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
Avocado ½ medium 81 35
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.