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Dietitian’s Choice: Brain Boosting Sardines

If you’ve clicked to read this post, congratulations on having an open mind! Or, if you’re already a tried and true lover of sardines, that’s great too! If you’ve read recent posts on mental health, brain health, and salmon, you know about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to omega-3s, the bottom line for most Americans is that they eat too much of other, lesser quality fats and not enough omega-3s, which can contribute to a host of health issues. Enter seafood, which is an especially great source of this anti-inflammatory fat.

Sardines, specifically, are an excellent source of omega-3 fats and have the benefit of being significantly more cost-effective than salmon, tuna, and halibut, which are other good sources of these healthy fats but are also much higher in mercury, which is known to be a toxic hormone disruptor. Flaxseeds and walnuts are a plant-based source of omega-3 fats, but fish-derived omega-3s are widely considered to be more beneficial in the body.

The bones of sardines are very soft and can be eaten so that full nutritional benefit is received. You won’t even notice them, really. This recipe is extremely quick and easy to prepare, so much so that it might be silly to even call it a recipe. You can also just use your favorite tuna salad recipe and substitute sardines for tuna. Or, if you’re nervous, you can mix sardines with canned tuna or canned salmon as a first step to trying something new. And if you’re not sure about this recipe but still want to try sardines, check out some of these other recipes.

Super Easy Sardines


  1. 1 can sardines (about 4-5 oz.) packed in water or extra virgin olive oil

  2. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  3. Optional mix-ins: diced onion or celery, chopped parsley or dill

  4. Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Drain sardines and add to a small bowl.

  2. Add Dijon mustard, mix-ins of choice (if using), salt, and pepper. Using a fork, combine ingredients until evenly incorporated.

  3. Enjoy atop a mixed greens salad, in a lettuce wrap, or on your favorite crackers.


The final texture of sardines prepared this way will be flaky. For a more uniform, creamy texture, feel free to add avocado or a dollop of plain yogurt or mayonnaise.

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