Sure, it’s not a surprise that we want to talk about how good sardines are for you, but it’s not hard for us: sardines are a superfood that you really should know more about. These small fish hail from oceans all over the world, and on top of being incredibly tasty (yes, even on pizza) they’re an excellent way to augment your diet for a number of different reasons.
Named after the Italian island of Sardinia, large schools of these fish are caught and canned all over the Atlantic. They were the first fished to be canned, by the order of none other than Napoleon Bonaparte–they were a key part of feeding the people of his empire. They’re making a comeback now because they’re delicious and they’re good for you!
Tiny Protein Powerhouses
Sardines are close to the entry point on the food chain; they eat plankton, and due to their small size they’re typically free of substances like mercury and PCBs. They’re rich in proteins that help form the basis of our muscles and connective tissues, that help power our immune system, and that deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies. A can of sardines can deliver up to 45% of your daily recommended intake of protein, and paired with other protein sources it can be a key part of a balanced protein solution.
Better Bone Health
What builds bones? Lots of things, but Vitamin D is a big one as it helps increase the absorption, and it’s hard to find in most diets. Many people turn to fortified dairy products, but with more consumers controlling dairy intake or dealing with dairy sensitivities, sardines can be an excellent source of Vitamin D. Along with Vitamin D, sardines are packed with phosphorus, essential to strengthening bones, and Vitamin B12 for both bone and cardiovascular health.
You saw this coming: Omega-3s
When we’re talking fish it’s almost a given that Omega-3 fatty acids are going to come up. EPA and DHA have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels, and one serving of sardines can contain over 50% of your daily recommended intake of these important nutrients.
Sardines. They’re a small, delicious, and really, really good for you.