Source: Photography, iStockphoto
A truly Canadian delicacy, fiddleheads are the tightly curled edible tips of the ostrich fern. Often the first fresh and locally grown vegetable of the season, these shoots are nutritionally dense and loaded with antioxidants. Fiddleheads’ unique earthy flavour is similar to a blend of asparagus, green beans and broccoli. As ephemeral as spring itself, grab this foraged superfood before it’s gone!
Fiddleheads are an excellent non-marine alternative dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that this unfurled frond has the most complete fatty acid spectrum of any edible green plant. Omega-3 fatty acids are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and play a role in reducing inflammation, managing cholesterol and improving memory.
Minerals are not produced by the body;
we get them from our diet, and what better source than fiddleheads? They contain many vital nutrients that our bodies need. Fiddleheads are a good source of copper and iron, which are essential for the production of new red blood cells, as well
as manganese, which is required for the production of enzymes that help control blood sugar and thyroid function. They also contain zinc, one of the most important minerals for growth and protein creation.
Easy as ABC
Fiddleheads are a good source of plant compounds, including vitamins A, B complex and C. Vitamin A reduces inflammation and may help prevent macular degeneration, while vitamin C supports the immune system. Of the B complex vitamins, fiddleheads are a source of riboflavin and niacin. Vitamin B3, or niacin, helps to prevent arterial buildup and improve circulation, and may play a role in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure. What’s more? Niacin is good for your skin, too, helping to protect against sun damage, brighten the complexion and reduce breakouts.
Keep in Mind : Fiddleheads must be cooked thoroughly in boiling water or steamed before consumption, and even before sautéing, frying or baking. Make sure to discard the water used for boiling or steaming. If you’re foraging for fiddleheads, learn how to correctly identify the edible species.
Skin-care products packed with fiddleheads’ vital nutrients.
ALPYN BEAUTY Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum, $78, thedetoxmarket.ca.
THE ORDINARY 100% Niacinamide Powder, $6.50, deciem.com.
REN CLEAN SKINCARE Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil, $60, sephora.ca.