Folic acid is a vital vitamin for good physical and mental wellbeing, however it is also the B vitamin that people are most likely to be deficient in. In order to ensure that you get the correct amount of folic acid it is important that you eat foods rich in this vitamin. If you are going to take a folic acid supplement you need to take a good B vitamin supplement as well containing the other B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 as folic acid may mask symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
An excellent source of folic acid are cereals that have been fortified with 100% DV (400 mcg) of folic acid. The National Institute of Health, office of dietary supplements explains the term DV, "DV's are reference numbers developed by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for folate is 400 micrograms.A food providing 5% of the DV or less is a low source while a food that provides 10-19% of the DV is a good source. A food that provides 20% or more of the DV is high in that nutrient. "
Three ounces of cooked, braised beef liver is an excellent source of folic acid offering 45% DV. The next good sources of folic acid are cowpeas and cereals fortified with 25% DV, both of these sources have a 25% DV. For the cowpeas you will need to have half a cup of immature cowpeas (also known as blackeyes) which have been boiled.
Half a cup of frozen spinach that has been boiled also contains a 25% DV for folic acid and is one of the foods normally recommended to increase your intake of folic acid.
Half a cup of great northern beans that have been boiled, as well as 4 boiled asparagus spears contain a DV of 20% and can also be used to increase your intake of folic acid.
A number of other foods contain a DV between 10 and 15% such as vegetarian baked beans, raw spinach, green peas, broccoli, egg noodles, avocado, peanuts, lettuce, wheat germ, tomato juice and orange juice.
By following a diet that contains plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially the dark green, leafy vegetables as well as taking cereals that have been enriched with folic acid allows you to ensure you are getting enough folic acid in your diet. There are many good sources of folic acid and a large variety of meals can be planned using the sources mentioned above. Have a look at the DV of folic acid or folate on the foods you buy and try to achieve 100% DV daily for maximum benefits.