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Tuna Nutrition Facts

Tuna SaladTuna, an excellent source of lean protein, vitamins and minerals, is a wonderful way to excite the palate while maintaining a balanced diet. However, tuna has more to offer than just great taste and nutrition. Tuna can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in fatty fish like tuna, can help lower the risk of heart disease, ease the pain of arthritis, reduce asthma complications, and is essential in the growth and development of young children.

Omega-3 fatty acids seem to have the ability to regulate and lower cholesterol levels in the blood, as well as improving the ratio of good and bad cholesterol. It is this ratio between good and bad cholesterol that is thought to play a key role in heart attack risk.

According to research the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood also improve brain function in middle-aged people and actually lower the risk of mental impairment as people age. Tuna is therefore not only good for your heart but is affordable "brain food" for people of all ages.

The latest research comes from researchers at Utrecht and Maastricht Universities in the Netherlands and was published in the journal Neurology. Tracking more than 1,600 Dutch men and women aged 45 to 70 over a six-year period, the researchers found those who ate fish regularly scored higher on a battery of tests for memory, psychomotor speed, cognitive flexibility, and overall cognition. Moreover, the study concluded that the specific factors contributing to better brain function were fatty fish and the consumption of two essential omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

Protein is essential to building lean muscle mass and providing the body with energy. Canned tuna is so high in protein that one six-ounce can yields one-third of the recommended daily amount. Unlike many other high protein foods, however, tuna is naturally low in fat and calories. There are 116 calories in a 100-gram serving of water-packed canned tuna compared with 208 calories in the same serving of turkey.

As if this is not enough, one serving of canned tuna also contains 40 percent of the RDA for vitamin B12 and is a good source of niacin.


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