What Is Folate & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Folate is the naturally occurring B vitamin, called vitamin B9. Folate is an essential nutrient.

Its synthetic form is called folic acid.

Folate insufficiency can lead to neural tube defects in early pregnancy.

Many countries have instituted mandatory folic acid fortification of several food products, like grains, because of this.

Table of Contents

Folate Is Essential

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin. It’s also known as folacin and Vitamin B9. (source )

Folate is not synthesized in our body. Therefore must be supplied through our diet.

You can find benefits of consuming folates in Folate, food: 5 Research-Backed Benefits .

Benefits Of Folate

Folates are a class of compounds that are often referred to as natural anti-cancer drugs.

Antioxidants have been shown to have a variety of biological effects, such as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity.

These effects are often associated with the inhibition of the formation of highly reactive free radical species, superoxide, and hydroxyl.

Important During Pregnancy

Demands for folate increase during pregnancy.

It is essential for the growth and development of the fetus.

Deficiency of folate is associated with abnormalities in both the mother and fetus. (source )

1998 instituted the U.S. mandatory folic acid fortification of all enriched grain products.

Because of widespread folate insufficiency that had led to neural tube defects in early pregnancy. (source )

Fortification Of Folic Acid In Foods

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folates.

Folate is naturally present in a wide variety of foods. Spinach, liver, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts are among the foods with the highest folate levels. (source )

The problem is that naturally occurring folates have a much lower absorbability than foods fortified with folic acid.

Folic acid food fortification is mandatory in nearly 80 countries worldwide. (source )

Foods You Can Find Folate In

You find Folate, food mostly in baked, spices and herb, vegetable, and poultry products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Folate, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top ranked list of foods that contain Folate, food.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.