12 Foods Rich in Folate

12 Foods Rich in Folate

April 18th, 2013 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP

12 Foods Rich in Folate

Folate, also known as Vitamin B-9 vitamin, is primarily recognized for its importance in pregnancy as well as in the prevention of birth defects such as brain and spinal cord concerns. Some studies have found that folic acid, the synthetic version of folate, might also help to prevent other types of birth defects. Unlike folate, folic acid isn’t found in nature and is man-made and added to pre-packaged foods. However, The term folate is often used to describe both natural and synthetic versions.

Folate is considered to be complicated in its interaction with the human body. For instance, enzymes inside the intestine must chemically alter food forms of folate in order for this vitamin to be properly absorbed. Even if the body is healthy and operating at full efficiency, only about 50% of ingested food folate may be properly absorbed. Vitamins B1, B2, and B3 must be present in adequate amounts to enable folic acid to undergo metabolic recycling in the body.

12 Foods Rich in Folate

  • Leafy Greens
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya & Oranges
  • Avocado
  • Seeds & Nuts
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Beans, Peas and Lentils
  • Okra
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers

Health Concerns Requiring Folate Emphasis

  • Alcoholism
  • Anemias (especially macrocytic anemia)
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Cervical tumors
  • Cleft palate or cleft lip
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Gingivitis
  • Glossitis
  • Glycogen storage disease type I
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Insomnia
  • Myelopathy
  • Neural tube defects
  • Non-senile dementia
  • Ovarian tumors
  • Periodontal disease
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Tropical sprue
  • Uterine tumors

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Health Benefits of Foods Rich in Folate

  • Red blood cell production support
  • Helps with the prevention anemia
  • Helps prevent homocysteine build-up
  • Supports cell production, especially in skin
  • Proper function of nerves
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis-related bone fractures
  • Helps prevent dementias including Alzheimer’s disease

Current RDA for Folic Acid

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for folic acid, set in 1998 by the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences, are as follows: (1)

  • 0-6 months: 65 micrograms
  • 6-12 months: 80 micrograms
  • 1-3 years: 150 micrograms
  • 4-8 years: 200 micrograms
  • Males 9-13 years: 300 micrograms
  • Males 14 years and older: 400 micrograms
  • Females 9-13 years: 300 micrograms
  • Females 14 years and older: 400 micrograms
  • Pregnant females of any age: 600 micrograms
  • Lactating females of any age: 500 micrograms

In 1998, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences set a tolerable upper limit (UL) of 1,000 mcg for men and women 19 years and older. This UL was only designed to apply to “synthetic folate” defined as the forms obtained from supplements and/or fortified foods.

Women able to get pregnant need 400 to 800 mcg or micrograms of folic acid every day, even if they are not planning to get pregnant. If they do become pregnant, their babies will be less likely to have birth defects.

Older adults need 400 mcg of folic acid every day for good health. However, older adults need to be sure they also are getting enough vitamin B12 since those older than 50 are at an increased risk of having B12 deficiency. The most absorbable B12 is in the form of methylcobalmin. Too much folic acid can hide signs that a person is lacking vitamin B12 and therefore may cause serious neurological concerns. No folic acid dose, alone, can be considered as truly helpful in the presence of untreated cobalamin deficiency.(2)


References

(1)  Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, PantothenicAcid, Biotin, and Choline. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1998.

(2)  Carmel R.  Folic Acid.  In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed.  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 2006:470-481

Loretta Lanphier is a Naturopathic Practitioner (Traditional), Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Clinical Herbalist as well as the CEO / Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness in The Woodlands TX. She has studied and performed extensive research in health science, natural hormone balancing, anti-aging techniques, nutrition, natural medicine, weight loss, herbal remedies, non-toxic cancer support and is actively involved in researching new natural health protocols and products.  A 14 year stage 3 colon cancer survivor, Loretta is able to relate to both-sides-of-the-health-coin as patient and practitioner when it comes to health and wellness. “My passion is counseling others about what it takes to keep the whole body healthy using natural and non-toxic methods.” Read Loretta’s health testimony Cancer: The Path to Healing. Loretta is Contributor and Editor of the worldwide E-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness. Check out Oasis Advanced Wellness and our natural skin care site Oasis Serene Botanicals.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician of choice.

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