Sardine Salad RecipeSeptember 26, 2015 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Every once in awhile I get the undeniable urge to share something that’s a little “out there”, even by my standards. Usually, this comes about as a result of some mad chemistry experiment in the Healthy Fellow kitchen or lab. But still, don’t dismiss today’s recipe right off the bat. Although this unconventional meal may sound a bit unusual, it just might fill an important role in your quest for genuinely healthy “fast food”.
As a jumping off point for this recipe, I used a traditional tuna salad model. Then, I combed through our kitchen pantry for alternative ingredients. We always keep a few cans of wild caught sardines (in olive oil) on hand. The same is true of pumpkin seeds. Avocados are also a mainstay in our household, provided that we can find high quality versions of the fruit. And, of course, mustard and red chili flakes are familiar components of many of our home recipes and staples for most people.
Why reinvent an American classic? For starters, sardines are an excellent source of calcium, CoQ10, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, protein, selenium and vitamins B12 and D. What’s more, the latest research on the health benefits of regular fish consumption continues to impress. Current studies show that eating fatty fish, such as sardines and wild salmon lowers the risk of many diseases including depression, diabetes, heart disease and, possibly even, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. Opting for sardines that are packed in extra virgin olive oil provides some overlapping health effects, in addition to possibly decreasing breast cancer incidence. Avocados remain one of the healthiest fruits on the planet. Among their many attributes, avocados aid with hunger satisfaction and dramatically improve the nutrient density of most modern diets. Pumpkin seeds are another nutritional dynamo. They support men’s health by discouraging male pattern baldness and symptoms relating to prostate enlargement. Women benefit from pumpkin seeds due to their ability to protect against postmenopausal breast cancer and cardiovascular risk. Additionally, pumpkin seeds contain a significant quantity of tryptophan, a relaxing amino acid that moderates anxiety and troubled sleep.
Healthy Fellow Spicy Sardine Salad
4.375 oz can wild sardines in olive oil
2 oz toasted, organic pumpkin seeds
1 medium avocado, cubed
2 Tbs organic Dijon mustard
organic fresh black pepper
organic red chili flakes
Nutritional Information: Calories: 405. Protein: 12 grams. Fat: 35 grams. Carbohydrates: 11 grams. Fiber: 9 grams. “Net Carbs”: 2 grams *. Two servings per recipe. * “Net” Carbohydrates indicate the number of non-fiber carbohydrates.
Empty the can of sardines and the accompanying oil into a large bowl. Mash the fish with a fork until you reach your desired consistency. Cube the avocado and toss into the mashed sardines. Fold in the tablespoons of mustard, chili flakes and pepper to taste. It’s preferable to eat this salad fresh, as the avocado tends to oxidize if stored for more than several hours. You can also squeeze a few some of lemon juice on the avocado to keep it from browning so quickly.
Black pepper, chili flakes and mustard aren’t just added to this recipe for the sake of heightened flavor. In the past, I’ve described black pepper’s ability to enhance nutrient and phytochemical bioavailability. Mustard may shield the body from DNA damage that contributes to cancer development. And, a new study appearing in the British Medical Journal reports that spicy foods and seasonings such chili peppers are associated with a lower risk of “total mortality”. So, even if you don’t particularly care for spicy, well seasoned foods, you might want to learn to love them.
If, after reading all of this, you still can’t wrap your head around the idea of a sardine centered meal, try this alternative. Canned salmon can pinch hit for wild sardines in this recipe or try adding just a sardine or two to your salmon salad. You’ll certainly have a much milder tasting dish that still provides a significant amount of calcium, omega-3s, potassium, protein and selenium. There’s even a small amount of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that’s responsible for wild salmon’s characteristic pink color. Either way, this is a quick and easy meal that will fill you up and fuel your body and brain in all the right ways. Enjoy!
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – A Multifunctional Diet Improves Cardiometabolic-Related … (link)
Study 2 – Fish Consumption and Risk of Depression: A Meta-Analysis … (link)
Study 3 – Effect of a Diet Enriched with Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty … (link)
Study 4 – Vitamins & Minerals from Sardine in Tomato Sauce, from the … (link)
Study 5 – Dietary Sardine Protein Lowers Insulin Resistance, Leptin & TNF-α … (link)
Study 6 – Fish Intake and Type 2 Diabetes in Japanese Men and Women … (link)
Study 7 – Dietary Sardine Oil Increases Erythrocyte Membrane Fluidity … (link)
Study 8 – High Omega-3 Fat Intake Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Reduces … (link)
Study 9 – Effect of Regular Consumption of Oily Fish Compared w/ White Fish … (link)
Study 10 – Higher Intake of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated fatty Acids Is … (link)
Study 11 – Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women … (link)
Study 12 – Cardio-Metabolic & Immunological Impacts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil … (link)
Study 13 – Extra Virgin Olive Oil Use is Associated with Improved Post-Prandial … (link)
Study 14 – Impact of the Consumption of a Rich Diet in Butter & it Replacement … (link)
Study 15 – A Randomized 3×3 Crossover Study to Evaluate the Effect of Hass … (link)
Study 16 – Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects … (link)
Study 17 – Avocado Consumption is Associated with Better Diet Quality & Nutrient … (link)
Study 18 – Effects of Pumpkin Seed in Men with Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms … (link)
Study 19 – Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic … (link)
Study 20 – Improvement in HDL Cholesterol in Postmenopausal Women … (link)
Study 21 – The Association Between Dietary Lignans, Phytoestrogen-Rich Foods … (link)
Study 22 – Protein-Source Tryptophan as an Efficacious Treatment for Social … (link)
Study 23 – Protein Source Tryptophan Vs. Pharmaceutical Grade Tryptophan … (link)
Study 24 – Incorporation of Eicosapentaenioic & Docosahexaenoic Acids Into … (link)
Study 25 – Consumption of Spicy Foods and Total and Cause Specific Mortality … (link)
Pumpkin Seeds Promote Healthier Hair Growth
Source: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:549721. (link)
Tags: Avocados, Fish, Pumpkin Seeds
Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes