These are under-appreciated little fish. For less than 200 calories a can of sardines will supply you with over 100 percent of your Vitamin B12 requirements, a quarter of B3 and 12 percent of B2. There is also Vitamin D which we have a hard time getting in winter. And, if you have a problem with dairy products, sardines are a great source of calcium.
I average going to Costco about once every seven to 10 days. For that reason when I saw sardines for sale there, I naturally took them as a new product. Now, I may have missed them previously, or the store may have moved them to a new position in the warehouse that became more obvious to me, but I don’t remember ever seeing them before. I like sardines and have been eating the Chicken of the Sea Brisling ones I got from a local supermarket. Naturally, I had to try the Costco ones.
First of all, why eat sardines? The World’s Healthiest Foods site says, “Sardines are named after Sardinia, the Italian island where large schools of these fish were once found. While sardines are delightful enjoyed fresh, they are most commonly found canned, since they are so perishable. With growing concern over the health of the seas, people are turning to sardines since they are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, feeding solely on plankton, and therefore do not concentrate heavy metals, such as mercury, and contaminants as do some other fish.
“While there are six different types of species of sardines belong to the Clupeidae family, more than 20 varieties of fish are sold as sardines throughout the world. What these fish share in common is that they are small, saltwater, oily-rich, silvery fish that are soft-boned. In the United States, sardines actually refers to a small herring, and adult sardines are known as pilchards, a name that is commonly used in other parts of the world.
“Sardines are rich in numerous nutrients that have been found to support cardiovascular health. They are one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels; one serving (3.25 ounce can) of sardines actually contains over 50% of the daily value for these important nutrients. Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12, ranking as one of the World’s Healthiest Food most concentrated in this nutrient. Vitamin B12 promotes cardiovascular well-being since it is intricately tied to keeping levels of homocysteine in balance; homocysteine can damage artery walls, with elevated levels being a risk factor for atherosclerosis.” Continue reading