Eating Vegan: Folic Acid

eating veganblack eyed peas and spinach

A recent report looking at folic acid intake in US women determined that women of child-bearing age aren’t getting enough folic acid and that recommending supplements was not sufficient.

Folic acid actually refers to a synthesized version of folate, a B vitamin, so you’ll often hear the two used interchangeably. The recommendation for adults is 400 micrograms of folate per day and 600 micrograms for pregnant women.

There are tons of plant sources for this important vitamin! Here are just a few:

Beans and green veggies are often good sources of folate, and you can find it in many fortified foods, as well. These veggie sources come from recommendations by the National Institute of Health.


  • 1/2c cooked black eyed peas provide 105 micrograms
  • 1/2c Great Northern beans contains 90 micrograms
  • 1c vegetarian baked beans has 60 micrograms


  • 1/2c cooked spinach has 100 micrograms, while 1c of raw spinach has 60 micrograms
  • 4 cooked asparagus spears provides 85 micrograms. Who eats only 4 spears of asparagus?
  • 1/2c Romaine lettuce has 40 micrograms

Fortified Foods

  • 3/4c of fortified cereals can contain between 100 and 400 micrograms. The exact amount should be on the package’s label.
  • 1/2c cooked, enriched white rice has 65 micrograms
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread contain 50 micrograms

You can view the whole list on the NIH website. The bulk of their suggestions are vegan sources.

I’m sure that list isn’t comprehensive, and label reading can help you out when trying to choose foods high in folate. When in doubt, talk to a doctor or nutritionist about folate, especially if you’re pregnant or planning to have children.

American Journal of Preventative Medicine
National Institute of Health

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by sharontroy

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