The dietary reference intake for folate, or folic acid, is 400 micrograms (mcg) per day. Many people fall short of this goal.

Anemia may result from folate deficiency. For women, folate needs increase during pregnancy, and there is concern that, later in life, the incidence of cervical cancer may increase with folate deficiency. Excessive alcohol consumption increases a person's risk for folate deficiency.

Food Sources Rich in Folate


Serving Size

Amount of Folate

Chicken Livers*

1 cup

1075 mcg (shimmered)

Wheat Germ**

1 cup

300 mcg

(cooked dried beans and peas)

1 cup

200–350 mcg

Nuts and Seeds***

1 cup

200–300 mcg

Fortified Breakfast

1 cup

up to 450 mcg

Brewer's Yeast

1 tbsp

300 mcg

Cooked Greens

1 cup

150–200 mcg

(cooked tips/spears)

1 cup

250 mcg

Orange Juice

1 cup

100 mcg

* Chicken livers are high in dietary cholesterol.
** Wheat germ is high in calories in large amounts.
*** Nuts and seeds are high in dietary fats and calories.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.