In order for us to maintain optimal levels of health and fitness, following a healthy and balanced diet is absolutely essential, yet sadly, that is where many people find themselves going wrong. Worldwide obesity levels are sky high, there are more people suffering from diet and weight-related health conditions than ever before, and unfortunately, life expectancies are decreasing instead of increasing, which is absurd considering how far we’ve advanced medically and technologically. It’s all well and good saying that the solution to these issues is for people to get more exercise and “eat healthier” but like all things in life, things aren’t quite as black and white as that, and real world issues often get in the way, not to mention the fact that people are often unclear as to what actually counts as healthy nowadays. When we think of healthy fish for example, it is the more oily fishes that get much of the praise, which is why salmon, mackerel, and sardine sales are currently incredibly high. Tuna however, is one of the more underrated fishes, in terms of both taste, and health properties, and it is certainly about so much more than simply being served in a can for people who aren’t quite sure what to have for dinner. Here’s a look at a few of the main health benefits associated with tuna.
It’s a great source of protein
In terms of importance, protein is arguably the most vital of all the three macronutrients, yet unfortunately, many of us are still not getting enough of it, even those of us that are trying to increase our lean muscle mass. Protein is essential for muscular growth and development, not to mention cellular health and development as well. The great thing about tuna, either canned, or fresh steaks, is the fact that it is notoriously high in protein, making it ideal for people trying to get fitter, and more muscular, as well as people who simply aren’t getting enough of that particular macro.
It’s low in fat and calories
Although oily fish such as salmon or mackerel, is considered very healthy, mainly due to the healthy fats it contains, the fact still remains that those are still fats, meaning that the fish is high in calories, and that it can be tough for people watching their weight. Even though the fat is healthy, if you consume too much, you will still gain weight, and find it tough to lose weight, and there’s no getting around that. For people looking for a leaner fish, tuna is absolutely perfect as it is much lower in fat and calories, yet it still tastes great.
It’s great for the immune system
Another great benefit associated with tuna is the fact that it has been found to strengthen and boost the immune system, which means that people will benefit as they will be less likely to suffer from illness and disease. Tuna for example, is rich in selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to significantly boost the immune system and enhance immune system function. Not only can it help to protect against common illnesses and ailments like the common cold, it can also help protect against more serious illnesses and diseases such as cancer.
It’s a great source of B vitamins
B vitamins are incredibly healthy and beneficial for the human body, yet they’re often overlooked in favour of vitamin C and other more common vitamins. Tuna however, is jam-packed full of healthy and beneficial B vitamins, which benefit the body in a variety of different ways. For example, they help to boost energy levels and increase red blood cell counts. B vitamins are water soluble and also help by, again, boosting immunity, enhancing the metabolism, and improving skin health and function as well, so you not only feel better, you look better as well.
It helps to reduce blood pressure
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is currently one of the most common health conditions in the entire world, and is responsible for countless deaths, and various other health conditions suffered by people every single year. Hypertension can result in heart attacks, strokes, renal failure, heart disease, and much more besides. The good news however, is that tuna has been found to significantly reduce high blood pressure, making it very handy indeed. The reason it is able to do this is that, despite not being classed as an oily fish, it still contains omega 3 fatty acids, which have been proven, time and time again, to greatly reduce hypertension, and thereby enhance an individual’s health and fitness in the process.
It lowers triglycerides
Triglycerides are basically fats found in the blood, that are carried around the body. If you have too many triglycerides within your bloodstream, you run the risk of blocked arteries, stroke, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, blood clots, poor circulation, low oxygen transportation, and much more besides. The reason for this is that high triglyceride levels are often caused by bad LDL cholesterol, and low amounts of good HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is very good for us because it reduces LDL bad cholesterol, which is responsible for many of the unpleasant medical conditions we just mentioned. Put simply, you want less LDL cholesterol and more HDL cholesterol in your body, and guess what? Yep, tuna contains ingredients which help you achieve just that.
Ok, technically not a health benefit, unless you count mental health because it tastes so great, but even so, another fantastic benefit of tuna fish is the fact that the fish is so diverse. You can purchase canned tuna and use it on salads or sandwiches, or you can opt for fresh raw tuna steaks, and can grill them or barbeque them perhaps. You can use tuna in sushi, in stir fries, in salads, in sandwiches, as a topping for baked potatoes, as a main, in curries, or even on its own if you feel so inclined. No matter what you choose, if prepared correctly, it will taste great.