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20 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sardines

20 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sardines

Sardines are probably not at the top of many “best tasting foods” lists. However, that does not mean you should not consider making sardines a regular part of your diet. In fact, it turns out sardines are actually quite healthy for you.

Here are 20 surprising health benefits of sardines I wish I knew earlier:

1. It is rich in protein.

Just 3 oz. of sardines provides 23 grams of protein.

2. It reduces inflammation and risk of disease.

Sardines are an excellent source of EPA and DHA, which are two fatty acids that studies show the body uses to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases. If you want to “spice up” the anti-inflammatory defense, add a little bit of turmeric when you are preparing your sardines.

3. It provides many essential vitamins and minerals.

Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B 12, vitamin D, calcium, and selenium. The vitamin B 12 is especially important because studies show that about 40% of Americans are actually deficient in this important vitamin.

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4. It protects bone health.

In addition to the vitamins listed above, sardines are also a great source of calcium. Calcium is extremely important because 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. Just 2 oz. of sardines contains 217 mg of calcium.

5. It helps combat anxiety and depression.

Sardines contain a high content of omega-3 fatty acids. New findings indicate that there is a strong correlation between omega-3 fatty acids and a lack of depression. As a result, they can help prevent mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

6. It controls blood sugar levels.

Both the high protein and healthy fat content work to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood.

7. It helps curb appetite.

Sardines help curb appetite by preventing food cravings and unnecessary snacking. Simply put, the high protein and high fat content helps promote weight loss because it fills you up.

8. It is one of the least contaminated sources of fish.

Sardines do not contain as many toxins and metals as large predatory fish, such as tuna and swordfish.

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9. It has a low ecological and environmental impact.

Sardines are close to the bottom of the food chain because they feed on plankton.

10. It prevents blood clots.

Regular intake of omega-3 fats, which is found in fish like sardines, is good for the heart because it reduces cholesterol and blood pressure.

11. It has anti-cancer properties.

Cancer research has shown that the intake of calcium and vitamin D can be very helpful in preventing certain types of cancer.

12. It has antioxidant properties.

Sardines contain selenium, which is helpful in neutralizing free radicals and protecting the organs from damage.

13. It promotes a healthy immune system.

Consuming sardines can help in building up the immune system. Research shows that sardine fish oil may improve immune system by increasing the count of immune cells.

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14. It is great for your skin.

The fats found in sardines play a big role in skin cells. It decreases skin inflammation and gives you a healthy glow.

15. It reduces insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is one of the major factors to look for in diabetes. Some studies show that consuming sardines reduces insulin resistance.

16. It aids in the prevention of heart disease.

The high omega-3 fatty acid content found in sardines play a major role in controlling heart disease. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids (such as EPA and DHA) break down bad cholesterol in the body and aid in the prevention of heart disease.

17. It reduces risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition which is usually seen in adults over the age of 50. Macular and retinal degeneration over the years results in loss of vision. Recent studies have shown that consuming fish, such as sardines, results in a reduced risk of developing AMD.

18. It is a very “efficient food.”

It is low in calories but packed with nutrients. It is also easy to eat and can be prepared in many different ways.

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19. It promotes healthy brain function.

Fish oil and healthy fats are known to be good “brain food.” This makes sense when you consider that 60% of the brain is made up of fat.

20. It is rich in copper.

Sardines are rich in copper, which is vital to the generation of energy from carbohydrates inside of cells.

Featured photo credit: Sardine!/Brian Gratwicke via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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