Folate is important for cell growth and making red blood cells especially during pregnancy. Dark green vegetables tend to be rich in folate. Eat at least one dark green vegetable every day.
Folic acid (folate in supplements and fortified foods) can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby. Neural tube defects are birth defects that affect the baby’s spine, brain and skull.
If you could become pregnant or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, take a multivitamin that contains 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
Your Daily Folate Needs
2-3 years = 150 mcg
4-8 years = 200 mcg
9-13 years = 300 mcg
14+ years = 400 mcg
During Pregnancy = 600 mcg
During Breastfeeding = 500 mcg
Sources of Folate
Excellent Sources of Folate (at least 55 mcg of Folate or 25% DV per serving)
|Food Sources||Serving Size||Micrograms (mcg) of Folate||% Daily Value (DV)|
|Lentils, boiled||175 mL||265||120|
|Black eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled||175 mL||265||120|
|Chickpeas, boiled||175 mL||212||95|
|Kidney beans, boiled||175 mL||170||75|
|Spinach, boiled||125 mL||139||65|
|Asparagus, boiled||125 mL||134||60|
|Split peas, boiled||125 mL||94||40|
|Okra, frozen, boiled||125 mL||92||40|
|Broccoli, boiled||125 mL||92||40|
|Sunflower seeds||60 mL||77||35|
|Soy flour||20 g||69||30|
|Enriched pasta, cooked||125 mL||60||25|
|Orange juice, frozen concentrate, diluted||125 mL||58||25|
Health Canada’s Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide provides examples on how you can measure serving sizes.