What are the health benefits of tuna? There’s nothing nicer than a seared fresh tuna steak or tuna sashimi. Yum! It has a really rather meaty taste, and isn’t fishy at all. Id say it is one of my favourite pieces of fish. I would always opt for fresh tuna rather than tinned where possible.
Heart & circulation
Several studies have found that tuna positively affects cholesterol levels, increasing levels of HDL (apparently the ‘good’ one), and reducing LDL. This is most likely due to the high omega-3 levels in fresh tuna. Tinned tuna, although it’s a great lean protein, is not a good source of omega 3, as all of the oils have been pressed out and sold to the nutritional supplements industry. So, the tinned stuff makes a great low GI protein source, has a few minerals, but thats about it. Why are omega 3 fatty acids so important? Well They are the metabolic building blocks for our own inherent anti-inflammatory compounds. The body actually transforms them into our own built-in anti-inflammatories that can ‘turn off’ the inflammatory reaction. These inflammatory mediator compounds are called prostaglandins. There are three types of prostaglandins – series 1, series 2, and series 3. Series 1 is mildly anti-inflammatory, series 2 is strongly PRO inflammatory, and series 3 are strongly ANTI-inflammatory. One of the main omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as tuna, EPA, is the metabolic precursor to the powerfully anti-inflammatory series 3 prostaglandins. By eating more of these we are encouraging an increased production of our own in built anti-inflammatories.
Tuna is rich in the mineral selenium. This vital mineral is one of the key components in making the body’s own built-in antioxidant compounds. Selenium has proved beneficial for the health of the skin, and as an anti-inflammatory. Tuna is also rich in zinc, a vital nutrient for skin health. This is because firstly zinc regulates the activity of the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin. If the skin is too oily, sufficient zinc in the diet will even out its production. Vice versa if the skin is very dry, then adequate zinc intake will increase oil output.