From all I’ve seen so far, osteoporosis prevention tends to rest on three pillars: calcium, vitamin D, and weight-lifting. I think the latter may not be fully achievable through home cooking (unless you count carrying groceries) but combining calcium with vitamin D surely is. At this stage of our lives, most of us are taking some sort of calcium supplement, but I find it’s always best if I can complement it with hearty, exotic dishes.
These tiny Mediterranean grilled sardines are the ultimate package deal for osteoporosis prevention: sardines have both tons of calcium and a relatively high amount of vitamin D, and they’re covered in olive oil (another remarkable bone-boosting food) and fresh lemon slices. See for yourself:
- 8 large cleaned sardines
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 4 lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- Rinse the sardines and pat them down gently with paper towels.
- Place one thyme sprig inside each sardine, and arrange them in a ceramic dish.
- Squeeze and grate 3 lemons, then whisk together the juice with olive oil, cumin, and garlic.
- Pour over the resulting mixture on top of the sardines and sprinkle the grated lemon rind on top. Cover and let marinate (in the fridge!) for at least two hours.
- Place the sardines on a greased broiler rack – but don’t discard the marinade – and cook for 3 minutes per side. One minute before they’re done, re-add the marinade.
- Slice the last lemon in wedges, and serve! Use the lemon and some leftover thyme for garnishing.
Although this recipe requires some planning-ahead while it marinates, you can do the first part up to 12 hours in advance. It works great as a no-saturated-fat alternative for a potluck BBQ, or just a normal main dish alongside some salad. Also, it’s perfectly compatible with a Mediterranean diet, which is full of benefits for hormone balance and general health.