Sardines, small, nutrient-packed fish, have been a staple in many cultures for centuries. Their culinary significance dates back to ancient Greece, where they were preserved in oil, and later in the Roman Empire, as a popular dish.
Today, sardines are beloved not only for their culinary significance but also for their impressive nutritional content.
This article will explore six reasons why you should eat more sardines.
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Sardines are packed with nutrients. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you’ll find high-quality protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, vitamin B12, choline, and selenium in these tiny fish.
This impressive nutritional profile makes them a valuable addition to your diet.
Sardines are especially high in protein, thus, providing essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair. A 3-ounce serving offers around 22 grams of protein.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fish are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which generally support brain function and heart health. A single serving contains around 1,200 milligrams of Omega-3s.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Sardines are rich in vitamin D and calcium, nutrients crucial for bone health. A 3-ounce serving provides roughly 30% of your daily vitamin D needs and 25% of calcium.
Selenium is an essential mineral for immune function and thyroid health. Sardines provide an impressive amount of selenium, with a 3.5-ounce serving offering nearly 96% of the recommended daily value.
Health Benefits of Sardines
1. May Help Manage Heart Health
Sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids that have been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
According to medical research, consuming sardines regularly can lower bad cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, thus, reducing the risk of developing a heart attack or stroke.
Additionally, sardines are low in saturated fats, making them a healthier alternative to fatty meats.
2. Boost Brain Function
You can improve brain function by eating sardines. Their Omega-3 fatty acids, choline, and vitamin B12 content contribute to cognitive function and support memory, learning, as well as mood regulation.
In fact, several studies have reported that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, boost mood and improve overall mental health.
3. Low in Mercury
You can safely eat sardines because they contain low levels of mercury. Being small, sardines accumulate fewer toxins, making them a safer choice compared to larger fish.
Generally speaking, this makes them a safer option for pregnant women and children.
4. Improves Skin Health
Sardines contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E that help to improve skin health. Science suggests these nutrients can reduce the effects of free radicals in your body, which can cause skin damage.
Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids in sardines can help your skin stay moist and nourished, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
5. May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Consumption of sardines is proven to prevent type 2 diabetes effectively. In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
6. Promotes Bone Health
Sardines benefit bones. Calcium and vitamin D support strong bones. They help prevent osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and specifically makes them more susceptible to fracture.
Sardines are a nutrient-packed food that can improve your health in multiple ways. As you have seen, consuming sardines regularly can help boost brain function, manage heart health, improve skin health, promote strong bones, and prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why sardines are considered a healthy choice. Try incorporating sardines into your daily diet.
Further Reading: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Fish