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.
Table of Contents
Is Folate Vegan?
Folate is often added to foods, especially fortified foods like cereals and breads.
The good news is that essentially all folate is made industrially from bacteria. In other words, it does not come from animal products in any way and is vegan.
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.
It’s not that easy to get on a vegan diet, but also not that hard, as you’ll see in a second.
The Top Vegan Folate Food Sources
After compiling nutritional data for a few hundred vegan foods from the USDA, here’s the list of the best sources of folate:
|Food||Folate (µg) per 100 grams||Folate (µg) per 100 calories|
|Red bell pepper||46||174|
|Lettuce (red leaf)||36||280|
|Wheat flour (whole-grain)||28||8|
|Green bell pepper||10||48|
Click the headers to sort by amount of folate per 100 grams or 100 calories (if you’re counting calories).
Types of Plant-Based Foods High in Folate
If we look at the list above, we see certain types of foods in general make up most of the top spots:
- Legumes – Legumes in general dominate the list. Lentils and chickpeas, and several types of beans all have a lot of folate in them. While often considered a nut, peanuts are more like a legume in this case (which they technically are), appearing right near the top of the list.
- Spinach and turnip greens – When you sort by folate per 100 grams, there aren’t too many vegetables (which contain a lot of water and fiber) at the top of the list, except spinach and turnip greens. If you really like spinach, it’s actually possible to meet your RDA from it alone (although hard for most people).
As long as you’re eating beans semi-regularly, you probably meet the RDA from them alone.
However, it’s arguable that spinach is the best overall it comes to folate. Not only does it give you the most per serving, it also gives you the most on a per-calorie basis.