CANADA: Forest scavenging for food May 14, 2018 in Scoudouc – PICTURES
Rebecca and I went into our forest this afternoon to scavenge for food. We did not go too far into the woods because we were only looking for ferns / FIDDLE HEADS which grow all over wooded areas in the Province of New Brunswick. Rebecca took all the pictures enclosed. But about Fiddle Heads, below is some information on their nutrition value.
Fiddlehead ferns nutrition facts
NUTRITION AND YOU – Fiddlehead ferns are young, tender, tightly furled new growth shoots of fern family plant, usually of the ostrich fern. The curly ferns are so named after their unique resemblance to fiddle (violin) head. These young eruptions of fiddlehead fronds are very popular among the inhabitants of Maine, Vermont in the US, and New Brunswick provinces in Canada where their short season in later part of spring attracts many food enthusiasts.
Ostrich variety fern belongs to the unique flowerless plant species Onocleaceae, a small family of terrestrial ferns. Scientific name: Matteuccia struthiopteris.
Ostrich ferns are the most common edible fiddle-ferns found in the North America. The fern is a clump forming (like an ostrich plume), deciduous plant, which typically grows in well-drained, moisture rich shady environments. During each spring season, several fiddlehead fronds erupt during spring all along the length of the root (rhizome) spread of big fern plant. Their harvesting season is very short and should be done before the fronds unfurl.
Each fiddlehead is a tightly curled, deep green stalk measuring about 4 cm in diameter, reaching to the height of about 10-12 cm off the ground. Its tender shoots covered with brown scales, which have to be scraped off before being used in cooking. Young and tender fronds taste similar to that of asparagus, or green beans with a crunchy texture of their own.
Vegetable fern (Diplazium esculentum), known locally as lungru, are found in the hilly areas of North India and Nepal eaten as a local delicacy. Lungru season lasts very briefly from May until June.
Health benefits of fiddlehead ferns
Fiddlehead ferns are unique by their appearance, taste, and nutrition profile. The curly young shoots carry just 34 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless; their high-quality plant-nutrition profile consists of health-benefiting antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3, omega-6 essential fatty acids.
Fresh fronds are very high in antioxidant vitamin-A and carotenes. 100 g of fiddleheads hold 3617 IU of 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.
They are an excellent source of many natural polyphenolic flavonoid compounds such as α and ß-carotenes. Carotenes convert into vitamin-A inside the body.
Their unique sweet taste comes from their richness in vitamin C. 100 g of fresh fronds contains 26.6 mg or 44% of daily required levels. Vitamin-C is a moderately potential water soluble anti-oxidant. Together with flavonoid compound like carotenes, it helps scavenge harmful free radicals, and offer protection from cancers, inflammation, and viral cough and cold.
Fern shoots are a very good source of minerals and electrolytes, especially potassium, iron, manganese, and copper. 100 g of fresh sprouts carry 370 mg or 7% of daily required levels of potassium. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte, which helps reduces blood pressure and heart rate by countering sodium effects.
Further, they contain small to moderate levels of some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: May 14, 2018 at 02:06PM