My parents know exactly what to prepare me for dinner when I come home – any and all types of seafood. Give me a filet of wild salmon or a lobster from Maine (dipped in butter of course), and I’m a happy camper.
My boyfriend knows I’m always up for sushi. We can easily take down a sushi boat full of sashimi and a variety of delicious rolls.
There are tons of superfoods found in the ocean – omega 3s in salmon, zinc in oysters, and deliciousness all around. I’m sure you’ve heard from everyone that you should be eating fish 2-3 times per week. I completely agree, but just like other foods, variety is key.
That’s why I want you to try the superfish I doubt you’re eating – sardines!
Okay, before you click out of my blog, give these little fish a chance. I know a silver tin of sardines doesn’t sound as appetizing as a gorgeous piece of salmon, but they deserve to be in your seafood rotation.
First off, they’re loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, and Americans desperately need more of these heart-healthy, brain-boosting fats. You know where the omega 3s in fish oil comes from? Sardines and other small fish. Sardines rival wild salmon in terms of omega 3 fatty acids. Skip the processing required to make a pill, and just eat the fish.
Second, they’re stocked with another vitamin Americans tend to be deficient in – vitamin D. There’s very few foods that naturally have vitamin D, but fatty fish are one of them. If you buy sardines with the bones, you’ll get a great source of calcium and phosphorus for great bone health. They also have excellent levels of vitamin B12 and selenium.
You don’t have to worry about mercury or other toxins with sardines, either. Since these little fish are low on the food chain, they don’t collect and store heavy metals like tuna, swordfish, and other larger fish.
Now, I hope you see why these are superfoods – the micronutrients in sardines are the ones we all need more of!
In honor of Earth Day yesterday, these little fish are also a sustainable seafood choice. Pacific sardines meet the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines for a “Best Choice.” While you’re there, go get yourself a guide for sustainable seafood choices.
Finally, the best part of sardines – for me, at least – is the cost. While I would love wild salmon filets weekly, it’s not something my little internship stipend can handle. A tin of these nutrition powerhouses will put you back less than $2.00. Well worth it for the hefty dose of omega 3s and vitamin D you’ll get!
If you’re still here reading, you may be ready to give sardines a try, right?
Then, go out, buy a tin, and dig in with a fork!
Okay, even I don’t do that. If you’re a sardines newbie, try out a boneless, skinless version. You can get them packed in water, olive oil, or other sauces like tomato sauce. I prefer sardines in water and adding my own flavor to them, like eating them with avocado. You can add your own olive oil or lemon juice for flavor.
Add them to a salad. This is a quick way to boost up your salad. I usually top my leafy greens with a tin of sardines and avocado to keep me alert and energized all afternoon.
Mix a can with an egg and coconut flour to make a fish patty. You could top this with avocado and/or cheese.
Try out some of these salads with canned sardines as well.
They may not be the tastiest thing you’ve ever eaten, but give them a shot (or 3). It usually takes your taste buds a few tries to adjust. I’m proof of that – my diet as a child was made up of chicken tenders, sweet treats, and very few veggies. Now, to my mom’s surprise, I’m the one telling her to chow down on sardines and kale!
Are you ready to give sardines a shot?