Originally published: 1.NOV.2019
Last updated: 12.DEC.2023

Most of us know to increase our intake of vitamin C when we’re feeling unwell and to seek sunshine for some much-needed vitamin D. However when it comes to B vitamin folate, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

While folate plays a vital role in the production of healthy red blood cells, it’s also crucial in the development of an unborn child. One of the best ways to get the right amount of folate is by packing your diet with healthy greens, beans and carbs. Some of the best sources include:

  • Spinach and kale
  • Brussel sprouts and asparagus
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Chickpeas and kidney beans
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Breads, rice and, pastas
  • Folic acid supplements

See also: What are the Symptoms of Low Folate? Folate Deficiency Explained

Add descriptive tag

Buy a Wellness Test

Check in on your health with our range of health and wellness tests.

8 Foods to Boost Folate Levels

Spinach and kale

Two foods with the highest content of folate are spinach and kale. Including both of these foods in your diet is a great way to make sure you're getting enough dietary folate.

For those who aren’t keen on leafy greens, adding kale to a smoothie with sweeter fruits like raspberries and blueberries is a great way to ensure you're getting folate into your diet from day to day.

Brussel sprouts and asparagus

Both brussel sprouts and asparagus are very high in folate, so including these as a side at dinner time will really help in boost your folate consumption.

As folate is water soluble, it is lost from vegetables during cooking. To prevent this from happening, avoid boiling vegetables where possible. Try steaming, or even microwaving your vegetables, to keep the vitamin content intact.

See also: What Causes Low Folate?

Broccoli and cauliflower

Broccoli and cauliflower are both high in natural folate and make for a great side dish in almost any meal. Adding chopped-up stalks of these vegetables to a curry or stew will ensure you're getting a daily dose of folate all while bulking up your dinner.

Chickpeas and kidney beans

Chickpeas and kidney beans are a super versatile food and are a great addition to any plate. A chickpea or kidney bean curry is a cheap and easy way to get folate into your diet. Chickpeas are also a tasty addition to any salad, boosting your lunchtime folate intake.

Oranges and orange juice

It is common knowledge that oranges are full of vitamin C, which is important in keeping our immune system strong. A less wellknown fact is that oranges are also a great source of dietary folate - giving you yet another reason to make sure that an orange is included as one of your 5 a day!

Breads, pasta, and rice

In 1988, the US Food and Drug Administration required that folic acid be added to enriched grain products such as bread, pasta, rice, and cereal. These foods are known as ‘fortified’.

The folate found in fortified foods is known as folic acid. Folic acid is a synthetic form of the vitamin, which is more readily absorbed by our bodies. Ensuring that you have an appropriate portion size of one of these enriched foods at every meal time, will help in maintaining adequate folate levels.

See also: What is Folate and How is it Different From Folic Acid?

Fortified breakfast cereals

Fortified breakfast cereals are a cheap and easy way to make sure you're getting enough folic acid in the diet. Many fortified breakfast cereals can contain a large percentage of the recommended daily amount of folic acid you should be consuming a day.

Some fortified cereals can contain 100% of the recommended daily amount if the correct portion is consumed

Folic acid supplement

Although it’s possible to get the amount of folate you need by eating a varied and balanced diet, it’s difficult for women to get enough folate from their diet alone. This is why taking a 400 microgram folic supplement daily until you are 12 weeks pregnant is recommended.

See also: Why is Folate Important in Pregnancy?

Are you interested in knowing more about your general health and wellness? Get insights by taking a trip to your doctor's office or with LetsGetChecked's range of wellness testing options.

With LetsGetChecked’s range of health tests created for women, you can get access to accurate lab results on your schedule. Our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding results, next steps or anything in between.

Add descriptive tag

Buy a Wellness Test

Check in on your health with our range of health and wellness tests.