It is important to get adequate amounts of folic acid. According to a recent article from the New York Times, folic acid is one of the most, “luscious micronutrients” available and multiple studies suggest a lack of folic acid can lead to mental conditions such as depression and memory loss.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, allows the body to perform many essential functions including nucleotide biosynthesis in cells, DNA synthesis and repair, red blood cell creation, and prevention of anemia. Folic acid is well known for its application in prenatal health, Alzheimer’s disease, and several types of cancer.
Fortunately, there are many foods that are naturally rich sources of folic acid. Folate is the bioavailable, natural form of vitamin B9 found in a variety of plant and animal foods. Folic acid, while readily utilized by the body, is the synthetic form of the vitamin, often found in supplements and fortified foods. To increase your intake of folate, try these foods:
- Dark Leafy Greens. It should come as no surprise that dark leafy greens are rich in folate. For an immediate boost, consider adding more spinach, collard greens, kale, turnip greens and romaine lettuce into your daily diet.
- Asparagus. Asparagus is one of the most folate dense foods in the entire vegetable kingdom. Not only is it folate-rich, but it’s also full of other vital nutrients, including vitamins K, C, A and Manganese.
- Broccoli. Not only is broccoli one of the best detox foods you can eat, it’s also a great source of folate. Avoid fully cooking broccoli and instead eat it raw or lightly steamed.
- Citrus fruits. Many fruits contain folate, but citrus fruits rank the highest. Oranges are an especially rich source. One orange holds about 50 mcg, and a large glass of juice may contain even more. Other folate-rich fruits include papaya, grapefruit, grapes, banana, cantaloupe and strawberries. 10
- Beans, peas and lentils (legumes). Beans and peas especially high in folate include pinto beans, lima beans, green peas, black-eyed peas and kidney beans. A small bowl of any type of lentils will give you the majority of your recommended daily amounts of folate.