The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), or daily
requirement, for Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) is as follows:
65 ug/day for infants 0-6 months
80 ug/day for infatns 7-12 months
150 ug/day for children 1-3 years
200 ug/day for children 4-8 years
300 ug/day for children 9-13 years
400 ug/day for males and females 14 and older
During pregnancy, the DRI is increased to 600
ug/day, and during lactation, the DRI is increased to 500 ug/day.
Folic acid is quickly destroyed by both air
and heat, and a significant portion is lost if foods are improperly
stored, when they are overcooked, or when reheated. Vitamin supplements
usually contain vitamin B9 in the form of folic acid, but folate
supplements (as L-methyl folate) can be found, particularly in prenatal
vitamins. Green and black tea both lower the bioavailability of
folic acid supplements and should be taken at different times.
There is a variety of foods that contain folic
acid, primarily fruits and vegetables. To ensure that you are getting
adquate amounts of vitamin B9 in your diet, be sure to consume a
variety of the following foods that are rich in folate.
Vegetable Sources: The richest sources of folate
are dark-green, leafy vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach,
kale, greens, escarole, chard, arugula, bok choy, mache, radicchio,
and rapini. Other good vegetables that contain folate are cabbage,
avocados, beets, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.
Fruit Sources: Citrus fruits are the best fruit
sources of folic acid, including oranges and orange juice. Other
fruits that contain folate are cantaloupe, bananas, and dates.
Bean and Legume Sources: Beans and legumes
are a good source of folate, including lentils, peas, pinto beans,
garbanzo beans, chickpeas, and soybeans.
Fortified Grain Sources: Grain products that
have been fortified with folic acid are another good source of the
vitamin. This includes foods such as breads and cereals enriched
with folic acid.
Meat Sources: Liver is a good source of folate.
Most other meats are poor sources of vitamin B9, but turkey and
chicken contain some.