All women, but particularly those that are trying to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding, need plenty of folate in their diets. Folate, a natural nutrient that can be created in a lab as what is called folic acid, is not super common in its most natural form. Most women rely on supplements or fortified foods to get enough folate or folic acid in their diets. There are natural sources of folate out there though. If you want to get your folate from natural sources, here are the top five foods with the highest amounts of folate.
Black-Eyed Peas. One half cup serving of black-eyed peas contains 25% of your daily value of folate. These tasty little beans are very easy to incorporate into stir-fry meals, taco fillings, or as a stand-alone side dish.
Spinach. In addition to tons of other wonderful nutrients, spinach also offers 25% of the daily value of folate per ½ cup cooked serving. A serving of raw spinach still gives you 15% of the daily value of folate. Try adding cooked spinach to your lasagna, stir fry meals, or quiche.
Great Northern Beans. These yummy white beans pack 20% if your daily value of folate in a ½ cup serving. Great northern beans are excellent when used in soups, baked bean recipes, or cold bean salads.
Asparagus. These tasty green spears offer 20% of your daily value of folate in just 4 spears. Try grilling asparagus as a great side dish, or chop the spears in to smaller pieces and add into rice or pasta dishes.
Long Grain Rice. Boiled long grain rice has 15% of your daily value of folate. There is no easier high-folate food to add into your diet. Rice adds perfectly to many different meals, soups, stews, and even works as its own side dish.
Peas. Green peas offer 15% of your daily value of folate per ½ cup serving. Choose frozen peas for the highest amounts of folate. Boiled peas can be tossed on a cold salad, used as a warm side dish, or hidden in any number of casseroles and soups.
Broccoli. Just ½ cup of frozen, steamed broccoli provides 15% of your needed folate for the day. Toss broccoli florets into pasta dishes, or try roasting broccoli with a little olive oil and garlic for a wonderful side dish.
Folate does not appear in abundance in many natural foods, but there are foods that you can choose that offer higher amounts of folate. Incorporate these foods into your diet to increase your consumption of natural folate.
Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements