What Are the Benefits of Eating Sardines?

Sardines are small fish that are also known by the name pilchards in some parts of the world. Usually one would come across them in the grocery store in the form of canned goods. Though usually thought to be one species, in actuality there are over 20 types of fish that also fall under the group of “sardines.” The most popular species of sardines are found mostly in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They are thought to be one of the most harvested fish in the world in the past because they were one of the easiest fish to obtain.

Sardines are among the greatest sources of essential fatty acids. They include other crucial minerals and vitamins all wrapped into an oily bundle of meat and bones. Canned sardines are also known to contain proteins, calcium, iron, fats, potassium, sodium, zinc and other minerals. The vitamins they contain also include vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, riboflavin and many others. Aside from that, there are also many other health benefits one can gain from sardines.


Reduces inflammation and controls blood sugar levels

Because sardines are one of the greatest natural sources of essential omega 3 fatty acids, a single can of sardines provides approximately 50 percent of you daily needs. They also contain EPA and DHA, two fatty acids that studies show the body uses to cut down inflammation, which results in improved heart health.

Sardines are also filled with healthy fats and protein that slow down sugar absorption. Combining food like sardines (high protein and fat) with carbohydrates helps the body release glucose from the carbs and to the bloodstream slowly. Consuming food like sardines are critical for people with diabetes or other conditions related to insulin resistance.


One of the best sources of vitamin D and calcium

Research has shown calcium and vitamin D are very helpful in the prevention of certain types of cancers, and sardines are one of the best sources of these two. These nutrients are also essential in maintaining a healthy skeletal structure, as they can prevent bone mineral loss and assist in healing broken bones after injuries.

Calcium is a crucial mineral in the body, with 99 percent of it stored in the teeth and bones. This is so that, when needed, the stored calcium can easily be released into the bloodstream. Calcium is also used for transmitting nerve signals, balancing hormones, forming blood clots and more.

Vitamin D is also an important fat-soluble vitamin that has a critical role in maintaining healthy bones. It facilitates calcium absorption, along with Vitamin K and magnesium. It’s usually difficult to get the necessary vitamin D for our bodies from food alone. However, a single can of sardines may contain up to 40 percent of your daily needs and with sunlight exposure, will satisfy the body’s needs for vitamin D.


Help with weight loss

Sardines actually help you feel full, curbing food cravings. Sardines have a low calorie count. However, they are also high in many essential nutrients, which many people are lacking in (particularly omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D). Sardines are actually considered a prime choice for people who need to lose weight but are also watching and regulating their calorie intake. They also provide a plethora of nutrients that support the body after strenuous physical activity, and, as has been mentioned, they help you feel satisfied after eating so you are easily able to maintain a healthy weight.


Help fight anxiety and depression

Research has been conducted on the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on mental health, particularly the fatty acid EPA. The studies conclude these essential fats are vital in boosting your mood and can maintain healthy brain function, which helps you fight depression. The brain is also 60 percent made up of fat, so getting the correct ratio of fatty acids is important for central nervous system functionality. Studies also show that when omega-3 intake declines, depression rates in turn, rise.

When you consider all of this, sardines can actually be considered as beneficial for almost anyone. And we haven’t even listed everything this fish is able to give people who eat it. So whether you’re going to a restaurant to order some, or simply opening a can you bought from the canned goods section, you should consider eating some sardines for your next meal.