Folate and folic acid are different names for the same B vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in food and folic acid is the man-made form of the vitamin. Folate is required for cell division and maintenance and also for repair of DNA. It is also credited with reducing birth defects. The human body cannot produce folate on its own, so a diet rich in folate is important to all of us.
Some foods, such as cereals and breads, are supplemented with this crucial vitamin. Other foods naturally rich in folate, according to the National Institutes of Health, include:
1. Beef liver (3 ounces braised contains 54 percent of the daily recommended value)
2. Spinach (boiled) (1/2 cup boiled contains 33 percent of the daily recommended value)
3. Black-eyed peas (1/2 cup boiled contains 26 percent of the daily recommended value)
4. Asparagus (4 spears boiled contains 22 percent of the daily recommended value)
5. Brussels sprouts (1/2 cup boiled contains 20 percent of the daily recommended value)
6. Lettuce (1 cup shredded contains 16 percent of the daily recommended value) The NIH does not give different recommendations for different types of lettuce, which suggest that 1 cup or most types will fall under this guideline.
7. Avocado (1/2 cup contains 15 percent of the daily recommended value)
8. Spinach (raw) (1 cup contains 15 percent of the daily recommended value)
People with alcohol dependence should be especially mindful of their folate consumption. Alcohol interferes with folate absorption and metabolism and also accelerates its breakdown.
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Dr. Tracy Davenport is a health writer, advocate and entrepreneur who has been helping individuals live their best life. She is co-author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux. Follow Tracy’s love of smoothies on Twitter.