Sardines are named after the island off Italy, Sardinia. During the 15th century, large schools of these fish were found to be abundant there. In fact, Napoleon Bonaparte assisted in popularising this fish and it was the first fish to ever be canned. They are of the herring family and are often named pilchards, depending on which region of the world you’re living in.
Many individuals are turning to sardine consumption due to them being at the bottom of the food chain and feeding solely on plankton, they’re mostly free of contaminants and heavy metals, unlike other, larger fish.
Sardines weren’t always the most popular fish to consume however, during the 20th-21st centuries, they started making a comeback. People have become more aware of their health benefits and their great nutrient profile.
The most notable nutrients sardines contain are Omega 3 fatty acids, iodine and Vitamin D.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for aiding in the reduction of inflammation in the body. 90g (approximately 1 sardine) of sardines contain approximately 61% of an individual’s daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids. Due to this, they’re a great option to integrate into the daily diet and an ideal way to enhance your intake of anti-inflammatory foods.
As well as this, sardines are a great source of protein and not only this, when you consume whole sardines, especially tinned, you quite often also consume all the bones which are an ideal source of calcium.
Sardines can be consumed as a snack or, as a component of a large meal. Whichever way you choose to consume them, they’re a great superfood and an easy way to improve your dietary nutrient intake, especially when your aim is to reduce inflammation.