2011 is the year to try new foods! Not just for the kids, but for me too. Dr. Erlich, our holistic pediatrician, recommended we add canned sardines and anchovies to our diet. She did mention that it is important to purchase your sardines from a reputable source. The site she recommended is called Vitalchoice.com. I also ordered canned salmon from this site as well. I am sure Whole Foods and Better Health also carry reputable brands too. Here is some info. on sardines:
"Sardines are rich in numerous 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) of sardines actually contains over 50% of the daily value for these important nutrients. Sardines 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 intricately 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
Sardines are not only a rich source of bone-building calcium, but they are also incredibly concentrated in vitamin D, a nutrient not so readily 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. Sardines are 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, sardines' 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 sardines are also a very good source, is a mineral with powerful antioxidant activity, whose dietary intake has been associated with reduced risk of cancer.
Packed with Protein
Sardines are 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."
*Once again, another recommendation for liver! Wishing my kids would eat it.... :)