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.

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:

FoodFolate (µg) per 100 gramsFolate (µg) per 100 calories
Peanuts24042
Turnip greens195594
Spinach194846
Lentils181156
Chickpeas172105
Mung bean159151
Black beans149113
Asparagus148685
Navy beans140100
Kidney beans130102
Cowpeas127131
Adzuki beans12195
Hazelnut11318
Soybeans11179
Hemp seeds11020
Fava bean10495
Seaweed (dried)10035
Walnut9715
Sesame seeds9717
Arugula95380
Avocado8953
Flaxseed8716
Rapini83376
Beets80182
Chestnut7029
Cashew6912
Artichoke68145
Parsnip6789
Bok choy66511
Peas6580
Leek64106
Broccoli63184
Kale62173
Brussels sprouts60168
Okra60184
Water spinach57291
Cauliflower57226
Oats5614
Pistachio nuts509
Chia seeds5010
Guava4973
Red bell pepper46174
Almonds448
Napa cabbage43362
Mango4371
Cabbage43173
Quinoa4235
Buckwheat groats4212
Corn4249
Rye grain3811
Lettuce (red leaf)36280
Celery36256
Durian3624
Pine nuts345
Green bean33106
Squash29181
Wheat flour (whole-grain)288
Cassava2717
Coconut meat267
Lima beans2621
Blackberry2558
Jackfruit2425
Zucchini24142
Strawberry2476
Chicory root2333
Brazil nut233
Radish22133
Pecans223
Eggplant2288
Amaranth2222
Plantain2218
Raspberry2140
Cantaloupe2160
Banana2022
Carrot1947
Melon1953
Onion1947
White potato1826
Pineapple1836
Orange1738
Barley1613
Tangerine1630
Date155
Tomato1582
Lychee1522
Swiss chard1474
Lotus root1318
Mustard greens1347
Grapefruit1232
Sweet potato1113
Macadamia nut101
Lemon1035
Green bell pepper1048
Pumpkin seeds92
Apricot919
Watercress867
Lime725
Cucumber748
Gourd733
Pear712
Fig68
Nectarine512
Plum510
Cherry47
Peach410
Rice32
Apple36
Bamboo shoot218
Grapes23
Cranberry12

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.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.