Nutritional Prospects of Edible Fern of the Western Ghats of India

  • Ammatanda A. Greeshma
  • Kandikere R. Sridhar
  • Mundamoole Pavithra


The nutritional potential of ethnically edible fiddleheads of riparian fern Diplazium esculentum distributed in the Western Ghats of India has been compared with other geographic regions. Uncooked and cooked samples possess moderate quantities of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. Among the minerals, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper in uncooked fiddleheads fulfil or surpass NRC-NAS standards with favourable Na-K ratio (<1). The uncooked and cooked fiddleheads obey FAO-WHO yardsticks for six essential amino acids (His, Ile, Leu, Lys, Thr and Val) with highest quantity of lysine. The contents of seven essential amino acids (Ile, Leu, Lys, Phe, Thr, Tyr and Val) in fiddleheads are comparable or higher than soybean and wheat. The uncooked as well as cooked fiddleheads possess high quantity of palmitic acid. Adequate quantities of minerals, several essential amino acids and high in vitro protein digestibility with high protein efficiency ratios of fiddleheads of D. esculentum support its novelty as human diet.


Fern Diplazium esculentum Fiddleheads Ethnic knowledge Nutrition Protein bioavailability 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ammatanda A. Greeshma
    • 1
  • Kandikere R. Sridhar
    • 1
  • Mundamoole Pavithra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiosciencesMangalore University, MangalagangotriMangaloreIndia

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