- Oct 25, 2017 -
Canned tuna is inexpensive and packed with protein. The fish is mild in flavor and versatile enough to include in a variety of nutritious recipes. Opt for tuna canned in water, and a serving contains less than 1 gram of fat and only about 100 calories. You'll also get a good dose iron and potassium as well. While you shouldn't eat tuna every day because of its mercury content, you can still safely enjoy canned tuna as a regular part of your healthy eating plan.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The small amount of fat present in canned light tuna is mostly the healthy unsaturated kind, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy brain and promote proper growth and development. These essential fatty acids reduce inflammation in your body, which can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to lowering high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and they aid in the treatment of certain mental disorders such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
A 3-ounce serving of canned light tuna contains 11.3 milligrams of niacin toward the 14 milligrams women need each day and the 16 milligrams that men need. Niacin is a B-vitamin that helps keep your digestive system, skin and nerves healthy. Niacin supplements might help reduce harmful cholesterol levels and increase beneficial cholesterol as well, according to the website MedlinePlus. A niacin deficiency can cause skin disorders and mental problems.
You need 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day, and a 3-ounce serving of canned light tuna supplies 2.5 micrograms. Vitamin B12 supports the normal function of your brain and also aids in the formation of red blood cells. You also need vitamin B12 for DNA production and to help your body to turn the food you eat into usable energy.
Canned tuna contains mercury, a contaminant that can cause nervous system damage, particularly in unborn babies and small children. Large amounts of mercury are dangerous for adults as well, which is why you should limit you how much you eat. You can safely eat a serving of canned light tuna every three or four days and a serving of canned albacore tuna every nine-to-14 days, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
How to Eat Canned Tuna
Combine canned tuna with low-fat mayonnaise, minced red onions and fresh dill for a nutritious sandwich filling. Add canned tuna to a spinach salad or toss it into your favorite pasta salad recipe. Stir canned tuna into macaroni and cheese or combine canned tuna with fresh tomatoes and basil and spread it on whole-wheat toast for a tasty appetizer. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over canned tuna and eat it on whole-grain crackers or use as a filling for fish tacos.