fortified foods

  • Pasta (enriched)
  • Bagel (enriched)
  • Bread (enriched)

Last updated: March 21, 2017 at 9:15 am


Compiled using information from the following sources:

1. Dieticians of Canada. (2014, February 25). Food sources of folate.

http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Vitamins/Food-Sources-of-Folate.aspx

2. Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source. (n.d). Keep the multi, skip the heavily fortified foods

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/folic-acid/

3. The Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario. (n.d). Food sources.

http://www.folicacid.ca/food-sources