health

Fiddleheads: the antioxidant-rich, healthy vegetable with an unusual name


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Delicious
(NaturalNews) Fiddleheads, which are included in many Asian dishes, are also a popular springtime health food in Canada and New England thanks to their powerful anti-inflammatory and hormone-regulating abilities. The vegetable, appropriately named for its resemblance to the neck of a violin, is actually part of a fern (the frond) and is harvested in the spring season, typically in the Northeast where ferns are abundant.

However, this is not to say scouring the forests for them is advised.

In fact, food and health experts at Sunflower Natural Foods in Laconia, New Hampshire say that while they're common to see in the northeast in the spring season, people should refrain from harvesting them on their own. Their blog about fiddleheads says, "I always discourage friends from trying to pick them themselves . . . let a professional forager do it for you instead." Leaving it to the professionals and taking precautions while preparing and eating is a good idea; while no varieties are known to be poisonous, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still advises boiling or steaming them for a minimum of 10 minutes in order to kill off any toxins that some people feel may reside on ferns.

Eating fiddleheads for better health

Eating fiddleheads can help overall health since they're rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, have two times the antioxidant power as blueberries, and contain no sodium.

Because they do not have sodium, they play a role in helping regulate blood pressure. Therefore, those with hypertension should consider including them in their diet.

The fact that fiddleheads are rich in healthy omega-3 fats means that eating them can contribute to improved cholesterol levels, easier weight loss, improved memory and possibly even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. These high levels of healthy fats also act as an excellent anti-inflammatory and way to help keep the hormonal system balanced.

Their high levels of antioxidants and vitamins A and C makes them an immune system superstar, boosting the body's natural ability to fight off illnesses and provide overall body protection.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.naturalnews.com/032204_fiddleheads_wild_foods.html

(2) http://sunflowernaturalfoods.typepad.com

(3) http://www.healthbenefitstimes.com

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.

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