Sardines ~ Super Seafood

Health Benefits

Promoting Heart Health

These mighty mini's are rich in many 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).

Actually contains over 50% of the daily value for these important nutrients.

These tiny titans are an excellent source of vitamin-B12.

Second only to calf's liver.

As the world's healthiest food most concentrated in this nutrient.

Vitamin-B12 promotes cardiovascular well-being.

Since it is tied to keeping levels of homocysteine in balance.

Homocysteine can damage artery walls.

With elevated levels being a risk factor for atherosclerosis.

Promote Bone Health

These fish are not only a rich source of bone-building calcium.

But they're also incredibly concentrated in vitamin-D.

A nutrient not so available in the diet.

And one that is most often associated with fortified dairy products.

Vitamin-D plays an essential role in bone health.

Since it helps to increase the absorption of calcium.

They're also a very good source of phosphorus.

A mineral that is important to strengthening the bone matrix.

Additionally, as high levels of homocysteine are related to osteoporosis.

Their vitamin-B12 rounds out their repertoire of nutrients that support bone health.

Promote Optimal Health

For many years, researchers have known that vitamin-D.

In the form of calcitriol, participates in the regulation of cell activity.

Because cell cycles play such a key role in the development of cancer.

Optimal vitamin-D intake.

May turn out to play an important role in the prevention of various types of cancer.

Selenium, of which this seafood are also a very good source.

Is a mineral with powerful antioxidant activity.

Whose dietary intake is associated with reduced risk of cancer.

Packed with Protein

They're rich in protein, which provides us with amino acids.

Our bodies use amino acids to create new proteins.

Which serve as the basis for most of the body's cells and structures.

Proteins form the basis of muscles and connective tissues.

Antibodies that keep our immune system strong, and transport proteins.

That deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies.


These fish are named after Sardinia.

The Italian island where large schools of these fish were once found.

While these tiny titans are delightful enjoyed fresh.

They're mostly found canned, since they're so perishable.

With growing concern over the health of the seas.

People are turning to these super seafoods since they are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain.

Feeding solely on plankton and thus do not concentrate heavy metals.

Such as mercury and contaminants as do some other fish.

While there are six different types of species.

More than 20 varieties 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, they're actually referred to as a small herring.

And adult sardines are known as "pilchards" in other parts of the world.

They're abundant in the seas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean.

With Spain, Portugal, France, and Norway the leading producers of the canned version.

A Bit of History

Sardines date back to time immemorial.

But it was the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who helped to popularize these little fish.

By initiating the canning of said fish, the first ever to be canned.

In order to feed the citizens of the land over which he presided.

Popular in the United States in the 20th century.

They are now making a comeback.

As people realize they are an rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin-D.

And that, because they are small fish at the bottom of the food chain.

They are not as likely to contain concentrated amounts of contaminants.

Such as mercury and PCBs.

How to Select and Store

Canned sardines packed in olive oil are preferable to those in soybean oil.

Those concerned about their intake of fat may want to choose those that are packed in water.

Look at the expiration date on the package to ensure that they are still fresh.

If you're purchasing them fresh, look for ones that smell fresh.

Are firm to the touch, and have bright eyes and shiny skin.

The Pacific variety.

Are featured on the Super Green List of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch.

The Super Green List is considered "the Best of the Best" in seafood.

To receive this designation a fish or shellfish needed to be among their "Best Choices".

For sustainability, provide at least 250 mg of omega-3s in an 8-ounce serving.

And contain low levels of mercury (less than 216 ppb) and PCBs (less than 11 ppb).

Canned, they can be stored in the kitchen cupboard.

One that is cool and not exposed to excessive heat.

They have a long storage life.

Check the package for the end date so you know when you should use it by.

Turn the can every now and then.

To ensure that all the parts are exposed to the oil or liquid in which they are packed.

This will help keep them well-moistened.

Unused portions of opened sardine cans should be refrigerated.

Fresh, they're very perishable.

And normal refrigerator temperatures of 36-40F (2-4C).

