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Folate - Folic Acid, Vitamin B9

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Food NameFood FolateFolic AcidTotal Folate
Butter, salted303
Butter, whipped, with salt303
Butter oil, anhydrous000
Cheese, blue36036
Cheese, brick20020
Cheese, brie65065
Cheese, camembert62062
Cheese, caraway18018
Cheese, cheddar18018
Cheese, cheshire18018
Cheese, colby18018
Cheese, cottage, creamed, large or small curd12012
Cheese, cottage, creamed, with fruit11011
Cheese, cottage, nonfat, uncreamed, dry, large or small curd909
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Usage Note

  • Folate and folic acid values are in mcg and calculated per 100g of food weight.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name or by nutrient content.

The B Vitamins

information from the National Institutes of Health

The B vitamins are

  • B1 (thiamine, also thiamin)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6
  • B7 (biotin)
  • B9 (folic acid)
  • B12

These vitamins help the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat. They also help form red blood cells. You can get B vitamins from proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas also have B vitamins. Many cereals and some breads have added B vitamins.

Not getting enough of certain B vitamins can cause diseases. A lack of B12 or B6 can cause anemia.

Our Online Databases for B Vitamins

Folate & Folic Acid

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is found in supplements and added to fortified foods.

Folate gets its name from the Latin word "folium" for leaf. A key observation of researcher Lucy Wills nearly 70 years ago led to the identification of folate as the nutrient needed to prevent the anemia of pregnancy. Dr. Wills demonstrated that the anemia could be corrected by a yeast extract. Folate was identified as the corrective substance in yeast extract in the late 1930s, and was extracted from spinach leaves in 1941.

Folate helps produce and maintain new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia. Folate is also essential for the metabolism of homocysteine, and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.

Folate Food Sources

Leafy green vegetables (like spinach and turnip greens), fruits (like citrus fruits and juices), and dried beans and peas are all natural sources of folate.

In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published regulations requiring the addition of folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products. Since cereals and grains are widely consumed in the U.S., these products have become a very important contributor of folic acid to the American diet.


Folate Deficiency

  • Folate deficient women who become pregnant are at greater risk of giving birth to low birth weight, premature, and/or infants with neural tube defects.
  • In infants and children, folate deficiency can slow overall growth rate.
  • In adults, a particular type of anemia can result from long term folate deficiency.
  • Other signs of folate deficiency are often subtle. Digestive disorders such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss can occur, as can weakness, sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, forgetfulness, and behavioral disorders. An elevated level of homocysteine in the blood, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, also can result from folate deficiency.
Many of these subtle symptoms are general and can also result from a variety of medical conditions other than folate deficiency. It is important to have a physician evaluate these symptoms so that appropriate medical care can be given.

Women and Special Need for Folate

Folic acid is very important for all women who may become pregnant. Adequate folate intake during the periconceptual period, the time just before and just after a woman becomes pregnant, protects against neural tube defects. Neural tube defects result in malformations of the spine (spina bifida), skull, and brain (anencephaly). The risk of neural tube defects is significantly reduced when supplemental folic acid is consumed in addition to a healthful diet prior to and during the first month following conception. Since January 1, 1998, when the folate food fortification program took effect, data suggest that there has been a significant reduction in neural tube birth defects. Women who could become pregnant are advised to eat foods fortified with folic acid or take a folic acid supplement in addition to eating folate-rich foods to reduce the risk of some serious birth defects. For this population, researchers recommend a daily intake of 400 μg of synthetic folic acid per day from fortified foods and/or dietary supplements.


Folate-Rich Vegetables


Vegetables Highest in Folate Folate (µg)

Seaweed, agar, dried 580

Leeks, (bulb and lower-leaf portion), freeze-dried 366

Arrowroot, raw 338

Edamame, frozen, prepared 311

Edamame, frozen, unprepared 303

Radishes, oriental, dried 295

Peppers, sweet, red, freeze-dried 229

Peppers, sweet, green, freeze-dried 229

Epazote, raw 215

Seaweed, wakame, raw 196

Turnip greens, raw 194

Parsley, freeze-dried 194

Spinach, raw 194

Asparagus, frozen, unprepared 191

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, frozen, unprepared 187

Mustard greens, raw 187

Seaweed, irishmoss, raw 182

Seaweed, kelp, raw 180

Chrysanthemum, garland, raw 177

Chrysanthemum leaves, raw 177

Pigeonpeas, immature seeds, raw 173

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 172

Peppers, pasilla, dried 170

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, raw 168

Onions, dehydrated flakes 166

Collards, raw 166

Soybeans, green, raw 165

Mushrooms, shiitake, dried 163

Pepeao, dried 160


Vegetables Highest in Folate Folate (µg)

Mustard spinach, (tendergreen), raw 159

Parsley, fresh 152

Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 149

Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained 149

Okra, frozen, unprepared 148

Beans, fava, in pod, raw 148

Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 146

Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 146

Seaweed, laver, raw 146

Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, unprepared 145

Peas, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 144

Endive, raw 142

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 141

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 141

Vinespinach, (basella), raw 140

Mustard greens, frozen, unprepared 138

Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw 136

Asparagus, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 135

Asparagus, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 135

Beans, navy, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 132

Balsam-pear (bitter gourd), leafy tips, raw 128

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, stir-fried 127

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 127

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 127

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, stir-fried, with salt 127

Taro leaves, raw 126

Artichokes, (globe or french), frozen, unprepared 126

Brussels sprouts, frozen, unprepared 123

Jute, potherb, raw 123

Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 121

Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 121


Vegetables Highest in Folate Folate (µg)

Tomato powder 120

Artichokes, (globe or french), frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 119

Artichokes, (globe or french), frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 119

