Fiddlehead ferns are nutrient dense and considered a superfood. The vegetable contains just 34 calories per 100 grams, and boasts an impressive profile of vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
Fiddleheads are high in antioxidants, 2x the amount found in blueberries. 100 g of fiddleheads contain 3617 IU or 120% of recommended daily requirements of vitamin-A. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural antioxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosa. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin-A help the human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fiddleheads have a uniquely sweet taste derived from their abundance in vitamin C. It takes only 100 grams of fresh fiddleheads to provide 44% of daily required levels, or 26.6 mg. Vitamin C is a moderately potential water soluble antioxidant. Combined with flavonoid compounds it helps scavenge harmful free radicals and offers protection from cancers, inflammation and viral infections.
Fiddleheads are a high source of minerals and electrolytes, particularly potassium, iron, manganese, and copper. 100 g of fresh ferns carry 370 mg or 7% of daily required levels of potassium. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte, which helps reduce blood pressure and heart rate by countering sodium effects.
Fiddleheads are a non-marine and vegetarian source of Omega 3 and 6, making the vegetable a powerful plant-based alternative to fish. According to research, this type and concentration of omega-3 fatty acids is unusual for vegetative tissue.
Fiddleheads contain over 30 % of your daily requirement of niacin. Niacin raises HDL cholesterol and assists in lowering LDL cholesterol to prevent arterial build up and improve circulation.
A great source of fibre, half a cup of fiddleheads contain 7g of dietary fibre
1. Canadian Science Publishing: The unique fatty acid and antioxidant composition of ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) fiddleheads
3. Alaska plant profiles– Fiddlehead ferns