A tuna (also called tunny) is a saltwater fish that belongs to the tribe Thunnini, a subgrouping of the Scombridae (mackerel) family. The Thunnini comprise 15 species across five genera, the sizes of which vary greatly, ranging from the bullet tuna (max, length: 50 cm (1.6ft), weight: 1.8 kg (4 lb) up to the Atlantic bluefin tuna (max, length: 4.6 cm (15 ft), weight: 684 kg (1,508 lb). The bluefin averages 2 m (6.6. ft), and is believed to live up to 50 years.
Tunas (from top): albacore, Atlantic bluefin, skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye
Tuna, opah, and mackerel sharks are the only species of fish that can maintain a body temperature higher than that of the surrounding water. An active and agile predator, the tuna has a sleek, streamlined body, and is among the fastest-swimming pelagic fish – the yellowfin tuna, for example, is capable of speeds of up to 75 km/h (47 mph). Found in warn seas, it is extensively fished commercially, and is popular as a game fish. As a result of overfishing, some tuna species, such as the southern bluefin tuna, are threatened with extinction.
● Tuna is a popular saltwater fish with a distinctive taste
● The fish is a powerhouse of essential nutrients such as omega-3
● From heart health to beautiful skin, it has many benefits
Tuna is a popular saltwater fish that is extensively used in Asian cuisines, as well as in other continents like Australia and Europe. Tuna fish are of varying species and are found all over the world.oceans such as blue fin, yellow fin, bullet tuna, to name few.
The life of tuna fish varies from three to five years though some are known to have lived for more than two decades. They are comparatively easy to catch, and goes in the making of delicious dishes like steaks, salads, burgers, and the like. There are eight species of tuna, all of which are nomadic, which means that they keep migrating. They are easily found in temperature and subtropical waters of Atlantic Ocean, black waters and the Mediterranean Sea.
They are supplied to all the parts of the world especially Japan and Australia, and are also listed under the category of endangered species as they are hunted persistently throughout the year.
The fish is a powerhouse of essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, B6 and B12, and as such is beneficial for health.
TUNA NUTRITION FACTS
This nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 can (165g) of light tuna, packed in water (without salt) and drained.
● Calories: 191
● Fat: 1.4 g
● Sodium: 83 mg
● Carbohydrates: 0g
● Fiber: 0g
● Sugar: 0g
● Protein: 42g
Tuna doesn’t contain any carbohydrates, fiber, or sugar.
Tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acids, but low in overall fat, containing less than 2 grams per can for “light” tuna. Different varieties of tuna, however, have different amounts of fat. The following common varieties are listed in order from most to least fatty: fresh bluefin, canned white albacore tuna, canned light tuna, fresh skipjack tuna, and fresh yellowfin tuna.
Tuna is very high in protein. A can of tuna provides 42 grams of complete protein with all of the essential amino acids.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Tuna has calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, B-vitamins, selenium, and choline. Like other canned foods, tuna can be high in sodium. Compare food labels to low- or no sodium products.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING TUNA
We all know that consuming fish is healthy and provides multiple benefits, from improving the eyessight and hair quality to keep the heart healthy.
Here’s listing out the benefits of including tuna in your regular diet:
■ HELPS PREVENT ANEMIA
Tuna contains folate, iron, and B12. A deficiency in any of these micronutrients can lead to various types of anemia. Symptoms of anemia can include muscle weakness, disturbed vision, extreme tiredness, along with a host of more serious complications, like infertility. Tuna helps provide a good nutritional basis for the prevention of anemia resulting from nutritional deficiencies.
■ PROMOTES HEART HEALTH
Tuna is a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. Tuna-based fish oil supplements have been shown to lower triglycerides without raising other types of cholesterol. These results suggest that tuna intake or fish oil supplements, help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
■ HEART FRIENDLY
Tuna comprises omega-3 fatty acids, which help in bringing balance in the blood vessels thereby reducing cholesterol in the arteries. As such, the heart is able to efficiently carry out its function of pumping blood throughout the body, maintaining good health.
■ MAY REDUCE RISK OF DEMENTIA
Strokes and other vascular brain injuries cause changes in memory, behavior, and cognitive function. Balancing our intake of omega-6 fatty acids with more omega-3 fatty acids (from seafoods like tuna) can help slow the progressive development of dementia. The omega-3 fatty acid in tuna compete with pro-inflammatory omega-6s to blick inflammation at the cellular level, lowering the risk of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia.
■ COUNTERS AGE-RELATED MUSCLE LOSS (Sarcopenia)
Higher polyunsaturated fat intake through foods like tuna is associated with greater lean body mass and grip strength in older adults.
Furthermore, essential amino acids (also found in tuna) increase the synthesis of muscle protein and support the retention of muscle mass despite the effects of aging. The combination of fatty acids and protein in tuna can be helpful for staying strong with age.
■ LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Tuna is rich in potassium, which is known for lowering blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids in combination with potassium bring an anti-inflammatory effect to the cardiovascular system, which in turn benefits us by lowering blood pressure, risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Tuna is rich in potassium, is known for lowering blood pressure.
■ IMPROVES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Tuna is rich in manganese, zinc, vitamin C and selenium, which help in strengthening the immune system.
These antioxidants protect us from diseases like cancer by fighting the free radicals – the by-products of metabolism on the cellular level.
■ WEIGHT LOSS
Weight is a major issue faced by majority of people these days. We all like eating tasty food but also maintain a slim figure. Tuna provides us good taste while balancing our calories since it’s low in fat content and rich in proteins and nitrients.
■ SUPPORTS BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL
Tuna is free of carbohydrates and provides beneficial nutrients for diabetes management. The American Diabetes Association has listed fish high in omega-3s, including albacore tuna, on their list of top 10 superfoods. They officially recommend eating fish twice per week to help manage diabetes
■ STRENGTHENS YOUR BONES
Tuna contains Vitamin B which is a major component in strengthening bones. This vitamin makes the bones stronger and protects them from injuries like fracture.
Tuna contains Vitamin B which is a major component in strengthening bones.
■ IT IMPROVES YOUR SKIN HEALTH
The Vitamin B complex in the fish helps in keeping our skin healthy. It contains a protein called elastin which gives a smooth tone to our skin. If you wish to improve your skin’s health , then bring tuna to your rescue. It will help you get a radiant skin.
■ PREVENTS RISK OF CANCER
Antioxidants from the tuna meat fight cancer cells. Studies have shown that regular consumption of tuna helps in eliminating the risk of breast and kidney cancer.
■ PROVIDES ENERGY
Tuna not only improves your metabolism rate but also increases the functionality of your organs which keeps your body energetic, active and healthy. Apart from this, it may also help in boosting your immune system.
Fish is a common allergen that may cause severe reactions, like anaphylaxis.
Sometimes fish allergies can be confused with scombroid poisoning which is actually a histamine toxicity, which is not an allergy but rather a form of food poisoning.
Tuna is naturally high in histamine. If tuna is spoiled, and overgrowth of bacteria increases the histamine content and likelihood of histamine toxicity. Symptoms can occur anytime between 5 minutes and 2 hours after the ingestion of tuna.
References: food.ndtv.com / verywellfit.com