Turnip greens, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 118

Turnip greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 118

Beans, pinto, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 118

Shallots, freeze-dried 116

Malabar spinach, cooked 114

Fireweed, leaves, raw 112

Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 111

Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 111

Chicory greens, raw 110

Beets, raw 109

Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 108

Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 108

Chives, freeze-dried 108

Beans, navy, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 106

Beans, navy, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 106

Chives, raw 105

Jute, potherb, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 104

Jute, potherb, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 104

Sesbania flower, raw 102

Brussels sprouts, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 101

Brussels sprouts, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 101

Cowpeas, leafy tips, raw 101

Pigeonpeas, immature seeds, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 100

Pigeonpeas, immature seeds, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 100

Okra, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 100

Lentils, sprouted, raw 100

Okra, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 100

Broccoli, chinese, cooked 99


Vegetables Highest in Folate Folate (µg)

Spinach, canned, regular pack, drained solids 98

Arugula, raw 97

Broadbeans, immature seeds, raw 96

Asparagus, canned, drained solids 96

Radish seeds, sprouted, raw 95

Broccoli, frozen, spears, unprepared 94

Seaweed, spirulina, dried 94

Collards, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 93

Chayote, fruit, raw 93

Collards, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 93

Folate-Rich Fruits

In general, fruits do not have as high a level of folate content as vegetables. Below is a list of fruits with highest folate content.


Fruits High in Folate Folate (µg)

Orange juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted 155

Avocados, raw, California 89

Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties 81

Boysenberries, frozen, unsweetened 63

Guavas, common, raw 49

Orange juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, diluted with 3 volume water 44

Mangos, raw 43

Oranges, raw, California, valencias 39

Pomegranates, raw 38

Pineapple juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted 37

Papayas, raw 37

Durian, raw or frozen 36

Avocados, raw, Florida 35

Oranges, raw, navels 34

Boysenberries, canned, heavy syrup 34

Blackberries, frozen, unsweetened 34

Kiwifruit, gold, raw 34

Mangosteen, canned, syrup pack 31

Oranges, raw, all commercial varieties 30

Orange juice, raw 30

Oranges, raw, with peel 30

Orange peel, raw 30

Strawberries, canned, heavy syrup pack, solids and liquids 28

Blackberries, canned, heavy syrup, solids and liquids 27

Melon balls, frozen 26

Plantains, cooked 26

Loganberries, frozen 26

Raspberries, frozen, red, sweetened 26

Blackberries, raw 25


Fruits High in Folate Folate (µg)

Kiwifruit, green, raw 25

Pomegranate juice, bottled 24

Strawberries, raw 24

Clementines, raw 24

Jackfruit, raw 24

Orange juice, canned, unsweetened 24

Feijoa, raw 23

Cherimoya, raw 23

Plantains, raw 22

Melons, cantaloupe, raw 21

Raspberries, raw 21

Bananas, raw 20

Lemon juice, raw 20

Melons, honeydew, raw 19

Orange juice, chilled, includes from concentrate, fortified with calcium 19

Orange juice, chilled, includes from concentrate, fortified with calcium and vitamin D 19

Orange juice, chilled, includes from concentrate 19

Pineapple, raw, extra sweet variety 19

Dates, deglet noor 19

Pineapple juice, canned, unsweetened, with added ascorbic acid 18

Pineapple, raw, all varieties 18

Pineapple juice, canned, unsweetened, without added ascorbic acid 18

Kumquats, raw 17

Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened 17

Oranges, raw, Florida 17

Tangerine juice, frozen concentrate, sweetened, undiluted 16

Tangerines, (mandarin oranges), raw 16

Strawberries, frozen, sweetened, sliced 15

Dates, medjool 15

Plantains, green, fried 15

Orange-grapefruit juice, canned, unsweetened 14


Fruits High in Folate Folate (µg)

Sugar-apples, (sweetsop), raw 14

Breadfruit, raw 14

Passion-fruit, (granadilla), purple, raw 14

Bananas, dehydrated, or banana powder 14

Acerola, (west indian cherry), raw 14

Acerola juice, raw 14

Litchis, raw 14

Soursop, raw 14

Loquats, raw 14

Mammy-apple, (mamey), raw 14

Sapodilla, raw 14

Tamarinds, raw 14

Jackfruit, canned, syrup pack 14

Lemon peel, raw 13

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, all areas 13

Grapefruit juice, white, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted 13

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, California and Arizona 12

Grapefruit, raw, white, California 12

Carambola, (starfruit), raw 12

Litchis, dried 12

Pineapple, frozen, chunks, sweetened 11

Pineapple juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, diluted with 3 volume water 11

Pineapple, raw, traditional varieties 11

Lemons, raw, without peel 11

Raspberries, canned, red, heavy syrup pack, solids and liquids 11

Orange Pineapple Juice Blend 10

Grapefruit, raw, white, all areas 10

Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked 10

Lime juice, raw 10

Currants, zante, dried 10

Grapefruit juice, white, canned, unsweetened 10


Fruits High in Folate Folate (µg)

Grapefruit juice, white, canned, sweetened 10

Lemon juice, canned or bottled 10

Blackberry juice, canned 10

Grapefruit juice, pink, raw 10

Grapefruit juice, white, raw 10

Lemon juice, frozen, unsweetened, single strength 10

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red and white, all areas 10

Figs, dried, uncooked 9

Grapefruit, sections, canned, light syrup pack, solids and liquids 9

Apricots, raw 9

Grapefruit, sections, canned, water pack, solids and liquids 9

Fruit salad, (pineapple and papaya and banana and guava), tropical, canned, heavy syrup, solids 9

and liquids

Grapefruit, sections, canned, juice pack, solids and liquids 9

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, Florida 9

Grapefruit, raw, white, Florida 9

Peaches, canned, heavy syrup, drained 9



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