Oily fish has proven to be a superfood staple food. The unsung hero of this food group is sardines. Sardines are rich in selenium and calcium and are an excellent source of omega-3’s. They are also highly recommended by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because of their nutrient profile and natural abundance. Sardines only eat plankton and ingest less mercury than bigger fish like tuna and shark.
High in DHA and EPA
Oily fish is a superfood. The small sardine is a mighty nutritional powerhouse. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential fatty acids that perform a multitude of tasks inside your body, including stopping inflammation at a cellular level, breaking down fat cells, and maintaining a healthy hormonal balance. Research indicates Eskimo and Japanese people have the lowest rates of heart-related disease. Both cultures incorporate oily fish like sardines in their regular diet which provide substantial heart health benefits.
Sardines Help Decrease Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance can be a dangerous symptom playing a part in the onset of diabetes. The body produces insulin that the system doesn’t use (optimally), and the system fails to operate properly. Sardines contain important proteins which ease the negative consequences of insulin resistance in comparison to casein proteins. Amazingly, sardines also lower plasma insulin levels, insulin resistance, plasma fatty acids, plasma glucose, and HbA1C (which is used to measure blood sugar for long periods). Diabetic should be dining on sardines at least once a week.
Sardines Help Strengthen Your Eyes
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the prime source of vision loss in people who are over 50 years old. Age-related macular degeneration destroys your eyesight by damaging the retinal and macular component that allows you to focus on details. Sardines are nutritional superstars ripe with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. Studies have demonstrated that women who eat foods rich in DHA and EPA twice weekly are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. So you won’t need reading glasses.
Sardines are Rich in Selenium
Selenium is an essential mineral you really can’t live without. If you have been feeling under the weather or can’t seem to drum up any energy no matter what you do, perhaps you should get a blood test to check your vitamin and mineral levels, because you might have a selenium deficiency. Used to fight viral infections, selenium maintains healthy thyroid function and has strong antioxidant properties that may prevent a range of cancers and autoimmune diseases. Selenium is your DNA and cell’s defense against tumor growth. Selenium activates a process called apoptosis which destroys tumors. Sardines are rife with selenium. The most selenium is in the decadent silvery skin of the fish. Don’t be afraid to relish the deliciousness of sardine skin.
Sardines are Safe for Expecting Mothers
Tuna, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel all subsist by eating smaller fish. Mercury accrues inside these larger species of fish making it unsafe for pregnant women to eat. Mercury skips the placenta and travels directly to the baby’s developing brain. Sardines have the lowest rate of trace mercury of all fish making it safe for expecting moms. In fact, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch group ranks Pacific Sardines as a “best choice” due to their plenitude and rapid reproduction percentage. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend that 12 ounces of low-mercury fish are safe for pregnant women. Always discuss dietary changes with your doctor.
The Sardine Diet?
In just over 3 ounces of canned sardines, there are 20 grams of protein, 30 milligrams of calcium, and are high in vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin B12. Protein keeps you full longer while maintaining a healthy insulin response evening out blood sugar levels and controlling your urges to indulge in Doritos and chocolate cupcakes. The American Heart Association suggest you eat at a minimum of 3.5 ounces of fish rich in omega-3’s every week. Folks with heart disease should opt for more servings of sardines. The nutrients in sardines lower the triglycerides and reduce plaque in your arteries lowering your blood pressure and reducing the likelihood of a cardiac event like a heart attack. Perhaps heart health is not a direct route to a smaller waistline, but a strong beating heart is going to pump all the blood it takes to power you through your next hot yoga or Cross-fit class.
Eating foods like sardines become more important as we get older. A few nutritional basics incorporated into your diet and the easier it is to circumvent the ravages of time. With approximately 300 milligrams of calcium in a 3 ounce can of sardines, this superfood can strengthen the density of your bones. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D combined with regular cardiovascular and strength training exercise can fortify your bones against the clock.
Allergies and High Purine Content in Sardines
Any radical changes to your diet should be discussed with your primary physician. Sardines are certainly a super food, rich in essential fats and vitamins, but there are some serious considerations before you dive into the delicious can of mustard sardines. Sardines have a high purine composition. Purines are the components or simple forms that create and build both RNA and DNA. Purine devolves into uric acid. Elevated levels of uric acid put a strain on your kidneys by the act of pushing out the excess acid. Expressed uric acid can cause a bout of gout. People with gout should avoid sardines. Sardines are considered to be one of eight food products which are categorized as the primary food allergens in the country. Sardines contain vasoactive amines which trigger an allergic response. If you’ve eaten sardines and then experience symptoms like increased heart rate, trouble breathing, or stomach distress, then you should consult medical help immediately.
Sardines Replacing Psychotropic Medications?
Current research confirms that the consumption of foods like sardines (that have a plethora of omega-3’s and essential fatty acids in its nutrient profile) create docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In turn, the DHA tackles the same genes that are tackled by many prescribed, psychotropic medications. Eating sardines on a regular basis may provide a therapeutic aid for many mental illnesses including anxiety disorders, personality disorders, addiction, and depression. Don’t switch your medicines without discussing it with your psychiatrist.
Amalfi Coast Stuffed Sardine Recipe
This is an easy introduction to cooking fresh sardines. Of course, you can always just open a can and dive on in! Ingredients:
- 4 Bay leaves
- 1 Mint stalk chopped
- 1 Lemon zested and chopped
- 1/2 Cup tempura bread crumbs
- 1/2 Cup kalamata olives (remove the pits and chop into large pieces)
- 4 Anchovy fillets
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1/4 Cup of pine nuts
- Pinch of dried chili, salt, and pepper
- 1 Large Fennel bulb
- 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 8 Sardines cut open with tails in place
Method in Steps:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put tempura crumbs, olives, mint, lemon zest, anchovies, and garlic in a food processor and whirl until chopped.
- Empty the tempura mix into another bowl and add the pine nuts, chili flakes, and black pepper.
- Place the finely chopped fennel into a lightly greased baking dish. Save the fronds for later.
- Place each sardine skin side down.
- Coat each sardine in tempura mix.
- Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
- Roll sardines with tails sticking upwards.
- Cram as much of the leftover tempura mix into the sardine’s sides.
- Place rolled sardines on top of the fennel.
- Sprinkle the remaining tempura mix on top of the sardines.
- Top with lemon slices and sprinkle Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper and a little olive oil.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the tempura is slightly crunchy and the sardines are golden brown.