Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B-9, is a water-soluble substance responsible for helping the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, for use as energy. Folate can be produced by intestinal bacteria, so if colon health is ideal, the body itself is a source of folic acid. Folate comes from the Latin word folium, meaning ''foliage'' which is the most noted dietary source of folic acid. Green leafy foods, such as spinach, kale, and chard, contain this vitamin, along with other green vegetables, such as broccoli and asparagus. Many other natural and whole foods products contain folic acid, such as whole grains and beans. Products which have been processed and packaged normally do not contain any folic acid.
Unless marked ''whole grain',' most baked goods, such as white breads, croissants, bagels, muffins and crackers, are folic acid-free. Whole grains normally contain some of the vitamin, but once those grains have been processed into a flour product and then cooked at high temperatures, they are no longer a source of folate.Whole grain products that are less processed may still contain some folic acid. Check the nutrition information label on baked goods for information specific to the product.
Candies and Sweets
Manufactured foods, such as candies, sweets and chocolates do not contain folic acid. These are products which are made mostly from sugar which is not a dietary source of vitamin B-9. Candies which do not include folic acid include gummies, hard candies, chocolate, candied popcorn, jelly beans, chewing gum and sugar-based icing. Desserts, such as cakes, instant puddings and jello do not contain any dietary folic acid. Drinks, such as juice cocktails and soda, which contain high amounts of sugar, are folic acid-free.
Meat and Meat Products
The meat from chicken and beef, as well as pork, turkey and wild game do not contain any folic acid. Other animal products such as dairy, in the form of cheese, milk and yogurt do not contain folic acid unless they have been specifically fortified to include this vitamin. Organ meats, such as liver and kidneys, contain folic acid and other B vitamins. See the nutrition information label on the packaging for product-specific information. Fish and seafood meats such as salmon, tuna, and shrimp are also not a source of dietary folic acid.