Seafood is consumed all around the world and has a special place in every cuisine. One of the most loved fish and a staple food for many is the tuna fish.
In Sri Lanka, the Skipjack tuna is locally known as Balayaa and is available throughout the country, especially in the Southern Province coastal areas. Kelawallaa (Yellowfin tuna) is priced higher and tastes slightly better.
But it’s not just the taste of tune but also its health benefits that deserve a special mention. We all know that fish is healthy. Let’s see what the tuna has to offer in terms of nutrition, and why you should eat more of it.
Improved Muscle Building and Weight Loss
Tuna is one of the best sources of protein, which makes it a great choice for fitness freaks looking to put on some lean muscle. Tuna meat is affordable, and every 100 grams of tuna meat provides 30 grams of pure protein.
Talking in terms of weight loss, tuna is low in calories and boosts metabolism. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that stimulate leptin that will make you feel full, so you won’t crave for food so often and will lose weight faster.
Heart-Friendly and Reduces Blood Pressure
Omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna reduces the cholesterol levels in the arteries and balances the blood vessels. This equals to better blood flow, thus keeping the heart pumping healthily. Also, healthy amounts of potassium is found in tuna, which helps in reducing the blood pressure, which ultimately reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, clogged arteries, etc. Just make sure that you eat fresh, un-canned tuna because canned tuna contains a lot of sodium as it’s salted.
Boosts Immunity and Prevents Cancer
Tuna is rich in zin, vitamin C, selenium, and manganese. These are antioxidants that boost the immune system by fighting free radicals, the by-products in our body that cause cancer. A single serving of the tuna contains double the amount of daily antioxidant required by your body, so this fish should definitely be on your weekly diet.
Talking about the free radicals that cause cell membrane damage, your body can fight them well with peptides. Eating cooked tuna gives you peptides, as they are the broken-down cellular entities of tuna protein. These peptides improve the cell membranes in the body, keeping you fit and fine and resistant to the harmful free radicals.
Maintains Brain Health and Improves Mood
The super-nutrient omega-3 fatty acids help improve the brain’s cognitive functions by helping keep the blood cells full of oxygen, thus making the brain work better. The mood and appetite in humans are handled by selenium, and the lack of it results in anxiety. This, again, is due to omega-3 acids that they trigger the good-mood hormones.
Protects Vision and Improves Skin
Omega-3 acids, found in abundance in tuna fish, help in preventing macular degeneration, which is a condition that slowly reduces the vision and could induce blindness. Omega-3 fatty acids also help the body in preventing the dry eye syndrome. The fish also contains elastin that helps the tissue repair process and vitamin B complex that helps smoothen the skin.
Tuna Provides Vitamin D
As we all know, Vitamin D is very important for the body, especially for the bones. Tuna provides vitamin D in good quantities and helps keep the bones strong and healthy. Apart from being an important component for bone building, vitamin D is known the lower the risk of autoimmune diseases and multiple sclerosis.
Reduces Triglycerides and Prevents Stroke
In case you don’t know, a lot of doctors, dieticians, and nutritionists suggest eating fish, especially tuna, at least twice a week, if not more. What they mean is that by doing so, you are improving the HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in your body. Tuna helps maintain your cholesterol levels by reducing triglycerides in your bloodstream.
It has also been studied that if adults eat at least five servings of tuna every week, they can reduce their chances of getting a stroke by up to 30%. Thanks to the folic acids and vitamin B complex in this fish, the artery walls remain healthy, and blood clots are prevented.
Fights Kidney Diseases and Keeps Insulin in Check
Did you know that kidney cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world? It occurs from the inadequate functioning of organs. As mentioned earlier, Tuna contains a good amount of potassium mineral. This potassium helps maintain the proper functioning of the kidneys by keeping the fluid balance in check. To enhance this property of tuna, you should stay hydrated all the time by drinking lots of water. The omega-3 fatty acids keep the insulin level from rising, thus making tuna an ideal fish for diabetic patients. Again, it is suggested that you supplement it with the habit of drinking lots of water, which will keep the insulin levels from rising.
Prevents Inflammation and Provides Energy
Tuna meat helps in suppressing both muscle inflammation as well as illness inflammation. The fish contains healthy cholesterol and anti-inflammatory minerals that help allocate proper resources in the body to prevent inflammatory diseases like gout and arthritis. You obviously don’t need to be worried about muscle inflammation as it is good for the muscle-building process. And eating tuna can actually speed up your recovery time and provide energy, thanks to the high protein values along with the goodness of omega-3 and vitamin B complex. This is why all the gym-goers recommend tuna to everyone looking to bulk up with some lean protein.
As you can see, the health benefits of tuna are numerous, and it should definitely be a part of your diet. Just make sure you eat fresh tuna and try to eat boiled tuna if possible. It tastes a little bland but is definitely a good way to preserve the minerals. An important thing to note here is that if you have any kind of seafood allergy, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor before you start eating tuna.
Tuna / Kelawalla Photo © : Dostara.com