Kristen Zaier, ​​Plant-Based RD

References used for all of the nutrient pages can be found at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts page. Click here.

How Much Folate Do I Need?


  • RDA for Adults is 400 mcg/d

  • Upper Safe Limit: 1000 mcg/d


Why Do I Need Folate?


Folate plays a role in the following:


  • ​DNA synthesis 

  • Formation of red and white blood cells

  • ​Amino acid metabolism


Plant-Based Sources


  • Rich sources of folate include legumes and dark leafy greens


Food

Folate Content (mcg)

Lentils, cooked, 1 cup

358

Pinto beans, cooked, 1 cup

294

Garbanzo beans, cooked, 1 cup

282

Black beans, cooked, 1 cup

159

Kale, raw, 1 cup

94

Spinach, raw, 1 cup

58

Broccoli, raw, 1 cup

57

Asparagus, cooked, 1/2 cup

134

Orange

52

Total whole grain cereal, 3/4 cup

​676



Deficiency Symptoms


  • Anemia 

  • Heartburn, diarrhea, constipation

  • Frequent infections

  • Smooth, red tongue

  • Depression, mental confusion, weakness


Toxicity Symptoms


  • No adverse effects have been reported 


Notes


  • Obtaining adequate folate on a whole foods, plant-based diet is not a concern​​ if you are eating beans and leafy greens daily

  • Getting your folate from whole foods rather than supplements or fortified foods may be preferred as discussed by Dr. Greger in the following video:


Can Folic Acid Be Harmful?


Folate