The fiddleheads are young shoots of the ostrich fern, which has the scientific name Matteucciastruthiopteris. The fiddleheads are bright green. They have tightly coiled tips which are about one to two inches long. These shoots can forage during a very short window in springtime. When May rolls around, then you can find the fiddleheads. In this period, they are finally available and they are ready to be consumed for their earthy, nutty flavor. You may never hear about fiddleheads.
They are a devoted crowd that awaits its availability throughout the year and the forages the plant shoots along the East Coast of the USA and throughout Canada. The fiddleheads are available only for a short period of time, from about mid – April to early May. But, if you are not the foraging type, then fiddleheads can be also found in some specialty food markets. The fiddleheads have sweet and snappy flavors.
They can be prepared very easily because they are edible raw. The nutrient content of fiddleheads is impressive. They are rich in Omega – 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other important nutrients. You should remember that many ferns can be toxic, so you should not consume them in high amounts without an experienced guide.
Health benefits of fiddleheads
Low in calories:
When fiddleheads are lightly cooked, then they are nutrient-dense and low-calorie snacks or side dishes. In one ounce of shoots, there are 9.5 calories. They work to fill up without increasing your calorie intake by much at all. You should incorporate low–calorie foods in every meal because it is one of the best ways to lose or maintain weight.
Also, the fiddleheads and the fern leaf have nutrients that can help to boost energy and reduce inflammation, which contributes to your overall health. The fiddleheads have fiber which inhibits the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin which tells the brain that one is ready to eat something.
Good source of niacin:
The fiddleheads have niacin which is playing an important role in health. This vitamin is needed by our bodies to convert food into energy and boost the brain, skin, and heart health. In some studies are shown that this vitamin is also playing an important preventative role in neurodegenerative diseases.
Makes for a healthy side dish:
The fiddleheads have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as micronutrients and a low–calorie count. It is safe to say that eating fiddleheads is a healthy choice. They are making a nutrient-rich side dish or addition to salads, soups, and more. Also, they are unique and they offer a flavor that you do not experience year-round. 0020
Supplies Vitamin C:
You should consume foods high in Vitamin C because this vitamin can reduce the risk of inflammation, neutralize free radicals, boost immunity and promote healthy aging. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants which are playing a central role in health and disease. This is explaining why studies show that a higher intake of Vitamin C foods may be linked to a reduced risk of many chronic conditions.
Rich in Vitamin A:
This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant in the body. It plays a critical role in maintaining healthy skin, vision and immunity. In some studies are said that the carotenoids in Vitamin A foods work to decrease free radicals which cause DNA damage. Also, this nutrient works to reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol, and support bone health.
In an ounce of fiddleheads, there are over 20% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin A. This is a great way to supply your body with disease-fighting and anti-aging antioxidants. Vitamin A can help to improve eyesight and prevent night blindness and macular degeneration as we are getting older.
Rich in manganese:
This mineral is essential for many enzymes which can help to control blood sugar and thyroid function. In 100 grams of fiddleheads, there are 26% of the recommended value of manganese. When you are deficient in manganese, then this can result in general weakness, congenital disabilities, growth retardation, and impaired fertility.