Sardines have made a comeback in popularity in recent years due to their health benefits, impressive nutrition content and cheap price.
Sardines are a great source of many nutrients including Protein/Amino Acids, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Calcium, Selenium, Iodine and more.
Another benefit to Sardines over other choices of seafood is that they are considered to be low in environmental contaminants such as mercury.
Oily fish are thought to be an important dietary component that plays a role in the cardiovascular health benefits associated with the likes of the traditional Mediterranean diet pattern.
Let’s take a look at some of the nutrients that Sardines are a great dietary source of.
1. Vitamin B12
Sardines and oily fish are amongst the richest dietary sources of Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin is a basic essential Vitamin that is required for proper red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, neurological function, homocysteine metabolism and much more.
An important function of Vitamin B12 is regulating levels of a non-protein amino acid known as homocysteine. Research has found that elevated levels of homocysteine to be an independent modifiable risk factor for developing many health problems from cardiovascular disease to Alzheimers.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids(EPA/DHA)
Oily fish such as Sardines are probably best known for their rich content of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA(eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid), which are important for supporting the cardiovascular system and brain function.
Long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA(eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) have shown a number of cardiovascular related health benefits in studies from reducing triglycerides, anti-inflammatory, antidysrhythmic and antithrombotic effects, lowering blood pressure and improving endothelial function.
A diet including 2-3 portions of fatty fish per week, which corresponds to the intake of 1.25 g EPA (20:5n-3) + DHA (22:6n-3) per day, has been officially recommended on the basis of epidemiological findings showing a beneficial role of these n-3 long-chain PUFA in the prevention of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. 
Sardines are considered to be an excellent source of the mineral Selenium, which has a number of functions in the body including thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, reproductive health, protecting from oxidative damage/infection and much more.
A one can serving provides nearly 70% of the DV(Daily Value) for the mineral Selenium.
Coupled with the fact that sardines are also a good dietary source of the mineral Iodine, they are a great choice of food for those looking to support thyroid function.
4. Vitamin D
Sardines are a rare dietary source of Vitamin D3 and one single portion can provide around 50%+ of the DV(Daily Value) for this very important and commonly deficient nutrient.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble Vitamin with a number of important functions in the body including increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, thus supporting bone health, modulation of cell growth, immune system function, regulating inflammation and much more.
Sardines are a good dietary source of multiple nutrients that are proven to support bone health including Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus and Silica.
Oily fish such as Sardines are some of the cheapest sources of quality animal protein and play a great role in contributing to the protein requirements of many diets worldwide.
Sardines are an inexpensive way to boost the protein content of your diet and a single can 3oz portion contains around 20 grams of high-quality protein.
Sardines are packed with the bone-building mineral Calcium and a single portion can provide around 35% of the DV(Daily Value) for this important nutrient.
Oily fish such as Sardines are an underappreciated dietary source of the mineral Calcium and also have the advantage of containing Vitamin D, which synergistically helps to support bone health.
The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.