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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Janice Norris: Health food in a can

  • If you are worried about looking old, sardines may be youth in a can.
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  • They have been called “health food in a can.”   Maybe, like me you have turned up your nose at this food but maybe you will also want to take a second look.  Dr. Joseph Mercola says in his newsletter, “These tiny fish are packed with omega-3 fats, which are excellent for your heart, brain, mood and more, and vitamin D.  And, because of their lower position on the food chain, they don’t accumulate as many toxins, such as mercury, PCBs and dioxin, as larger fish do, making them among the safest fish you can eat.” 
    They are one of the few good natural food sources of vitamin D, which along with many other benefits, helps calcium do its job building strong bones and dozens of other good things.  They contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese as well as a full compliment of B vitamins. 
    One nutritionist tells us that the value of sardines primarily lies in their high omega-3 fatty acid content, which offers a remarkable number of disease-preventive and overall health-promoting effects. While the strong fishy smell may be unpalatable to some, the benefits of a sardine-containing diet far outweigh the drawbacks.
    Omega-3 fatty acids have also been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory effects.  They are an optimum food for people who have arthritis or joint pain or inflammatory diseases such as asthma and allergies. 
             Omega-3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to block a gene involved in the formation of tumors which is another plus for sardines as a protection from cancer of the breast, colon, and kidney.  One serving of sardines has about 2,200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
             If you are worried about looking old, sardines may be youth in a can.  Sardines have an abundance of vitamins and minerals that promote a youthful, healthy skin tone and provide oxygen and moisture to the tissues.  Sardines contain anti-oxidants that can prevent wrinkles, while omega-3 fatty acids can help improve skin tone and color.
             Vitamin B-12 prevents pernicious anemia, a condition in which the body cannot produce enough red blood cells.  Sardines are an excellent source of B-12 as they contain about 200 percent of the daily recommended requirement.  The body’s central nervous system requires Vitamin B-12 for its good health.  Along with omega-3 fatty acids they have been associated with cognitive health and may help prevent degenerative brain diseases. 
             I have become especially interested in sardines because I am currently taking care of my daughter, who has advanced diabetes.  Sardines and their high omega-3 content along with high quality protein and many nutrients are recommended to help in her recovery.  We are working with Dr. Mark Hyman’s program for reversing and preventing diabetes.  Because his recipes have many ingredients, I am simplifying.  Even though diabetics crave the sugar and the carbohydrates that make them sick, following this program seems to be eliminating those cravings.  It is a learning experience and if any of you want to share in this knowledge, let me know.  The food is delicious and my daughter says she has a tastier diet than anyone. 
    Page 2 of 2 -          Like me, you probably have not been eating this powerhouse of nutrition.  Sardines are ugly and don’t smell great but I have learned to like them; I want to share some of the recipes I have created that have made them one of my favorite foods.  There are many recipes online –from Sherried Sardines, Sardine Pasta, fritters, citrus cured, sweet and sour, salads, spreads etc.  However, I like simple so I created some of my own.
    SCRAMBLED SARDINES
    Melt about a Tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet—(by –the-way if you like to cook, I highly recommend you purchase a good quality ceramic skillet.  I use mine all the time)
    Saute chopped onions in oil – I like a lot of onions and you may also chop some bell peppers and add to onions if you desire.
    When these vegetables are tender, add some eggs that you have beaten with just a little water.
    Stir the egg mixture until the eggs are mostly cook and stir in a can of sardines (I like the ones with Louisiana hot sauce) that you have broken into pieces. 
    Thanks to an exchange student from Thailand, I have learned to like curry powder and I am using it to season most every thing including these two recipes.  You can use herbs, salt and pepper, Bragg liquid aminos, etc
     
    STIR FRIES WITH SARDINES
    Saute onions as above.
    Either chop fresh vegetables, or dump in frozen when onions are tender.  I have used the frozen Normandy Blend, frozen stir fries of all kinds, and even chopped turnip greens in this combination.  When the vegetables are tender, stir in sardines, that have been broken or chopped into pieces.  Season as desired. 
    If you have a good sardine recipe, let me know!
    I still believe like Hippocrates, the father of medicine, that our food shall be our remedy.  It can also be our destruction, if it is the processed stuff that Americans are substituting for real food. 
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