Read about the nutrition facts, health benefits, nutritional value and calories found in Sardines

Sardines Nutrition

Almost every seafood lover is well-versed with the health and nutritional benefits of eating fish. Sardines are one among those. Often confined to flat metal cans with peel off tops, sardines are highly advantageous to the body. They are named after the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. Besides, they are so convenient to use that it is not necessary to spend hours in the kitchen trying to prepare a dish. Small in size, silvery in colour and rich in oil, these fish are found in the salt waters of both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Belonging to the Clupeidae family, sardines are of six different species, although several other types are sold around the world. Right from thinning your blood to burning the fat, sardines can be considered better than medicines. Let’s check out the benefits of these nutritional powerhouses.



The exact origin of sardines is unknown but they are believed to have existed in abundance along the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, from where the fisderived its name. Though sardines have always been existent, credit for their discovery goes to Napoleon Bonaparte, who gave it immense popularity. It was he who initiated the idea of producing canned sardines. With an excess of nutrients and supplements present in sardines, they become famous seafood in different parts of the world. Spain, France, Portugal and Norway are the major producers of this fish, rich in oil. However, the largest percentage of the worlds sardines come from Morocco, a leading exporter and supplier of these salt water fish.


Health Benefits of Sardines


  • The high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids is probably the trademark of sardines. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which are required for preventing dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities and reducing triglyceride levels.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with reducing the risks of many types of cancers. Although the exact mechanism for this protection is unknown, a diet containing sardines is essential in inhibiting breast, colon and kidney cancer. These fatty acids found in sardines also benefit people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or macular degeneration. They support cognitive functions, significant for mood stabilization, learning abilities, concentration and memory.

  • Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin D that help in absorbing calcium, necessary for enhancing proper bone growth. These fish contain twice the amount of calcium as compared to milk. The mineral is important for fighting against high bone densities and thereby, osteoporosis and degenerative bone disease.

  • The anti-inflammatory effects of sardines are beneficial to people suffering from arthritis and joint pains. A sardine-filled diet is also known to alleviate asthma and allergies.

  • High levels of cholesterol are linked with an increased risk of heart attack, strokes and heart disease. The fatty acids in sardines help in increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins while lowering the low-density ones.

  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals, sardines prevent wrinkles and improve the skin tone and colour. As such, they help in promoting a youthful and healthy skin tone and also supplying oxygen and moisture to tissues.

  • Sardines are a rich source of vitamin B12 that is associated with the formation of healthy red blood cells. This protects the immune system and prevents anemia that occurs due to deficiency of hemoglobin. Deficiency of vitamin B12 also leads to concentration difficulties, memory loss and mood alterations. Sardines contain this supplement in abundance to ensure proper maintenance of the central nervous system.

  • Sardines contain the antioxidant coenzyme, Q10 that is known to increase physical energy of a person and promote healthy heart functioning. Hypertension and heart abnormalities can also be treated by the consumption of sardines.

  • Apart from controlling the calorie intake and supplying essential nutrients to the body, sardines increase the rate of metabolism, thereby contributing to weight loss.

  • Rich in proteins and amino acids, sardines are essential for building muscles such as the cardiac muscle and developing the connective tissue, enzymes and antibodies.

  • Sardines contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is required for enhancing the brain and eyes of the foetus, during pregnancy. Furthermore, it prevents the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.


Sardines Nutrition Facts

Amount: 1 cup

Total Weight: 231 g


Basic Components

53 g
137.7 g
7.9 g
234 mg
Total Calories
Calories From Carbohydrate
Calories From Fat
Calories From Protein
Total Carbohydrates
624 mg
Dietary Fiber
116 mg
497 mg

Fats & Fatty Acids

Total Fat
25 g
Saturated Fat
4.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat
10 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
8.4 g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
3.7 g
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
4.2 g
Vitamin A
299 IU
Vitamin C
1.2 mg
Vitamin D
446 IU
Vitamin E
4 mg
Vitamin K
3.5 mcg
143 mcg
531 mcg
11 mg
Vitamin B6
335 mcg
39 mcg
Vitamin B12
21 mcg
Pantothenic Acid
1.6 mg
196 mg
718 mg
6 mg
84 mg
0.99 g
852 mg
1.1 g
3.1 mg
529 mcg
363 mcg
108 mcg

How many calories in sardines (per 100 gm)

Sardines have about 208 calories per 100 gm of weight.


How to Buy Sardines


  • Fresh sardines are sold in whole, steak or fillet forms. They are also available in frozen, canned, dried and smoked versions.

  • Whenever available, always buy sardines from a fish market to ensure their freshness. Check that they smell fresh, have a firm flesh, clear bright eyes and a gleaming skin.

  • While buying canned sardines, look for the ones packed in water, mustard or tomato sauce compared to those dipped in oil.

  • Sardines packed in water, taste and smell less fishy as opposed to those in other liquids.


Sardines Storage Tips


  • After you have bought fresh sardines from the market, rinse them under water and place them in a single layer in a sealed container. Cover them with damp paper towels and store in the refrigerator.

  • Fresh sardines are perishable and hence, normal refrigerator temperatures are not sufficient for its storage. Temperatures between 28 and 32 F are required.

  • Though fresh sardines, when stored properly, last for 4-5 days, it is best to use them within a day or two.

  • Canned sardines should be stored in a cool and dry place, preferably the kitchen cupboard. They generally last for longer durations there. Check the expiry date and consume beforehand.

  • Turn the can occasionally to ensure that all parts of the fish are exposed to the oil or liquid in which they are packed. This way, the fish stays moistened and fresh.

  • Unused sardines from opened cans should be stored in the refrigerator.

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