Natural sources of folic acid

Spinach leaves
Spinach is rich in folic acid
Dark green vegetables are good sources of folic acid. Be careful not to overcook, as the folic acid content can drop considerably.
The following foods are known to be rich in folic acid:
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Egg yolk
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce
  • Liver 
  • Many fruits have moderate amounts
  • Milk
  • Oranges
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Whole wheat bread (usually fortified)

Folic acid deficiency anemia

Individuals who do not eat sufficient folic acid can develop folic acid deficiency anemia. Because folate is important in the production and maintenance of red blood cells, if levels are not adequate, the overall number of red blood cells is lower than the body needs to carry around enough oxygen to supply the body.

Folic acid deficiency anemia can also occur in individuals with medical problems like sickle cell disease, or people who have conditions where the body does not absorb enough folate, for instance in alcohol abuse or kidney disease.
Some medications, such as those used for treating rheumatoid arthritiscancer, and seizures may raise the risk of folic acid deficiency anemia.
The signs and symptoms of folic acid deficiency disease include:
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • Feeling generally weak
  • Sores around the mouth
  • Forgetfulness
  • Being irritable
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
Patients with folic acid deficiency anemia are given folic acid pills to be taken daily. Once folate levels are returned to normal, the body is able to produce enough blood cells to allow the body to function normally again.