Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman - What Are Fiddleheads & Should I Try Them?

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet, and health questions.

Want to know which foods to curb sugar cravings? Or, what should you eat before a workout? Ask Keri anything!

Keri will choose one great question a week to be answered Thursday in our Healthy Hollywood column.

To submit questions for Keri, click HERE!

This week’s question — I’ve been seeing fiddleheads everywhere on menus. What are they and should I be trying them?

Keri says…

Thanks for your question! Fiddleheads might seem like something for more adventurous types to try, but I promise you’ll love them! So what exactly are they?? A fiddlehead is a baby fern that is cut before it matures. Just 10 calories per ounce, or 40 calories per half cup, fiddleheads are a pretty good source of protein, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. Choose ones that are tightly curled, small, firm and bright green. Add them to salads, use as garnish or sauté quickly with vegetables. They are so pretty, you’ll love having them on your plate!

What about other new foods to try? How about lemongrass! So commonplace in Thai and many Asian cooking pantries, lemongrass is renowned for immunity boosting and disease fighting properties. When used fresh it is a gorgeous source of fiber and healing properties. In America, we eat chicken soup when we are ailing, in Thailand, they eat lemongrass laden Tom Yum soup – it is said to heal headaches, flus, fevers, arthritis, stomachaches and more. You can also use fresh lemongrass in stir fries, and as a spice in entrees and side dishes. Buy it fresh at Asian markets or dried in the spice isle, your body will thank you.

Feeling a little more adventurous? Nutritional yeast is not a homeopathic remedy, I promise! Nutritional yeast looks like a ground coarse flour. It is a pure yeast strain called Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is in the same family as mushrooms. It is yellow-brown in appearance and is generally purchased in the bulk food section of health food stores. It is a nutty, cheesy-like flavored food that can be added to foods such as popcorn, stir fries, breads or pastas and is an excellent plant source of B12. It is recommended that vegans incorporate nutritional yeast to best meet their B12 needs. Try it a few times, it will grow on you, well, like yeast.

Come up with your own list of exotic fare and be adventurous in your eating! Remember to give new foods like fiddleheads, nutritional yeast and lemongrass a few tries before deciding if they should be added to your repertoire. Sometimes it takes exposure to remind your palates that new foods can be delicious, too!

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