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Health Benefits of Sardines

Why Sardines Are Great For Your Health

Before you say "ewww," hear me out, because sardines have a bad reputation that's entirely undeserved. Yes, this fish usually comes in a can, but if you don't think twice about eating canned tuna, why hold it against sardines? Plus, if you choose high-quality sardines, they are actually quite mild and not overly fishy or salty. Don't believe me? Try ordering them at one of the many high-end restaurants where chefs are experimenting with fresh sardines.

More important, when it comes to health, sardines are a super seafood. Compared with other seafood, these tiny fishes are virtually mercury-free, and they're very high in omega-3s, the fatty acids that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure along with a myriad of other health benefits. According to nutritionist Jonny Bowden, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, sardines are also packed with iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and B vitamins.

Remarkably, sardines are also loaded with calcium: the calcium in about three ounces of sardines is equal to that of eight ounces of milk. And since sardines are a very sustainable fish, you don't have to feel guilty about eating them.

Look for sardines packed in olive oil or water, and try mixing them into salads like you would anchovies. Or, combine them with mustard on some toast or bread for a sandwich. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Erin Cullum
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 8 years
I love sardines, so good to know.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Nope. Not for me.
somo456 somo456 8 years
I love sardines fresh or canned, my husband is squeamish about bones so we get Season brand BONELESS SKINLESS in peel back can, they come in oil, water, tomato, etc., are ready to put on a piece of bread, add a little sliced red onion and ENJOY!
almostloli almostloli 8 years
i love sardines (in TOMATOES!)
ambitious ambitious 8 years
I haven't had Sardines in forever! My grandmother would heat them up in a frying pan and serve it with a side of grits and maybe some eggs!! Hey, I'm from the South!!
Advah Advah 8 years
Mem, that sounds delicious! Weirdly enough I don't really like fish, but I LOVE any super strong fish - smoked salmon, smoked macquerel (sp?), anchovies and sardines. In the summer we usually have (or had, when I was at my parents') them fresh and grilled when we have a barbecue, and then eat them with a baguette, salt and some lemon juice. It's one of the best things in the world, especially when they're still warm!
EastVillageAmy EastVillageAmy 8 years
Me and my dad were just talking about this. I wish I could eat them, I like most fishy things but I can't get past their appearance, the scales and bones, they remind me of the fish that the cats would pull out of the garbage cans in the alley in the cartoons. Maybe I will try the mashing technique and put them in sauce.
michlny michlny 8 years
I have totally learned to love them! I eat them with.on my salad. When you eat them with mustard they're really good! Give them a chancem they're totally worth it!!
sharshar sharshar 8 years
I love sardines. They're good with pasta, too.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I wish I could love sardines, but I just can't eat them. My husband loves them, but I just can't stand those things. Same with herring...I've tried it several times to see if it tastes any better to me, but no luck.
usinda usinda 8 years
I think I should rediscover sardines. Haven't eaten them in ages. I've been craving something salty.
homekeeper homekeeper 8 years
I've liked them since I was a kid and my dad used to eat them. My favorite is sardines in mustard and then put them on crackers. :)
lemuse20 lemuse20 8 years
My brother is a master gourmet pizza maker, and one night I noticed his pizza tasted different, but it was definitely delicious! He confessed later on that he put sardines in the sauce! There were all chopped up that you could never tell, it definitely added a good flavor to it. And that's coming from a nonseafood fan too. Not sure if I could eat sardines if "I" prepared it and saw the bones and stuff though.
emalove emalove 8 years
I wish I liked them, but I don't. At all.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
:sick: Never ever...
mem952 mem952 8 years
OR mash them up with a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper then use this to top a baked potato or use it stirred through pasta with some rocket. they are SO cheap. and so full of calcium from the little bones!
mem952 mem952 8 years
when we were kids we used to mash them up with salt and pepper, put them on toast and then broil the sardine toast. for some reason we used to have this with vinegar. it sounds disgusting now that i write it down but i think it's really yummy. but i can definitely recommend mashing the sardines up if you are squeamish about the bones. maybe mash them up with some cream cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to make a thick spread for wholemeal toast. fresh sardines are amazing! there are some amazing italian recipes for fresh sardines.
bluesweater bluesweater 8 years
I can only eat them until one breaks in half or otherwise falls apart on the way to the cracker and I notice the little spine inside. Then I get too sicked out!
1apple 1apple 8 years
I'm not sure how to eat them either. Just chop them up? Maybe I should buy a can and experiement.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I sort of like them on salads, actually.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
I really should learn to love them...
psterling psterling 8 years
This is probably a really stupid question but how do you eat sardines? I get freaked out just looking at their scales! Do you just slap them on some bread or do you have to prep them first? I have to tell you Fit, you make a great case for these fish but I'm still apprehensive!
HeatherFeather HeatherFeather 8 years
Sardines are delicious and wallet friendly- the perfect recession special!! King Oscar Sardines Mediterranean style is a yummy option and is readily available in the grocery store (you don't need to go to a specialty food shop). here are a few others, courtesy of Chowhound:
kia kia 8 years
I bought three cans when I was last near a Trader Joe's because I know they are good for me. I just haven't eaten them yet. I am working up the nerve.
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