Tunalicious!

By | March 10, 2014

The tuna fish exhibits a sleek & strong design which allows for some very fast travel over very long distances.  For example, a tuna fish that calls the Gulf of Mexico home will travel to the European Coast of the Atlantic Ocean to feed and then back to the Gulf of Mexico to hatch young.  Tuna species are varied in size and represent a nutrient dense food for humans packed with protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna prevent systemic inflammation and is particularly important in cardiovascular health.  Omega-3’s from fish also offer antioxidants that can protect against colon, prostate & renal cancer.  Tuna provides an excellent source of protein which keeps us strong.  Steaming, searing and broiling tuna creates special antioxidant protein fragments called peptides.  Tuna is also an excellent source of B-complex vitamins like thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), and choline which are used by our cells to metabolize properly resulting in an overall energized feeling.  Choline is specifically essential for optimal fat metabolism and brain function and choline deficiency is linked with fatty liver.  Potassium helps maintain good blood pressure and tuna provides an ideal potassium:salt ratio.  Vitamin D, potassium, magnesium & phosphorus are all important for strong healthy bones and all of these nutrients are found in tuna.  Very interestingly tuna contains selenoneine, a form of selenium that binds with mercury and lowers the risk of mercury related problems within the fish.

Despite these abundant health benefits, the tuna fish is surrounded by controversy over fishing methods and mercury contamination.  But for most people eating sustainably caught and prepared tuna several times a month is both palate pleasing and part of the healthiest lifestyle!
Sources:
1. the world’s healthiest foods, tuna
2. Greenpeace, tuna
3. Hawaii Longline Boats Face Lower Tuna Catch Quota, ABC News
4. Linus Pauling Institute, phosphorus
5. the worlds’ healthiest foods, choline
6. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, Tortora & Derrickson, ISBN-13: 978-0-471-68934-8, page 172
7. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, Gropper, Smith & Groft, ISBN:  0-534-55986-7, pages 62-69