Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Dietary Sources and Daily Requirements

Good Dietary Sources of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)


Folic acid is a very sensitive compound and its nutritive properties are reduced by exposure to both air and heat. Because of this, its efficacy can be reduced if foods are improperly stored if they are cooked too much, or when they are reheated.


Vitamin supplements contain vitamin B9 as folic acid, but folate supplements (in the form of L-methyl folate) are also available. This type of folate is often found in prenatal vitamins. Green and black teas reduce the bioavailability of folic acid in the body, so these teas should not be consumed immediately before or after taking a B9 supplement.


Many foods contain folic acid. Fruits and vegetables are particularly good sources. To ensure that you are getting all the health benefits of vitamin B9, be sure to eat a mix of the following foods that are good sources of folate.




  • The best food sources of folate are dark-green, leafy vegetables, including asparagus, broccoli, spinach, arugula, kale, escarole, chard, bok choy, and rapini.


  • Other good vegetable sources of vitamin B9 include cabbage, avocados, beets, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.


Overcooking foods rich in vitamin B9 (folates) can rob them of their nutrition benefits.




  • The richest fruits sources of folates are citrus fruits, like oranges, limes, grapefruit, and citrus fruit juices.


  • Some other fruits that are good sources of vitamin B9 include cantaloupe, bananas, and dates.


Beans and Legumes


  • Beans and legumes are excellent sources of nutrition, including being good sources of folates.


  • To boost your intake of vitamin B9 include lentils, peas, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, and soybeans in your diet.


Fortified Grains


  • Grain products enriched with folic acid are a very rich source of vitamin B9. This includes fortified grain products like bread and cereal.




  • The liver is an excellent source of folate.


  • The majority of meats do not contain much vitamin B9. However, white, lean meats like turkey and chicken do contain some.


Daily Requirement of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)


The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is a standardized measure that defines how much different people need various nutrients every day. For vitamin B9 (folic acid), the RDA is:


  • 65 micrograms per day for infants 0-6 months old.


  • 80 micrograms per day for infants 7-12 months old.


  • 150 micrograms per day for children 1-3 years old.


  • 200 micrograms per day for children 4-8 years old.


  • 300 micrograms per day for children 9-13 years old.


  • 400 micrograms per day for males and females age 14 and older.


Also, while pregnant, the RDA for women is raised to 600 micrograms per day, and while nursing the RDA is raised to 500 micrograms per day.


A deficiency of vitamin B9 (folic acid) is one of the more common nutrient deficiencies and is often seen in chronic alcoholics, pregnant women, people who have problems absorbing nutrients, and people who taker certain medicines (including methotrexate and cholestyramine). A deficiency may occur because of a lack of consumption or because of digestive absorption problems.

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