What I Eat For Love…

Sardines! Despite the fact that I have never met a fish I didn’t really enjoy eating, I was nervous about eating sardines. I don’t know why, because I have no problem with canned tuna. I think I was picturing opening a can and seeing whole fish, with eyes. But no. It was just cooked fish. And the bones being inside? That scared me. But actually, I can’t even see them. Here’s the amazing part: wild-caught, practically mercury-free fish for $2.59? I got two lunches out of that. I put it on toasted bread, mixed with mayo, put cheese on top and broiled it. Like a tuna melt, only safer and, actually, more delicious!

These came in extra virgin olive oil and lemon (there was a little lemon round in there!). I want to try the ones that come in marinara sauce, too. Oh, and the Wild Planet brand? BPA-free cans. Score! [This is not a paid endorsement. I don’t know the Wild Planet people, and they don’t know me. I didn’t even get free sardines for writing this.]

So, why sardines? Here’s a breakdown of the nutrition content of sardines, all the things they contain that are good for us, especially those of us who are pregnant, in order of % daily value:

vitamin B12: 283.6%

vitamin D: 109.2%

omega-3 fats: 86.6%

tryptophan: 78.1%

protein: 44.7%

phosphorus: 29.5%

vitamin B: 320%

vitamin B6: 19%

vitamin B2: 17%

Bonus points for tryptophan, which helps blood flow and is chemically very similar to the meds I take for migraine (triptans), something Jan the Amazing Nutritionist researched for me.
What about mercury? Well, sardines have just about the lowest mercury content possible. They’re tiny, first of all. Big fish have big mercury levels, because they need to eat little fish. Little fish have mercury in them, so big fish get whatever is in the water plus whatever their meals have absorbed. But sardines are at the bottom of the fishy food chain, which means that instead of eating other fish, they eat plankton or algae or whatever is at the bottom of the sea. The New York Times says about seafood and mercury that “among the sea creatures with the lowest known levels of mercury are shrimp, oysters, clams, sardines, anchovies and herring.”
The conservative estimate is that I can eat 12 oz. of these kinds of fish each week. That’s about two sardine melt lunches and two dinners that feature shrimp. Yum!

One Comment

  1. Ali, Wild Planet Foods said:

    Thank you for sharing! We are happy you enjoyed our sardines :) Looking forward to following your blog.

    April 19, 2012

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