The fern is a common household plant that adds a rainforest or jungle-like vibe to your indoor space. For this article, we aren’t concerned with those ferns; rather, the focus is on fiddlehead ferns, which produce curled fronds that resemble the heads of, you guessed it, fiddles. Why complicate the name when you can call it like you see it, are we right?
What Are Fiddleheads?
Fiddlehead ferns are only available in the spring and they are foraged from woodsy areas in both Canada and the United States. You don’t want to harvest a bunch at once because a mass harvest can cause the rest to die. Upscale restaurants can’t wait for spring, when they get to feature them on seasonal menus. Since fiddleheads are extremely delicate, a light blanch, steam, or sauté is all the cooking you need to do. They have a grassy, nutty flavor and they are rich in a wide variety of nutrients.
Nutritional Value Of Fiddleheads
Fiddleheads contain a balanced mixture of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making them beneficial for heart health. When it comes to vitamins, they are replete with vitamins A & C, two antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. Fiddleheads also contain iron, copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Continue reading to see what they can do for your health.
They Benefit Your Hair
It’s natural to lose about 100 strands of hair per day, but you don’t want to think about losing more than that. Those are you precious strands! Since pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss, especially for men, get ahead of it by consuming foods that are rich in vitamin A. A half-cup of fiddleheads contains 72% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A, which supports the secretion of sebum, a substance that prevents your hair from breaking. Make sure that you don’t over-consume vitamin A, though, as too much can contribute to hair loss.
They Help Regulate Blood Pressure
About one in every three American adults has high blood pressure. Many people take high blood pressure medication, but research shows that consuming potassium-rich foods can help naturally lower blood pressure. Potassium works to lower blood pressure by decreasing tension in blood vessel walls and it helping the body expel sodium through urine. Fiddleheads contain 10% of your RDI of potassium per 100 grams,, and the RDI of potassium for the average American adult is about 3,500mg to 4,700mg. Adults with blood pressure over 120/80 should add fiddleheads and other potassium-rich foods to their diet.
They Boost Immune Function
Fiddleheads are excellent sources of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and micronutrient supports the immune system. A half-cup of fiddleheads contains 44% of your RDI of vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C works to help the body fight off foreign invaders by supporting both the innate and adaptive immune system. Over 50 years of countless research studies illustrate that vitamin C is an essential component to a healthy immune system, especially for immune cell function.
They Help Boost Energy Levels
When it comes to balanced energy levels, you can’t just turn to caffeine and think you’re doing right by your body. The food you eat has a direct correlation to your ability to sustain energy throughout the day. Fiddleheads contain two minerals that help boost energy levels: zinc and manganese. Zinc helps to convert the energy of food into energy for work and physical function. It is common for someone to experience lethargy or fatigue when they lack sufficient zinc levels. The body uses manganese to generate energy, but it also helps you build stronger bones and a healthier immune system.