Vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for various bodily functions, including DNA synthesis and cell growth. It is particularly crucial during pregnancy and for overall health. Here are some dietary sources of vitamin B9:
- Leafy Green Vegetables: Dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich sources of folate. They provide substantial amounts of this vitamin.
- Legumes: Legumes, including lentils, chickpeas, and black beans, are good sources of folate. They are also high in fiber and protein.
- Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits contain folate. They are a tasty way to obtain this vitamin.
- Avocado: Avocado is a fruit that provides a moderate amount of folate along with healthy fats and other nutrients.
- Fortified Foods: Some processed foods, such as breakfast cereals and grain products, may be fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate. Check product labels to see if they contain added vitamin B9.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is a vegetable that contains a good amount of folate. It is a nutritious addition to your diet.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts like peanuts and sunflower seeds provide folate. They can be consumed as snacks or added to various dishes.
- Beef Liver: Organ meats, particularly beef liver, are rich in folate. They are nutrient-dense sources of this vitamin.
- Whole Grains: Some whole grains, such as fortified cereals, may contain folate. Whole grain products can contribute to your folate intake.
- Poultry: Chicken and turkey provide moderate amounts of folate. They are lean protein sources that can be included in your diet.
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A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of these foods can help you meet your daily folate requirements. Folate is important for overall health, and it plays a critical role in preventing neural tube birth defects during pregnancy, making it especially important for women of childbearing age.