For some reason sardines are often passed over for their more popular counterparts such as tuna or salmon. They have never been exactly fashionable. But this little fish packs a serious nutrition punch!

RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

Sardines might be small and unheralded but when it comes to offering such a dense variety of nutrition they perform better than most.

RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

What makes sardines so special?

RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

The only real way to answer this is to look at their content close up.

100 grams of sardines will provide the following:

24.6g of protein

272IU of Vitamin D

8.9 mcg of Vitamin B12

1480 mg of Omega 3 fats

382 mg of calcium

490 mg of phosphorus

52.7 mcg of selenium

Popular in the Mediterranean regions

RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

The Mediterranean diet is often cited as being one of the best around for living a long and healthy life and sardines definitely sit within this diet.

Sardines are often eaten grilled with fresh salad or combined with tomato sauce and vegetables. In Morocco you will find sardine balls which are a popular choice and a tasty way of ensuring you are consuming adequate nutrition.

Sardines are one of the few foods that will provide you with both Vitamin D and omega 3 fats in adequate sources and are also a fantastic source of protein and no carbohydrates.

Sardine recipes

RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

The following recipes demonstrate ways you can include sardines in your daily life or alternatively grill some and serve with green vegetables and a tangy sauce or just drained tinned sardines and add to your salad for lunch.

sardines health benefits_2

products containing calcium (sardines in oil, cabbage, milk, cottage cheese, brown bread, cheese) on wooden burgundy background

Sardine Cakes

Ingredients:

2 tins of sardines -drained

2 eggs

1tbsp of coconut flour

Bunch of fresh parsley

Black pepper

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

Method

In your food processor whizz the eggs and sardines

Add the parsley and black pepper

Once mixture is fully mixed add the coconut flour and mix

Form medium sized balls from the mixture and form into fishcake shape

Melt the coconut oil on a pan and place the sardine cakes on to the pan, cooking through for 2- 3 minutes and turn over to cook the opposite side

Ensure sardine cakes are cooked through and serve with a green salad, some steamed sweet potatoes and a lemon drizzle

Sardine Pate

2 tins of sardine in olive oil

3 tbsp of coconut oil

3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp of dried parsley or a bunch of fresh

A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Method

Place all ingredients into your food processor

Blend until smooth and if required add more lemon juice to your taste

If is it not to be eaten straight away cover, place in a bowl and refrigerate

This pate is perfect added to crackers or to a salad or used as a snack with some chopped celery and carrot sticks!

In summary sardines health benefits,sardines health benefits,sardines health benefits

RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

That should at least get your started on a journey to introducing sardines and all their health benefits into your diet. Enjoy the recipes and don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any of your own recipes to share!

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Sinéad Loughnane

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.

Expert:

Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!

Expert:

Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans