What is Tuna?
A tuna is a group of saltwater fish species that make up Thunnini, a subgrouping made up of 5 genera of the Scombridae (mackerel) family.
The word “tuna” has its root in the Latin form of word ” Thunnus” of the Ancient Greek: thýnnos, which literally means ‘tunny-fish’ – derived from the Greek word thýnō that means “rush, dart along” in the manner some Tuna fish species swim as fast as 43 miles per hour.
At incredible distances, they swim very fast as they migrate in groups, matching the meaning of the root word of their name “Tunny”.
The species range in sizes from:
Atlantic bluefin which can grow as long as approximately 5 metres and weight reach 684Kg
Bullet tuna which is smaller reaches a maximum length of 0.5m in length and weigh as much as approximately 2kg.
Is tuna fish good for you?
Tuna is a very good for the heart and maintenance of the body.
It is a source of high-quality animal protein,omega-3 fatty acids and has very little fat; making Tuna consumption healthy for the heart.
When consumed, it supplies all the essential amino acids required by the body for growth and repair of the body tissues.
What are the benefits of Tuna
1. Good for the heart.
Tuna contains heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids which helps reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol(LDL; Low-density Lipoproteins) and raise levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL; High-density lipoproteins).
This action reduces the risk of clogging up of the blood vessels(coronary blood vessels) that supply nutrients and oxygen to the heart. As such, the heart is able to efficiently carry out its function of pumping blood throughout the body, maintaining good health.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure and reduce chance of having Type-2 Diabetes
Tuna is rich in potassium, which counter acts Sodium by lowering blood pressure. If potassium levels in your body is too low, your body may make less insulin. That could lead to poor control of blood sugar leading to high blood sugar.
It has been reported in studies that people who have low potassium levels release less insulin, consequently have higher blood sugar levels, and are more likely to get type 2 diabetes than those with normal potassium levels.So consumption of Tuna can help you raise your potassium level to improve insulin function efficiency.
Omega-3 fatty acids with potassium create anti-inflammatory which in turn benefits you by lowering blood pressure, risk of stroke and possibly heart attacks.
3. Improves Immune System Function.
Tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin C, manganese and selenium, which all help in strengthening the immune system.
They bring to bare their anti-oxidant effect in order to protect you from diseases like premature aging,oxidative degeneration of cells, and even cancer by mopping up the free radicals – the by-products of metabolism on the cellular level to prevent their negative effect on cells.
4.Reduce Risk of Weight gain From Fat.
Tuna has low fat yet rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. This makes the total calories from the consumption time low compared to some other animal protein sources.
5. Helps Bone Formation, Development and Maintenance.
Tuna contains calcium , protein and Vitamin B which provide nutrients required for bone development, growth and strengthening existing bones.While calcium is a major constituent required for bone formation, Vitamin B6 helps create the supportive balance between the special cells of the bone,osteoblasts and osteoclasts, thereby helping to reduce bone cavities, make bones stronger and increase their resistance to fracture.
6.Improves Your Skin Health
The combined effect of the anti-oxidants Tuna consumption supplies to your body help prevent premature aging of cells including the skin cells, making the skin remain healthy.
The protein, elastin, present in Tuna helps the smin elasticity and give you as glowing luxuriant skin.
Where To Get Tuna Fish.
1. You can go fishing to capture fresh tunas
Below are some of the places regarded as the best tuna- fishing spots;
Cape Hatteras / Mid-Atlantic
Mauritius and Reunion Island
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The Canadian Maritimes of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia
The Reviilagigedos Archipelago and Other Banks off Southernmost Baja
Westport, New Zealand
Stellwagen Bank/Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Westport, New Zealand
2.From Fully Farmed Tuna Farms
In these special farms, tuna fishes,especially Blue fin, are produced from raised juveniles of artificially hatched eggs spawned naturally by matured tuna fishes raised on the farms or from juveniles captured from the sea and fattened in these farms to maturity for sale and egg spawning from which future juveniles are obtained.
3.Buying them fresh from supermarkets and grocery stores.
Most supermarkets and grocery stores have the fish section where different types of fish is sold. In most fish markets,you can find the bluefin tuna which is popular for making sushi,yellowfin.
It is usually sliced into steaks with bright red and solid firm texture and when well cooked turns grey and firmer.
The uncooked flesh is a bright ruby red with a firm texture. Tuna is best when cooked to rare or medium-rare; well-done tuna turns gray and loses its moisture.
Canned tuna is produced from tuna that is processed and packed in tin can, sealed to make airtight and heated to cook in water or oil to a ready processed fish product. Canned tuna provides you an opportunity to enjoy your tuna at any convenient time.It can be stocked at home and offices, it typically has a fairly long shelf life of between one to five years because fish generally have low acidity levels less favorable to most spoilage microorganisms.
Canned Tuna are sold in two types: “white,” and “light” or “chunk light.” Chunk light doesn’t refer to a specific species of the 61 species, but “white” means that you’re buying albacore (Thunnus alalunga) . “Premium,” “gourmet” or “tonno” tuna are from yellowfin, although these premium brand of canned Tuna are not so popular and represents a smaller share of the total canned tuna market.
Is canned tuna actually tuna?
“Tuna” is often used commercially for both tuna and fishes related to tuna fish. So a canned tuna fish may contain those species of tuna categorized as true tuna like albacore, skipjack and yellowfin .These brands of canned tuna that contain this true tuna includes those of the premium brands of canned tuna.
How many cans of tuna can I eat per week?
FDA and EPA continue to recommend that no more than six ounces (170 grammes) of fish per week (of your 8 to 12 ounces weekly) should be white (albacore) tuna. Although canned light tuna (Katsuwonis pelamis) is lower in mercury, albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) has more of it. An easy way to follow this advice? Just vary the types of fish that you eat, per the overall recommendations.
Can I lose weight eating tuna?
It is lean fish with little fat in it. Tuna,especially cooked in water, is the popular choice of low fat-high protein food source for bodybuilders and fitness models
What are the things to look for in healthy canned Tuna?
1. Find out the type of Tuna
Of the 61 species scientists classify as Tuna fish, only 14 are regarded as true tuna. And of the 15 species of Tuna sold commercially or caught for sport, usually just three species are sent to the cannery, these are, albacore (Thunnus alalunga) , skipjack (Katsuwonis pelamis) and yellowfin (Thunnus albacares).
However,in some case tuna products manufacturers are not legally required to name their specific species of tuna used in their canned tuna, but some canned tuna producers make a full disclosure of their species of Tuna. However note if it is white, light or chunk white as explained above
2. Consider the mercury content.
Mercury is particularly dangerous to fetuses, babies and young children. For this reason, the FDA recommends that adults and children eat no more than one serving of yellowfin or albacore a week, and no more than three servings of “light” or “chunk light” tuna a week.
Note that Tuna, like all seafoods, have some amount of mercury contamination in them and when canned, the mercury is present in the canned Tuna.
However, on the basis of risk of mercury contamination,FDA recommends light Tuna, shipjack, over the albacore.
In the flesh of the Albacore, you may discover as much as three times more mercury than mercury found in skipjack because albacore are big predators, capable of growing up to 1.4 meters (4.5 feet long) and usually live longer than the shipjack which is smaller and less predatory than the albacore.
3. Identify fishing method and population status
When buying canned tuna look for the terms “pole and line caught”, “troll caught” or FAD-free which indicates that the fish was caught in a sustainable way that minimizes waste by catch.
So with growing concern about the environment, more fish products manufacturers now feel morally obligated to let their buyers know their environmental credential.
To encourage those ones helping to keep sustainable development, before buying canned Tuna, consider how the species was caught in comparison to trends in its population in the seas.
For albacore is considered a near-threatened species because some populations of albacore are overexploited and experiencing overfishing. Cans that don’t disclose how it is caught and where it is caught may be doing so because it has no such environmental credibility of sustainable fishing and helping to contribute to global food security.
Because location of catch is not often printed on can labels, the consumer cannot tell if the albacore were taken from a healthy or unhealthy stock.
Compared to albacore, skipjack fisheries are regarded to be managed effectively and are categorized as “least concern” by international conservation groups.
Adding to the possible confusion is the fact that some producers combine skipjack and yellowfin tuna — the latter being a near-threatened species — to lower the per-can mercury that would occur if sold as pure yellowfin.
This means consumers wanting to shop responsibly by eating “light” tuna might not be getting the whole story when it comes to health and sustainability concerns.
What are examples of Canned Tuna brands?
Monarch White Tuna
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