Do not inhibit the enzymatic activity that causes them to spoil.

They are best when stored at 28-32F (-2-0C).

To store the fresh variety.

Remove them from the store packaging.

Rinse and place in a plastic storage bag as soon as you bring them home from the market.

Place in a large bowl and cover with ice cubes or ice packs to reduce the temperature of the fish.

Remember to drain off the melted water and replenish the ice as necessary.

Although fresh, they'll keep for a few days using this method.

We recommend using them as soon as possible, within a day or two.

Don't forget that fish not only starts to smell, but will dry out or become slimy if not stored correctly.

How to Enjoy

Tips for Preparing Sardines:

Canned sardines need minimal preparation.

For canned packed in oil, gently rinse them under water to remove excess oil before serving.

Fresh, they need to be gutted and rinsed under cold running water.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Sprinkle them with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Combine with chopped onion, olives, or fennel.

Top with chopped tomatoes and basil, oregano or rosemary.

Balsamic vinegar gives them a nice zing.

Make a sauce with extra virgin olive oil.

Lemon juice, pressed garlic, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.

Serve over sardines.

Nutritional Profile

These tiny titans are an excellent source of vitamin-B12 and tryptophan.

They are a very good source of selenium.

Vitamin-D, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and phosphorus.

Also, they are a good source of calcium and niacin.

Well, this super seafood does have it all!

Unfortunately, too many people in North America have never tasted a "true" sardine.

Most of what’s canned and marketed in North America as sardines.

Are really fish that are only like sardines, but they are not the real thing.

Authentic sardines called Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum).

Come from places like the pure, clean waters of Portugal.

They’re actually quite mild, delicious, and flake off your fork.

This is what sardines should taste like.

And here is a delicious way you can enjoy them any time and perhaps enhance your own longevity.

So, if you're wondering how to enjoy them, here's a recipe that will do just that.

Sardine Cioppino

What better way to include this longevity food in your diet.

Than to relax and unwind than with hot and steamy soup to comfort the soul.

Makes 10 Servings

Total Preparation Time = 40 minutes.


2 cans Sardines

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/3 c. / 75 ml. Onion, chopped

1/4 c. / 50 ml. Red Bell Pepper, in thin strips

1/4 c. / 50 ml. Celery, chopped

2 tsp. / 10 ml. Garlic, minced with a dash of hot red pepper flakes

1 can 28 oz. / 796 ml. Canned Tomatoes

3 c. / 750 ml. Fish or Chicken Broth (canned or from bouillon)

1 tsp. / 5 ml. Sugar

1 Tbs. / 15 ml. fresh Parsley, chopped

1 Bay Leaf

1 tsp. / 5 ml. Thyme, fresh (or ½ tsp./2 ml. dried)

1 Tbs. / 15 ml. Basil, fresh or dried (or 1 tsp./5 ml. dried)

1/2 tsp. / 2 ml. Black Pepper

1/2 c. / 125 ml. Medium Dry White Wine

5 c. / 1.25 l. Mixed Seafood (ie. Shrimp, Scallops, Mussels in Shell)


Heat oil in large pot.

Sauté vegetables until just starting to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes, broth, sugar, seasonings (except for the parsley) and wine.

Simmer for 25 minutes.

Add seafood and sardines.

Simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes until seafood is cooked and heated through.

Add parsley to each serving.


Calories 180,

Fat 7 g. (11% DV),

Saturated Fat 2.5 g. + Trans Fat 0 g. (12% DV),

Omega-3 0.5 g.,

Cholesterol 100 mg.,

Sodium 510 mg. (21% DV),

Potassium 530 mg. (15% DV),

Carbohydrate 7g. (2% DV),

Fiber 1 g. (5% DV),

Sugars 4 g.,

Protein 20 g.,

Vitamin-A 135 mg. (15% DV),

Vitamin-C 16 mg. (25% DV),

Calcium 164 mg. (15% DV),

Iron 2.4 mg. (15% DV).

All the the best in your quest for longevity!

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