Food sources high in L-Methylfolate (Folate) Activated form of (Folic Acid)
Most leafy green plant sources contain approximately 80% of folate in the active L-methylfolate form. In other words all of the folate in green plant sources is reduced (ready to be methylated if not already methylated).
Virtually none of the folate in fresh food is folic acid which is considered to be harmful to those with the MTHFR Gene Mutation.
Green smoothies containing raw spinach or kale and organic strawberries are a folate powerhouse.
Grains such as wheat, corn and rice are low in folate, resulting in low folate status in most people.
Meat is generally low in folate, except for liver, which is high in non-methylated (not 5-MTHF) folate.
L-methylfolate is essential for brain health – raw or lightly cooked dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and other fresh vegetables are required for a healthy happy brain.
Foods high in L-methylfolate (Folate)
- Sprouted legumes (e.g. mung bean, lentil, chickpea, whitebeans)
- Romaine Lettuce
- Strawberries (and other berries)
- Oranges, grapefruit, and their juices
- Fermented foods such as kefir, water kefir, sauerkraut
- Brewer’s yeast
- Sweet peppers
Dried legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and white beans have the highest folate concentration of any food, however they are mostly in the non-methylated form. Sprouting legumes for four days causes a 3 – 4 x increase in total folate, a near-complete conversion of the folate to L-methylfolate, and a spike in vitamin C content that protects and stabilizes the 5-MTHF.
Eating legumes sprouted for 4 days is quite possibly the single most powerful and natural way of increasing your body’s supply of L-methylfolate (aside from 5-MTHF supplementation).
Green smoothies containing raw spinach or kale and organic strawberries are a folate powerhouse. Vitamin C in foods powerfully protects folate from breaking down. Hence, foods with both folate and vitamin C (such as broccoli and citrus) are super sources of L-methylfolate.
Other sources of L-methylfolate
Bacteria and yeasts are folate factories, and hence fermented foods are excellent sources of active folate.
L-methylfolate (5-MTHF) supplements are rapidly gaining in popularity because they work.
If you have MTHFR gene mutations, eating fresh folate-rich foods every day becomes even more important, however supplementation may also be required.
Berries fresh or frozen never lose their folate
Effects of food processing on folate
Folate (L-methylfolate included) is relatively fragile and degrades when food is processed, therefore it is important to buy fresh green vegetables (primarily leafy greens and cruciferous) from the fresh produce department. Organic vegetables are the preferred choice especially for those who are sensitive to pesticides.
Berries fresh or frozen never lose their folate and can remain frozen for up to 5 months.
Vegetables as close to their raw state as possible is best for folate availability. Lightly steamed vegetables preserve the folate. Boiling vegetables leeches the folate into the water. Avoid boiling unless the water will be used in a soup where the liquid is also consumed.