The smallest foods can sometimes be the most nutrient dense in nature. For example, goji berries, chia seeds, and yes, even sardines can be very important to our health.
Sardines are packed with important nutrients, ensuring them a prominent place as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B12, and selenium, making them one of the few ingredients on the market that are super healthy, inexpensive, convenient, and delicious.
Why are sardines good for you? The health benefits of sardines range from reduced inflammation to better bone health and greater weight loss. In addition, they supply a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals and are very low in calories.
Extensive information on sardines
The sardine is a type of small, oily fish that belongs to the Clupeidae family. This fish can be found in many different regions, including the Pacific and the Mediterranean, and generally feeds on plankton.
Sardines as a food are tasty and packed with important nutrients, making them a valuable addition to any diet. Not only are they rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but they also have high amounts of protein and essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and selenium. Additionally, sardines have been associated with a number of health benefits, ranging from improved bone health to greater weight loss.
Although these delicious fish can be purchased fresh, they are often consumed canned. Sardines also have a distinctive characteristic flavor that is perfect for many different dishes and recipes, such as salads and pasta.
Sardine Nutrition Facts
The nutritional profile of sardines is high in protein and heart-healthy fats, as well as important micronutrients like vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus. A 92 gram can of Atlantic sardines contains approximately:
9 health benefits of sardines
In addition to the nutrients listed above, sardines also contain some manganese, thiamine, pantothenic acid, and folate.
1. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also anti-inflammatory
The sardines are one of the best natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids essential in the world, with one can of 92 grams can supply more than 1,300 milligrams of these fatty acids. Additionally, sardines provide EPA and DHA, which are two types of essential fatty acids that the body uses to reduce inflammation, which improves heart health, improves brain function, and reduces the risk of chronic disease.
Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acids can be effective in treating and preventing hundreds of medical conditions. Studies show that eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sardines, can help protect against mood disorders such as depression and anxiety and help prevent ADHD, various types of cancer, arthritis, infertility and above all to prevent heart disease.
In fact, omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to lower unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, making them one of the most important nutrients when it comes to maintaining heart health.
Omega-3 fatty acids appear in three forms: DHA, EPA, and ALA. ALA is found in plant foods, such as walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish, including sardines, salmon, and mackerel. EPA and DHA have been shown to be the most beneficial and easy for the body to absorb, making sardines an even better option if we want to get these specific types of fatty acids.
2. Rich in essential nutrients
Sardines are rich in many essential nutrients, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and selenium. They are also a great source of phosphatidylserine and many other B vitamins, phosphorous, iron, copper, potassium, and more. These nutrients not only play an essential role in important functions in our bodies, from heart health to metabolism and cell function, but they can also prevent nutritional deficiencies and help you feel as healthy as possible.
3. They contain vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an important water-soluble vitamin that helps support nerve function, brain health, blood cell formation, energy levels, and more. Unfortunately, many people's diets lack this essential vitamin, resulting in a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Just a mild vitamin B12 deficiency can cause symptoms that include nerve damage, impaired cognitive function, difficulty delivering oxygen to cells, and chronic fatigue. Fortunately, a single can of sardines can meet your daily needs for vitamin B12, as it can provide up to 137 percent of the amount you need in a day.
4. They are rich in selenium
Sardines also provide high levels of selenium, as just one can contains nearly 70 percent of the amounts you need daily. Selenium is an essential mineral that also acts as an important antioxidant and is necessary for your body to create and convert glutathione, a compound referred to by researchers as the "master antioxidant."
Selenium prevents oxidative damage in the body, fights disease-causing free radicals, helps regulate metabolism, and improves cell function. Selenium is also an important mineral for promoting detoxification, as it has the ability to remove stress from digestive and endocrine organs such as the liver and thyroid.
5. They protect the health of the bones
Sardines are a source of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining a healthy skeletal structure, such as calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Eating foods rich in calcium can prevent mineral loss from bones and help heal broken bones after injury.
These three essential minerals help regulate bone metabolism, a process in which mature bone tissue is shed to allow new bone tissue to form. Sardines are one of the few food sources of vitamin D and one of the few ingredients that provides a generous dose of all three.
