The Best Vegan Folate Food Sources: From Best to Worst

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Folate (often interchanged with folic acid) is a B vitamin that’s involved in creating DNA, and is also involved in creating proteins.

As a vegan, your risk of folate deficiency isn’t any higher. Most folate-containing foods are vegan in the first place.

Folate deficiency is also quite uncommon, and usually only happens when someone has a terrible diet that is deficient in other vitamins as well.

With all that said, I’ve still compiled a list of the best vegan folate sources so that you can know where yours is coming from.

How much folate do you need?

The RDA of folate depends on your age, but it’s 400 mcg (or “µg”) per day for adults of either gender.

The Top Vegan Folate Food Sources Per Serving

Spinach is the king of folate. A single serving will get you about 1.5 times the RDA of folate.

Here’s the full list.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Folate (µg)
Spinach 1 bunch 78 660
Lentils 1 cup 230 358
Mung bean 1 cup 212 321
Chickpeas 1 cup 269 282
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294 278
Black beans 1 cup 227 256
Navy beans 1 cup 255 255
Kidney beans 1 cup 225 230
Cowpeas 1 cup 160 210
Soybeans 1 cup 254 200
Fava bean 1 cup 187 177
Peanuts 0.5 cup 414 175
Mango 1 fruit 202 144
Avocado 1 avocado 227 121
Eggplant 1 eggplant 137 121
Artichoke 1 large 76 110
Durian 0.5 durian 442 108
Turnip greens 1 cup 18 107
Melon 0.5 melon 180 95
Brussels sprouts 1 cup 56 94
Peas 1 cup 117 94
Squash 1 large 52 94
Asparagus 4 spears 13 89
Parsnip 1 cup 100 89
Oats 1 cup 607 87
Beets 1 beet 44 80
Rapini 5 stalks 21 79
Quinoa 1 cup 222 78
Zucchini 1 large 55 78
Hazelnut 0.5 cup 424 76

Legumes in general dominate the list. Lentils and several types of beans all have a lot of folate in them.

As long as you’re eating beans semi-regularly, you probably meet the RDA from them alone.

The Best Folate Sources Per 100 Calories

I made a second list that isn’t based on serving size, but instead looks at the amount of folate per 100 calories of each food, which may be multiple servings.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Folate (µg) Folate (µg) per 100 calories
Spinach 1 bunch 78 660 846.1538462
Asparagus 4 spears 13 89 684.6153846
Turnip greens 1 cup 18 107 594.4444444
Bok choy 1 cup 9 46 511.1111111
Arugula 1 cup 5 19 380
Rapini 5 stalks 21 79 376.1904762
Napa cabbage 1 cup 13 47 361.5384615
Water spinach 1 cup 11 32 290.9090909
Lettuce (red leaf) 0.5 head 20 56 280
Celery 1 stalk 9 23 255.5555556
Cauliflower 1 cup 27 61 225.9259259
Broccoli 1 cup 31 57 183.8709677
Okra 8 pods 31 57 183.8709677
Beets 1 beet 44 80 181.8181818
Squash 1 large 52 94 180.7692308
Red bell pepper 1 large 43 75 174.4186047
Kale 2 cup 15 26 173.3333333
Cabbage 1 cup 22 38 172.7272727
Brussels sprouts 1 cup 56 94 167.8571429
Lentils 1 cup 230 358 155.6521739
Mung bean 1 cup 212 321 151.4150943
Artichoke 1 large 76 110 144.7368421
Zucchini 1 large 55 78 141.8181818
Radish 2 large 3 4 133.3333333
Cowpeas 1 cup 160 210 131.25
Black beans 1 cup 227 256 112.7753304
Green bean 10 beans 17 18 105.8823529
Leek 1 leek 54 57 105.5555556
Chickpeas 1 cup 269 282 104.8327138
Kidney beans 1 cup 225 230 102.2222222

Beans still appear on this list towards the bottom, but if you’re really trying to keep your calories low, try to get your folate from the foods near the top.

In particular, that includes greens like spinach, asparagus, bok choy, rapini, and red leaf lettuce.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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