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CANNED FISH: Foods That Keep Your Health Up and Your Budget Low – Part 3

Posted May 12 2011 12:00am

I have always had a love for seafood. I am originally from New Orleans where fresh seafood is available in abundance. My absolute favorite food on the planet is boiled crabs…yum, yum! I live in Minnesota now and fresh seafood is hard to come by. Even when it is available, it can be quite pricey. That is why I buy a lot of canned or pouched seafood. It is an easy, economical alternative that offers the same health benefits. Some great options are tuna, salmon and sardines.

Fish contain components that are essential to maintain good health. One of these components includes omega 3 fatty acids. They are so vital because they help to reduce what TIME Magazine’s February 2004 cover story refers to as “the secret killer,” also known as inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of most chronic disease including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. I like to call omega 3’s our planet’s natural anti-inflammatory. They are like aspirin, but without the harmful side effects. In order to reduce your body’s inflammation, you must consume ample amounts of anti-inflammatory foods and a great anti-inflammatory food is fish! The omega 3 fatty acids in fish also help lower blood pressure and can help improve mood. Want to become smarter without studying? Dr. Barry Spears, author of The Zone and Toxic Fat says eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids makes you smarter because it can improve brain function. I’d say these are all pretty good reasons to increase your intake of fish. I’d recommend consuming fish at least twice per week.

Canned and pouched fish is also great because it is extremely convenient and portable. A great lunch that doesn’t require a lot of prep work would be to pack a pouch of tuna or salmon or a can of sardines, two slices of whole wheat or rye bread and some lettuce and tomato. At work or when you are on the go, open the pouch or can and spoon fish on to bread. Top with lettuce and tomato and there you go! A fast, affordable and nutritious, anti-inflammatory lunch! At an average cost of $1.50 to $2.00 a can for most varieties of canned and pouched fish, you can easily eat healthy and inexpensively with fish!

Here are 3 canned seafood recipes that are delicious and take less than 30 minutes to prepare!

Tuna and White Bean Salad with Sliced Tomatoes
Adapted recipe by: Randi Munns
Original recipe by:

1 15 ounce can of cannelloni or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 5 – 6 ounce cans of tuna, drained
¼ cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
Tomato slices for serving
In a small bowl gently mix tuna, beans, onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and parsley. If adding lemon juice and red pepper flakes add at this time. If the salad seems dry, add more olive oil. Place 2 – 3 tomato slices on a plate and top with tuna and bean salad. Serves 2.

Pasta with Sardines, Bread Crumbs and Capers
Recipe by: Mark Bittman

2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup bread crumbs, ideally made from whole wheat stale bread
½ medium onion, diced
8 ounces whole wheat pasta like vermicelli
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoons drained capers
1 can sardines packed in olive oil
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley

Prepare the pasta per package directions. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium in large skillet. When it is hot, add bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently until golden, less than 5 minutes and then transfer the bread crumbs to a bowl for later. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add lemon zest, capers and sardines and cook over medium-high heat until just heated through, 2 -3 minutes. Add the pasta, cooked bread crumbs and parsley to the pan and toss well to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper before serving.

Salmon Cakes
Adapted recipe by: Randi Munns
Original recipe by:

1 14.75 ounce can of salmon, drained and flaked
1 small onion, minced
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup bread crumbs, ideally made from whole wheat stale bread
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Combine salmon, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, black pepper and parsley and mix well. Shape into 4 patties. Sprinkle both sides of patties with parmesan cheese and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

I hope you enjoyed this 3-part blog series. I would love to hear your thoughts on what you would like to learn about in my upcoming blog posts. Please leave your comments below or visit me on Facebook or Twitter!

You can purchase The Zone and Toxic Fat by Dr. Barry Spears at Amazon.

Health and blessings,


Randi’s passion is to create positive change in a person’s life that leads to prolonged health and happiness. She works with individuals who wish to control weight, increase their energy, lower stress and manage and prevent disease all without dieting, counting calories or feeling overwhelmed. She is a certified holistic health coach and is in the process of completing her personal training certification.

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