Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are not only delicious and full of flavor, but they are also packed with folic acid. Folate and vitamin B12 are both essential for converting homocysteine, an amino acid found in the blood, into methionine, which is a key component of new proteins. Without enough folate, this process becomes inefficient, leading to an increase in homocysteine in the blood and a higher risk of heart disease. If you're looking to increase your intake of folate, dark green leafy vegetables are some of the best sources.
Spinach is an excellent source of nutrients, providing 58 mcg in a 1-cup serving of raw leaves and 131 mcg in a half-cup serving of cooked leaves. Mustard greens also have a high concentration of folate; half a cup of boiled mustard greens contains 52 mcg. A cup of raw collard greens has 46.4 mcg. Broccoli is another great source of folate. A 1-cup serving of raw broccoli contains 57 mcg of folic acid.
The folate content is even higher when cooking broccoli; a half-cup serving provides 84 mcg. These foods have the highest levels of folate, so consider adding more spinach, kale, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, raw cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli to your diet to increase your folic acid intake. Eating a variety of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as well as fortified foods is an easy way to get enough folate. It's found in many different fruits, vegetables and legumes, so it's surprisingly simple to meet your needs by following a healthy diet rich in whole foods that can provide plenty of folic acid as well as other important nutrients your body needs.