Health benefits of eating sardines - The amazing fish
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. Sardines actually refer 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 abundant in the seas of the Atlantic, Pacific
Benefits vary from a healthy heart to a fat burning stimulant. Sardines health facts clearly state that including sardines in your diet can positively affect health due to its high nutritional value.
Sardines are loaded with nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are vital for overall well-being. Besides being an important protein source, sardines contain a high amount of other nutritional elements given below:
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids: These nutrients play a crucial role in protecting the heart from various diseases. These unsaturated fatty acids help to increase good cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, as well as prevent formation of blood clots, which has been often linked to heart attacks. Omega 3 essential fatty acids help to improve skin texture and prevents wrinkle formation, thereby keeping the beauty of the skin intact for years to come.
If you are looking for excellent sources of omega 3 essential fatty acids, then what better than sardines. This can be gauged from the fact that a serving of sardines delivers anywhere between 1 and 1.7 grams of omega 3 acids. Animal studies suggest that omega 3 acids can play a key role to stop colon cancer from progressing further. Also, women having foods high in omega 3 essential fatty acids substantially reduce their risk of getting breast cancer. Some studies also indicate that omega 3 acids obtained from fish like sardines may be useful to prevent prostate cancer. On the whole, eating sardines may work to keep cancer growth at bay.
Omega 3 acids display anti-inflammatory properties, so eating sardines may protect you from inflammatory conditions like arthritis (inflammation of the joints). Thus, following a sardines diet would contribute to keep the joints healthy.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are present in substantial amounts in the brain. Adequate concentration of omega 3 acids is essential to maintain memory function, boost concentration and overall performance. As sardines are high in omega 3 acids, their consumption can certainly assist to optimize brain function.
Vitamins and Minerals in Sardines
In addition to various health benefits, sardines are also packed with:
Vitamin B12: One of the b vitamins and also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is important in the normal functioning of the brain, nervous system and blood formation. It also plays a role in the metabolism of cells and affects DNA synthesis and regulation.
Selenium: Known as an effective antioxidant, selenium can help in the prevention of cancer by repairing free radicals in the body. It also helps maintain normal thyroid functions and the immune system.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that helps absorption of calcium a mineral crucial in the formation, growth, and strengthening of the bones. It also protects the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties linked to the prevention of cancer.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus not only helps synthesize protein for the maintenance of cells and tissues, it also plays a role in the formation of bones and teeth.
Calcium: Often associated with milk, calcium is known to strengthen and build strong bones and teeth.
Vitamin B3: Also known as niacin, vitamin B3 is vital in the skin, digestive and nervous system. Research has shown it may help prevent Alzheimer's disease, help convert food to energy and promote skin repair.
Vitamin B2: One of the b vitamins and also known as riboflavin, vitamin B2 helps metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins, and can affect DNA synthesis, regulation and energy production.
Amino Acids: Our body needs essential amino acids to carry its day-to-day functions normally. Sardines are rich in amino acids that help support joint cartilage, create collagen, regulate insulin and help the digestive tract. Some of such amino acids include tryptophan, lysine, tyrosine and methionine.
Interesting Health Facts about Sardines
· Sardines are relatively low on the food chain, so they tend to have lower levels of contaminants in relation to other fish.
· A can of sardines may have as much calcium as two glasses of milk.
· Sardines are often canned because they are highly perishable.
· Along with the popular salmon, sardines are also an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.
An added advantage of sardines is that they are low in calories, which means, they can be always included in a weight control diet. Intake of sardines can help to increase consumption of omega 3 fatty acids which boosts metabolic rate, necessary for weight loss. Carb-conscious dieters wanting to reduce weight, will definitely benefit from sardines diet.
Healthy fats can benefit the body in several ways, including:
· Cancer prevention: Studies have suggested that intake of the omega 3 fats may slow tumor growth and improve the quality of life in cancer patients. Doctors may also suggest a diet high in the omega 3 fats as part of a preventative measure against cancer.
· Strengthening the cardiovascular system: Fatty fish high in healthy fats have been linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular problems. Since it decreases blood cholesterol level, it also prevents heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.
· Protecting the brain and nervous system: Omega 3 fatty acid is vital in supporting the brain and neurological systems, as much of it is found in the fats of the human brain. Studies have also shown that it can also decrease the risk of depression and slows the progression of schizophrenia in children.
As with all fish, sardines may be contaminated with mercury, to some extent. However, sardines are among those fish that typically contain the lowest amounts of mercury.
Posted by Doshti Health Care