Folate-rich foods

If you are thinking about getting pregnant or just found out that you’ve got a bun in the oven, then you need to make sure that folate-rich foods take a starring role in your diet. Folic acid (called “folate” in its naturally occurring form) is a B vitamin that helps fetuses’ neural tubes develop properly. This is most important during the very early weeks of pregnancy, usually when a woman has no idea that she’s pregnant. The recommended amount is 400 micrograms a day, which is the amount in a woman’s multivitamin or prenatal vitamin (which you should be taking).

Folate is also important for other body functions. Folate deficiency can lead to elevated homocysteine, which has been linked to heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and a host of other diseases


Your best food sources of folate include:

  • romaine lettuce
  • spinach
  • asparagus
  • turnip greens, collard greens
  • beans – black, kidney, pinto, garbanzo (and hummus!), navy
  • lentils
  • beets
  • broccoli

Lesser sources (but still sources) include:

  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • winter squash
  • tomatoes
  • oranges
  • flax seeds
  • onions
  • cantaloupe
  • eggplant

There are also foods that have been enriched or fortifiedwith folate, such as:

  • Malt-o-Meal cereal
  • Fortified Breakfast cereal (Total, Product 19, Special K, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, Wheaties, Honey Nut Cheerios, etc.)
  • Fortified soy milk
  • Enriched pasta
  • Enriched egg noodles
  • Enriched bread, bagels and muffins
  • Enriched white rice


Breakfast: 1 cup Cheerios or Raisin bran with 1 tbs. ground flax seed mixed into nonfat plain Greek yogurt and either 1 cup strawberries or raspberries

Snack: Hummus and veggies

Lunch: Big salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, olive oil and vinegar

Snack: Smoothie: 1 cup orange juice + 1/2 banana +1/2 mango + 1/2 peach

Dinner: Wild Alaskan Salmon, sauteed spinach with garlic and Parmesan cheese, quinoa


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One Response to Folate-rich foods

  1. fitgurl824 says:

    This article couldn't have come at a better time. While training for my com back into the figure world with Fitness America I discovered I was pregnant a couple of weeks ago. With my eating plan developed by the fab Savage Coaches my body was completely prepped for pregnancy and I didn't even know it. Of course my com back will have wait but I have such comfort in knowing I'll be in such a great place during my pregnancy and after!!

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