Healthy Foods High in Ferulic Acid

Medically Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on November 23, 2022
3 min read

Ferulic acid is a phytochemical, a compound found in plants, that has antioxidant properties.

It is known for its ability to fight free radicals (molecules that steal electrons from other cells and may cause damage) and to boost the effects of other antioxidants, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

It is most frequently used in topical skin-care products such as serums and moisturizers advertised to have anti-aging properties. It is also found in some sunscreens due to its ability to absorb some UV and to increase the protection offered by other antioxidants.

Some vitamin supplements also contain ferulic acid, which also has healthful properties when consumed.

In addition to enhancing the effect of certain vitamins, ferulic acid offers the following benefits when taken orally. 

Liver Health

The liver is highly affected by alcohol toxicity. Ferulic acid contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and may help prevent liver injury.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Ferulic acid is classified as an anti-inflammatory agent. It can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Lower Blood Pressure

Several studies suggest that ferulic acid may have anti-hypertensive properties. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, may increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related conditions.

Ferulic acid mitigates oxidative stress, a condition created when a body has more toxins than it has the ability to fight them, which lowers blood pressure.

Therapeutic Potential for Chronic Diseases 

Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have led to several studies on the use of ferulic acid to treat disorders such as cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, skin disease, and diabetes.

However, much more research is needed to validate its therapeutic potential.

Ferulic acid is found in a number of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and coffee. The following five foods are particularly good sources of ferulic acid.

  1. Popcorn
    So long as you eat it plain, popcorn is a very healthy snack food. It is high in fiber and contains a lot of antioxidants, including ferulic acid. In fact, it is possibly the best source of ferulic acid around — outside of sugar beet pulp, which is customarily fed to livestock. A 100-gram serving averages 313 mg of ferulic acid.
  2. Bamboo
    Consider adding more bamboo to your diet. In addition to fiber and potassium, bamboo shoots come with a whopping average of 243.6 mg of ferulic acid per 100-gram serving.
  3. Whole-Grain Rye Bread
    Most whole grains will contain a good amount of antioxidants, but rye is particularly high in ferulic acid. A 100-gram serving averages 54 mg of ferulic acid.
  4. Whole-Grain Oat Flakes
    Also known as rolled oats, oatmeal, and old-fashioned oats, oat flakes are another whole grain high in ferulic acid. A 100-gram serving averages between 25-52 mg of ferulic acid.
  5. Sweet Corn (Cooked)
    One hundred grams of sweet corn contains about 42 mg of ferulic acid. However, make sure you cook it. Unlike some foods, which can lose nutrients when exposed to heat, cooking sweet corn actually increases the antioxidants you will consume.