Of all canned fish, sardines are the most nutritious (and delicious!) Packed with essential nutrients, the fish in sardines end up being more nutritious canned, instead of served fresh.
How? Sardines contain fish with all the odd bits: bones, organs, skin, etc. Just like offal, some parts of the fish are more nutrient-dense than others. Eating all the odd bits increases the fish’s nutritional value. It’s a good thing sardines are so widely available! In today’s post, we are giving you more reasons to love sardines.
1. Packed with Vitamins
It’s no secret that sardines are good for you. A serving of sardines is packed with vitamin A, D, B12, and niacin. A can of sardines yields about 178 units of vitamin D. Your RDA of this essential nutrient is 600 until you turn 70 years old. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a mineral that strengthens bones and teeth.
Vitamin B12 promotes the production of red blood cells while niacin keeps the skin supple and healthy. Vitamin A improves vision and keeps the skin youthful-looking too!
2. Loaded with Essential Minerals
Did you know a can of sardines contains 351 milligrams of calcium? It also provides 2.69 milligrams of iron, and 700 milligrams of phosphorus. Calcium prevents bone disease while iron boosts immunity. Phosphorus strengthens the bones! Sardines also contain magnesium, potassium, and zinc. These nutrients keep the organs healthy.
3. Low in Mercury
Unlike other oceanic foods, sardines do not contain dangerous levels of mercury. That’s because they are low on the oceanic food chain. The fish absorb fewer amounts of mercury, PCBs, and other toxins. In contrast, oceanic predators like salmon and tuna are high in mercury. Because it contains fewer toxins, sardines are safe for children and pregnant women!
4. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Although a can of sardines contains saturated fats, the amount is very minimal. Sardines contain an incredible amount of omega-3 fatty acid. This beneficial fat is essential in heart function and brain development. It also reduces inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and even cancer!
According to University of Maryland Medical Center researchers, omega-3 fatty acids keep the brain healthy. It supports cognitive functions and brain memory in children and aging patients alike!
5. They are Sustainable
Most sardine manufacturers employ eco-friendly practices. The fish are farmed in a healthy, safe environment. They will not cause over-fishing nor do farmers destroy the oceanic floor for the fish. Once the sardines are packed, they are processed in a clean area, free of contaminants.
6. Packed with Protein
You get plenty of high-quality protein from a can of sardines. Health experts recommend getting your protein from healthier sources than red meat. These sources include oily fish, poultry, grains and nuts.
7. Delicious, Affordable, and Healthy
A can of sardines contains more essential nutrients than other canned goods! They are easily available in your local grocer and they are very affordable too. Sardines make a great, healthy meal or snack too. Just heat a can of sardines, add your favorite (and low-calorie) trimmings and it’s a complete meal!