10 Foods with Folic Acid for Better Health

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These 10 tasty foods with folic acid offer health benefits for everyone including pregnant women who could be less likely to give birth to children with severe autism.

The right balance of nutrients such as folic acid can ensure optimum health for people of all ages. A recent study showed women taking folic acid before pregnancy had a lower possibility of giving birth to children with a severe form of autism. Add these 10 delicious foods with folic acid to your daily diet to get enough of this essential B vitamin, sometimes referred to as vitamin B9.

Health Benefits of Folic Acid

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, all people need folic acid. This important vitamin helps the body to make new, healthy cells. Also known as folate, it keeps the blood healthy and can ward off anemia. Experts believe folic acid plays a role in preventing cell changes that could leave to cancer and improved heart health. A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association revealed women who take folic acid before pregnancy are less likely to give birth to babies with a severe form of autism.

For women, taking folic acid before pregnancy can also help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and anecephaly. Women who can get pregnant are advised to get 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid daily. Women who are breastfeeding are typically advised to get 500 mcg each day. If a woman is at risk of having a baby with certain birth defects, the doctor may provide a prescription for up to 4,000 mcg of folic acid daily. A doctor may advise certain other patients to have more folic acid if they have conditions such as type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, kidney disease and others. Most people are advised to have 400 mcg of folic acid each day. Fortunately, there are 10 tasty foods with folic acid you can add to your daily diet.

10 Fabulous Foods with Folic Acid

If you don't want to take a supplement, it is easy to incorporate foods with folic acid into your meals everyday. Take note certain breads, grains and cereals also contain folate. Consider these 10 delicious options:


Not just for Popeye, 1 cup of spinach contains 263 mcg of folic acid. Add this green leafy vegetable to your pasta dishes and soups. Serve it with a dash of lemon juice with grilled fish or chicken. Top off your pizza with some spinach.

Romaine Lettuce

Salads sound better everyday as we discover how nutritious and low-calorie they are. One cup of Romaine lettuce contains 76 mcg of folate. Add romaine lettuce to your burgers, sandwiches and tossed salads.


A single boiled cup of these green spears contain a whopping 262 mcg of folic acid. Add asparagus to a cream sauce with lowfat milk, flour and garlic to serve over chicken. Eat them as snack or side dish. To make this green veggie even better, asparagus can also be an aphrodisiac. This is great idea for women who want to get pregnant for more than one reason!


Grab a papaya for an afternoon snack or as a dessert after dinner. This mouthwatering fruit contains 115 mcg of folic acid. A papaya a day could also help keep the doctor away.


Lentils are known as a meatless way to get through Lent. They are also a rich source of folic acid. One cup of lentils contains 358 mcg of folate. Try a delicious and nutrition recipe for lentil soup without meat.

Sunflower Seeds

Everyone is looking for a guilt-free snack that offers nutritional benefits. Steer clear of the sugary treats and opt for sunflower seeds instead. Just ¼ cup of sunflower seeds contains 82 mcg of folic acid. You can eat them on their own or top off a cup of yogurt with sunflower seeds for a yummy crunch.


Nibble on peanuts for another healthy snack. If you eat ¼ cup of peanuts, you will add 88 mcg of folic acid to your daily diet. Peanuts are great on their own. You can add them to muffins or yogurt. Peanuts can also be sauteed in oil to serve with rice and chicken. Best of all, kids tend to like peanuts so they can get folic acid into their diets.


It's hard to beat beets when it comes to getting your daily dose of folic acid. One cup of boiled beets contains 136 mcg of folate. An added benefits of eating beats is their ability to help your body and liver detox.

Kidney Beans

Just ½ cup of kidney beans contains 115 mcg of folic acid per cooked serving. You can cook them yourself or buy canned kidney beans to get the same benefits. Kidney beans are yummy with yellow rice mixed with red peppers and corn.


The above rice and beans dish offers double the benefits because one cup of corn contains 76 mcg of folic acid. Corn is an all-time favorite that can be incorporated into all kinds of meals.

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