In our Northeast region–fiddlehead ferns are now in season. They are harvested from our local area, and brought into the health food store every year along with other spring crops. Because of their appearance, and quite frankly–they are ferns, I shied away from using these curly little plants in my recipes. But this year, after seeing them around every spring, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and give them a try. I found that after sautéing them for a few minutes, they actually tasted pretty good. They are a bit reminiscent of asparagus. I cooked them up with other local, spring crops: ramps, spring onions and mustard greens and tossed them into my brown rice salad recipe (soon to follow).
I started wondering why people would eat ferns, so I investigated. This is what I learned:
Health Benefits of Fiddleheads Ferns
1. Good vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids
A diet loaded with omega 3 fatty acids is shown to enhance memory, enhance cholesterol levels and also help with weight loss. Recent reports may also be looking into the significance of omega 3 fatty acids in avoiding the start of earlier type-2 diabetes as well as metabolic syndrome, with guaranteeing outcomes.
2. Ultimate antioxidant food
Fiddleheads have shown to have as much as two times the anti-oxidant capacity of blueberries! These types of anti-oxidants have the capacity to increase amounts of glutathione (a strong anti-oxidant) and increase your body’s natural immune system simply by improving its very own all-natural defenses as well as preventing entering pathogenic agents.
The mixture of effective anti-oxidants combined with the heavy dose of omega 3 fats helps you to regulate the body’s inflammation path. Both of these advantages of fiddleheads work together to avoid our defense mechanisms from assaulting cells which are our very own, as with autoimmune diseases.
4. Great source of weight-balancing fiber
Half of a cup of fiddleheads include 7g of dietary fiber. The fiber in fiddleheads is ideal for anybody struggling with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) simply because they need to be perfectly cooked just before consuming. This will make fiddleheads calming and simply digested without any soreness, whilst curing the digestive tract.
5. Prevent cardiovascular disease
Fiddleheads include more than 30 % of the everyday requirement of niacin. Niacin boosts HDL cholesterol as well as aids in reducing LDL cholesterol to avoid arterial build-up as well as enhance circulation.
6. No Sodium
Insufficient sodium within these ferns causes them to be a perfect healthy food for individuals struggling with high blood pressure. Rise in sodium levels may cause rise in the blood pressure levels leading to hypertension. Therefore, these kinds of ferns have the possibility to behave as anti-hypertensive agents.
7. Rich in Vitamin A
Vitamin A is additionally referred to as retinol and is also important for the performing of eyes, kidneys, bladder and also membranes. Vitamin A is important to assist human body combat bacterial infections. Since fiddlehead ferns are abundant with Vitamin A, you possibly can make use of all of these advantages of Vitamin A.
8. Good Source of Macronutrients
In spite of being stuffed with water, fiddlehead ferns consist of proteins as well as carbohydrates. A 100 g of raw fiddlehead ferns has got 5.54 g of carbohydrate as well as 4.55 g of protein. In accordance with the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine, the daily diet of the adult must have a minimum of 40% of carbohydrates as well as 46 grams of protein. Therefore, using a 100 g fiddlehead fern will certainly lead 10% of the everyday protein requirement.
So, as you can see, there are many great reasons to add a little fern to your diet. Local, wild foods are among the most nutritious, so if you see them around–take advantage and reap the benefits!