Sardines are one of the most super fishes that have great nutritional values. These tiny seawater fishes are packed with health-boosting minerals and micronutrients. The benefits of sardines are known to a majority of people, and that is the reason behind its growing popularity.
The popularity of sardines(1) rose during the beginning of the 18th century in Europe after the introduction of the tinned/canned fish. The obsession over this fish gradually tiptoed to America, where they turned out to be very widely used by the end of the 19th and early 20th century.
An Overview on Sardines
Sardine derives its name from the Mediterranean Island Sardinia. Sardines are easily perishable fish, so it is mostly canned. There are different species of sardines, and they love salt waters. The benefits of sardines are known to man from long ago. Sardines have a rich history. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte initiated the canning of Sardines and popularized this little silvery fish. With time, these fish became famous because of its nutritional values.
Sardines are abundantly found in the Mediterranean Sea and also the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. Sardines are soft-boned fishes with approximately 6 to 12-inches height.
Are sardines healthy?
Worried about the presence of Mercury in this type of sea fishes? We have good news for you. Sardines live on plankton, so the presence of contaminants and mercury is less than other fishes like Tuna.
As per U.S FDA, a pregnant woman can have Sardines or any fish with low mercury levels. But the consumption should be limited to 12 ounces a week.
Sardines Nutritional Facts
Sardines are a nutritional powerhouse. Sardines are one of the best sources of essential Omega-3 fatty acids. The fish oil derived from sardines is a source of energy. It also has a lot of vitamins like niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K. The saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats in sardines are considered good fatty acids for our health and body functioning.
The nutritional value present in it gives you the best benefits of sardines. Here is a list of all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients present in sardines:
- Omega-3 fats
- Vitamins B2, K, E, A, B12, and D
10 Benefits of Sardines that Improve the Overall Health
The nutrients mentioned above makes sardines a superfood(2). Now, let us get a detailed idea about the health benefits of Sardines.
1. Maintains Blood Sugar Level:
Blood Sugar Level: Proteins and good fats present in sardines can balance the sugar levels in our blood. Combining sardines with carbohydrate-rich foods like bread slows the sugar release in blood. Diabetics should include sardines in their daily diet to prevent insulin-related problems.
2. Good for Heart Health:
Cardio Vascular Diseases are becoming a common issue in this fast-paced era. If you are willing to protect your heart from future heart issues then include sardines in your diet right away. Sardines have the good fats which are necessary to increase HDL, decreases fatal problems like heart arrhythmias, reduces inflammation and maintains a balanced level of triglyceride.
3. Rich Source of Micronutrients:
We all need an adequate amount of micronutrients. And sardines can supply. The three main micronutrients are lipid, carbohydrate, and proteins which are there in sardines.
4. Maintains Psychological Health:
A healthy mind is as essential as a healthy body. And psychological health can be affected by many issues, including specific food habits and lack of few nutrients too(3). Omega 3 is known for working miracles in case of common mood disorder. Omega 3 is essential to reduce depression, anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and mood swings. Sardines are one of the vital organic sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Boosts Bone Health:
Our bones need phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D to protect our bones from age-related bone issues or bone density related complications. Sardines are an excellent source for all of these.
Calcium is essential for the nervous system as well. If you have calcium deficiency, then problems like hormonal imbalance, imbalance in transmitting nervous signal, pH Imbalances, and blood clotting may occur.
But without vitamin D, calcium cannot be absorbed. So these nutrients are depended on each other and sardines plays a vital role in providing both.
6. Decreases Inflammation:
Many diseases are outburst internal inflammations. Inflammation can be a significant cause of many diseases like arthritis. Our body needs EDA and DHA fatty acids to fight and reduce inflammation. And sardines are a great source of these type of fatty acid. These Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health as well.
Omega 3 rich foods can fight and prevent anxiety, depression, and asthma, various types of cancer, ADHD, and cardiovascular diseases also. Among all the other benefits, the anti-inflammatory benefit of sardines is a significant one.
7. Tuna for weight loss:
Three ounces of sardines provides 23 grams of protein. Our body needs such calorie protein to keep all the organs healthy without adding an extra pound.
8. Provides a Glowing Skin:
The nutrients present in sardines works at a cellular level, which means the cells get healed and rejuvenated with consumption of sardines. Your skin glows and is flawless.
9. Boosts Immunity:
Sardines are a rich source of Selenium. Lack of selenium is the reason behind weak immunity, thyroid imbalance, heart issues, and poor bone health, as well as a mood disorder. Consuming sardines can prevent all these threats.
10. Provides Anti-oxidants:
Sardines protects our organs and overall health by preventing the release of free radicals. This anti-oxidant property of sardines is another significant benefit of this tiny miraculous fish.
Things to Keep In Mind While Cooking Sardines
Now that you aware of the benefits of sardines, and you must be excited to cook some delicious dishes with sardines. But before that, you need to know a few things.
- First of all, sardines are easily perishable fish. So you can opt for canned ones.
- Cleaning fresh sardines can be a challenging task.
- Check the manufacturing date when purchasing canned fish.
- Canned Fishes are already cooked so you can directly have it.
- You can sauté or grill the canned sardines lightly as these fishes are soft-boned and succulent.
Healthy DIY Sardines Sandwich Spread Recipe
Here is our exclusive recipe of Sardines sandwich spread:
You will need:
- Cans of sardines in oil (well drained) – 2
- Homemade mayonnaise- 2 tablespoons
- Lemon juice- 1 teaspoon
- Pepper- 1 teaspoon
- Grated onion- 1 to 2 teaspoons
- Dijon mustard- 1⁄4 teaspoon
- Minced fresh parsley- 1 tablespoon
How to Prepare:
- Mash the Sardines well and blend it with mayonnaise and mustard.
- Add grated onion, pepper and lemon juice in a pan and fry it well.
- Mix the sardines mash and keep stirring.
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley on this.
Your spread is now ready. You can enjoy the benefits of sardines even for breakfast.
Canned Sardines are readily available in all the supermarkets. To get the benefits of sardines, you should start consuming it. But if you are a first-time sardine eater then start small.
Sardines are cost-effective, so you do not need to compromise with your budget to be healthy anymore. Consuming sardines is an easy way to stay fit naturally and to reduce the possibilities of ailments.