6. Prevent mood and anxiety disorders
Due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, some research suggests that foods like sardines may be beneficial in preventing mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Many recent studies have focused on the impact of omega-3s on mental health, particularly EPA, and have found that these essential fats can play a very important role in improving mood and maintaining healthy brain function. The brain itself is made up of about 60 percent fat, so getting the correct amounts of fatty acids is crucial for central nervous system function and your overall mood.
7. Control blood sugar levels
Sardines are full of healthy fats and protein, which work to decrease the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Combining high-protein and high-fat foods like sardines with carbohydrates can slow the release of glucose (sugar) into the blood, which helps prevent spikes and blocks in blood sugar levels. Eating foods with essential fats and proteins is especially important for people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or other conditions related to insulin resistance
8. Promote weight loss
Sardines are rich in protein and healthy fats, which makes them one of the healthiest fish you can include in your diet as they also help you feel full and reduce cravings. Sardines are low in calories, but high in essential nutrients that many people often lack, including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. They are a great source of protein and are low in calories, making them great for people looking to reduce their calorie intake to lose weight.
Numerous studies have also shown that adding fish like sardines to your diet can help you lose weight quickly. For example, a University of Iceland study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that adding shellfish to a weight loss diet helped people lose about 1 kilo more than a control group over a four-week period.
9. They are low in mercury and pollutants.
One of the best reasons to regularly consume sardines over other fish is their sustainability and low levels of contamination. Sardines are considered a fish at the bottom of the aquatic food chain as they eat plankton, which means that they do not carry the same toxins and heavy metals as many other fish that you should never eat like red snapper, and fish. sword.
Avoiding pollutants, including heavy metals like mercury, is one of the biggest concerns for many people today, so buying sardines is a good way to get the important omega-3 fatty acids without compromising the removal of toxins from your diet.
Where to find and how to eat sardines?
Sardines can be eaten fresh and grilled or grilled, but most people buy canned sardines, which are available in most supermarkets. Sardines are often canned immediately after being caught because they are very perishable.
It is important to note that there is a big difference in terms of nutrients between freshly caught wild fish and farmed fish. It's best to buy and eat wild fish and avoid farm-raised fish whenever you can, as farms often produce fish with antibiotics and pesticides, which are also fed processed grains.
This results in farmed fish having less nutrients than wild fish, as well as more toxins and pollutants. Farmed fish are also higher in calories and contain more omega-6 fatty acids, which can create a dangerous imbalance that could eventually lead to inflammation.
Canned sardines are those that have been packed in olive oil or water instead of soybean oil or other types of refined oils. Sardines tend to last a good amount of time once canned, but it's still best to always check the expiration date to make sure they haven't expired and lost their nutrients.
Store canned sardines in a cool, dry place, like your kitchen cabinet, and aim to consume them within a few months. If you can find and buy fresh sardines, you will want to look for small fish with a fresh smell that still look shiny and firm. Always use fresh sardines within a few days of purchasing them, as they are considered a very perishable fish. You can store them on ice in the refrigerator for several days.
A note on sustainability
Although sardines are generally considered safe for most people's consumption, the biggest concerns about sardines for the general population stem from the question of sustainability, heavy metal contamination and whether consumption of canned sardines is a health risk.
Experts believe that the nutritional benefits of sardines outweigh the potential health risks associated with their consumption. However, as with all canned foods, it's best to try to find a brand that packs your food in a can free of the chemical BPA.
BPA is a compound commonly used in the manufacture of some vinyl, aluminum, and can coatings. This includes some cans that are used to pack sardines and other fish such as salmon or anchovies. BPA is known as an "endocrine disruptor" because it may have the ability to disrupt certain hormonal activities in the body and negatively affect the endocrine system.
More research is still needed on the amount of BPA that can actually leach into fatty fish when packed in BPA cans, as the only research that has been done so far is minimal and has not shown conclusive results. In the meantime, you should opt for cans that are labeled BPA-free whenever possible.
Also, to practice sustainability, it's best to look for wild-caught sardines in the Pacific seas. If possible, try to avoid sardines caught in the Mediterranean, as this is one of the areas where sardines are quickly running out.
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