These tiny oily-fish are bursting with a high amount of nutrients. They are popular for being in cans with a highly attractive aroma. They are well-known for their great taste too.
What are the Benefits of Sardines?
Rich in Macronutrients
Macronutrients are required in a large quantity for sustenance. There are three main types of macronutrients required by us, humans: Carbohydrates (sugar), lipids (fats), and proteins. In almost four ounces of sardines, you can get about 23 grams of protein, 10.5 grams of fat and 1.4 grams of saturated fat. Splendid! And yummy too, you know. Did you know that sardines are perfect for people who are dieting and intend to lose weight? Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the cholesterol to healthy levels, making sardines essential for cardiovascular health.
Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
The healthy fats and proteins in sardines help regulate the sugar in the bloodstreams. Consuming sardines with foods that are rich in carbohydrates, such as bread, slow down the release of sugar in the bloodstreams. Foods such as sardines that are rich in essential fats are beneficial for people who have diabetes or other insulin-related problems.
Maintaining Psychological Health
Your mental health is as important as the wellness of other parts of your body. Sardines, being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, prevent mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Did you know that the brain comprises of 60% fats, and omega-3 fats play a vital role in keeping it healthy? Also, the right ratio of these fats helps in maintaining our mental health. And of course, a decline in omega-3 fatty acids leads to heightened depression and anxiety.
High Levels of Minerals and Vitamins
Eating sardines gives you the chance to enjoy vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and selenium, which are essential for proper body functioning. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that enables the brain and nervous system to function effectively. It helps in keeping the nerves and cells healthy as it supports the process of making DNA in cells. It also prevents megaloblastic anemia, which causes weakness and tiredness. Selenium, a super antioxidant, prevents radical damage. This also makes it effective for the prevention of different types of cancers, colon and prostate cancers especially.
Sardines are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. These minerals are essential for maintaining healthy bones. They also prevent mineral loss in bones. About 99% of calcium is stored in our bones, and it acts as a storage area and when it’s needed, the calcium is released into the bloodstream. Calcium is necessary for bones and the nervous system. It plays a vital role in maintaining hormonal balance, preventing blood clots, transmitting nerve signals, ensuring muscle contractions, and helping the body maintain an adequate pH level. Super! What about vitamin D? This is needed for our bone structure because it helps in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a calcium deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis and tooth decay.
Reduction of Inflammation
Inflammation causes many diseases; for instance, inflammation in joints causes arthritis. Some fatty acids in sardines, EPA and DHA, are useful for reducing inflammation. They are essential omega-3 Fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart disease. You’d be amazed to know that about 3 ounces of sardines contain approximately 835 milligrams of omega-3 fats. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids defend the body against ADHD, depression, anxiety, asthma, heart diseases, and various cancers.
Boosts Immune System
A deficiency in selenium can be a cause of poor immune system, mood disorders, heart diseases, and a damaged thyroid and reproductive system challenges. Sardines are rich in selenium, hence, you can be sure that consuming them results in a disease-free body system.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Various cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by including sardines in your diet. These are what the healthy fats in sardines do: They reduce the harmful levels of triglycerides, raise protective HDL, reduce inflammation, and decrease heart arrhythmias.
What about Weight Loss?
Sardines are rich in proteins; about 3 ounces of sardines can provide 23 grams of protein to the body. This low-calorie protein is helpful for people who need to need to shed some weight. What’s more? Because they are rich in nutrients and help maintain a healthy metabolism, sardines ensure the body is not starved of required nutrients.
Sardines improve the cells of our skin and have rejuvenating properties too. They reduce skin inflammation and improve the skin’s appearance.
Reduces the Risk of Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is a condition that occurs after mid-age. Sardines can lower the risk of developing this problem.
Did you Know there are Various Types of Sardines?
Even though sardines are all members of the Herring family, there are varieties with individual names. Let’s discuss two of the varieties.
Spanish Sardines are found in the Atlantic coasts, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean in both tropical and temperate zones. It grows to over 12 inches long.
This species is found along both Pacific coasts, in the Indian Ocean and on the Atlantic side of South Africa. They are about 7 inches long and weigh about 2 ounces each.
Are there Recipes?
Yes, Grilled Sardines with Lemon, Garlic, and Paprika is one of them.
- 3 medium finely minced garlic cloves,
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh juice from about 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound fresh sardines
- Fine sea salt, or Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Lemon wedges, for serving
How’s it Made?
- Put the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Arrange the sardines in a single layer on the bottom of a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over the fish. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat for 10 minutes.
- Remove the sardines from the marinade and grill over direct heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the sardines over with a metal spatula or fish turner and grill about 2 minutes longer.
- Put the sardines in a large platter and season with salt.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Interesting Fish Facts!
- Fishes have existed on earth for more than 450 million years, long before dinosaurs roamed the earth.
- There are over 20,000 identified species of fish.
- It is estimated that there may still be over 15,000 fish species that are yet to be identified.
- The largest fish is the great whale shark which can reach fifty feet in length.
- The smallest fish is the Philippine goby that is less than 1/3 of an inch when fully grown.
- There are more species of fish than all the species of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals combined.
- Sharks and some others species of fish don’t possess an air bladder to help keep them afloat, so they either swim continually or rest on the bottom.
- Some fishes make sounds by grating their teeth and others make sounds from their air-filled swim bladder. Fish have excellent senses of sight, touch, taste, and smell.
- Fishes feel pain and suffer stress just like mammals and birds.
- Tropical fish are one of the most popular pets in the United States
- Wholesome species of fish can glide, others skip along surfaces, and others can even climb rocks.
- Fishes have a specialized sense organ called the lateral line which helps them navigate in dark or murky water.
- Some species of fish have skeletons made of cartilage alone.
These amazingly healthy fish can be grilled, broiled, or roasted. Asides buying buy them canned at grocery stores, they can be eaten fresh too. In fact, eating them fresh is more healthy.