You never hear about people eating sardines anymore. It has to be because of the odor. The fact that walking up to someone with the smell of fish on your breath is not really appealing! It was a low- budget food to have canned sardines. Some of my early memories are of relatives eating canned sardines with crackers and offering them for us to have a nibble. Come to think about it, their breaths were a little fishy. I found that my own circle of “framily” have not eaten sardines in a while including my 71 year old aunt.
The popularity of sardines has indeed been declined to a minority in the United States. In April 2010, the last cannery in the US was closed. This was a cannery that has been opened since the late 19th century as generations of people worked in the older fashion of canning. This fact is truly known that Americans are not embracing the sardine fish anymore.
Health benefits of Sardines
2010’s is the decade of the sardine as more and more are blogging and writing about this nutritious fish. Sardines are increasingly high in omega-3, B complex vitamins, Vitamin D and valuable minerals such as selenium and Calcium. They are great for regulating blood pressure due to the omega-6 content. Vitamin D is hard to come by and this fish is loaded in naturally. This is a great tidbit to have when dealing with SAD for those of you who live above the sunshine belt. Vitamin D also helps with calcium absorption so add it to your meals to decrease osteoporosis. Let’s not mention the high Omega-3 content which can improve memory and brain function. Selenium helps to improve immune function so less sniffles. This fish has low mercury content so it is safe for pregnant women to dig in while baking baby! (Note: It is still a great idea to eat in moderation while pregnant because there is still mercury content. The mercury content is low but is still there so please take caution.)
So, thus far we have concluded that sardines are good because:
- Regulating blood pressure
- Blood health
- Enhanced brain function, memory
- Decreased depression
- Strong bones
I grew excited about all the wonderful things of sardines! It should also be noted that if you plan on eating canned sardines to look for BPA-free canned sardines. Fresh is always best!
Nutrients in 1 oz (28G) Atlantic sardines, canned:
Calcium, 107 mg
Iron, 0.8 mg
Phosphorus, 137 mg
Protein, 7 g
Selenium, 14.8 mcg
Total omega-3 fatty acids, 414 mg
Total omega-6 fatty acids, 992 mg
Vitamin B12, 2.5 mcg
Vitamin D, 76.2 IU
*source “The Illustrated Food Remedies Sourcebook” copyright 2014
I wanted to add some recipes as I did the last entry only to realize that I have never cooked or prepared anything sardines. (The recipes that I add on the site I make myself to see if the prep time and taste are worth it.) I went to my “source guy” AKA Pinterest in order to find at least one recipe involving sardines. There were two with the second being a salad but I was not in the mood to search for fresh sardines so I will post it below for the people who are on low carb diets as a link.
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-sardine-salad-with-chic-82946 (Sardine salad with chickpeas and feta- the kitchen blog)
The first recipe is a sardine fish cake which is low carb. I had to make it two times in order to truly get a real taste for the recipe. The sardine cakes were small and the ingredients are not easy to find. (This is especially true if you live in a food desert such as the Austin Neighborhood in Chicago.)
- 1 can of sardines
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ¼ cup green onion
- ¼ cup almond flour
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor EXCEPT the almond flour
- Keep pulsing until combined
- Roll the mixture into small sized balls and then flatten it with the palm of your hands
- Dip the fish cakes in the almond flour and ensure that it is evenly coated both the sides.
- Cook the fish cakes using butter in a pan on medium flame until both the sides are crispy and gold.
The coconut flour was a bit pricey. I never bought the almond flour because I spent $5 on raw almonds to grind into flour in the Nutra Bullet. Give it a shot and see what you think.
Here’s to your health!