Interesting Tuna Facts
- Tunas are one of the most consumed fish species.
- There are 8 species of tuna. All species of tuna are nomadic, which means that they do not spend their entire life on a single place. Instead, they often change their location.
- Tunas are usually located in temperate and subtropical waters of Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Black seas.
- Tunas are over-fished in different parts of the world, especially in Japan and Australia. As a result, number of tunas decreased for over 90% percent since the beginning of 20th century.
- Although tunas are listed as endangered species, fishermen around the world hunt them persistently.
- Tuna is a large fish. It can reach length of 6.5 feet and weight of up to 550 pounds.
- Despite their large size, tunas are very fast swimmers. They can reach the speed between 44 and 62 miles per hour.
- Tuna is a carnivore. It feeds on different types of fish (mackerel, herring, hake…), squids and crustaceans.
- Unlike other fish, tuna is able to increase and maintain the body temperature few degrees above the temperature of surrounding water. Because of this feature, tuna can be classified as "warm-blooded" animal.
- During the spawning, one female can release 30 million eggs. Only 2 of those 30 millions will survive until the adulthood. Remaining eggs will be eaten by other marine creatures.
- Average life span of tuna is between 15 and 30 years in the wild. Small percent of tuna managed to survive until this period.
Supports Heart Health:
The omega-3 fats in tuna may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. A 3-ounce portion of fresh yellowfin tuna provides 89 milligrams docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and 13 milligrams eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. DHA and EPA are long-chain omega-3 fats that may lower your blood triglyceride levels and slow plaque formation in your blood vessels, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Omega-3 fats may reduce blood clots and help prevent strokes and heart attacks.
A 3-ounce serving of cooked yellowfin tuna provides 25 grams protein, or 50 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet, and it contains only 110 calories. Choosing tuna for your protein source instead of fatty meats, such as chuck, can save calories and help you control your weight. As with any food, the calories you get from your tuna meal depend on how you prepare it. A serving of tuna salad with mayonnaise can have hundreds of calories.
Lowers Blood Pressure:
Fresh tuna is naturally high in potassium, with 448 milligrams, and low in sodium, with 46 milligrams in a 3-ounce portion. A high-potassium, low-sodium diet can help control high blood pressure, and the Department of Health and Human Services suggests that healthy adults get at least 4,700 milligrams potassium and no more than 2,300 milligrams sodium per day. Tuna canned with added salt is higher in sodium than fresh tuna and tuna canned without salt.
The Healthiest Ways to Eat Tuna Fish
Salads are a nutritious way to combine tuna with an array of other healthy foods for a light lunch or dinner. Along with drained, canned tuna, include dark greens, such as romaine lettuce, spinach or kale, which are rich in vitamins C, E and calcium, and cannellini beans or garbanzo beans for additional protein and fiber. Chopped celery makes a crunchy, low-calorie salad extender. Instead of using a thick mayonnaise-based dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of olive oil with fresh lemon juice and pepper and fresh or dried dill. For a more filling meal, add a slice of whole-grain bread, which is rich in B vitamins, to your tuna-based salad.
Although you may have fond memories of Grandma's tuna sandwich made with white bread, lots of mayo and loads of love, there's a healthier way to go. Mix drained, canned tuna with a small amount of lite mayonnaise and add shredded vitamin A-rich carrots, chopped celery, sliced black olives and chopped walnuts, which are good sources of healthy fats and protein. Take a fruity twist by mixing halved vitamin C-rich red grapes in with your tuna mixture. Serve your tuna blend on whole-grain, vitamin B-rich bread or rolls. Add a couple of romaine lettuce leaves for color and extra nutrients.
Pastas made with refined, white noodles and processed tomato sauces are often lacking in nutrients and high in sodium, leaving you feeling bloated and heavy after your meal. Combining tuna with fresh ingredients is not only a healthy way to eat tuna, but leaves you feeling comfortably full. Lightly saute canned, drained tuna pieces, fresh tomato slices and fresh basil in a small amount of olive oil and minced garlic. Get creative and increase the nutrient content by sauteing broccoli spears, sliced zucchini or other veggies along with the tomatoes. Serve over high-protein, whole-grain noodles and sprinkle with fresh parsley, Romano or Parmesan cheese and a few black olives.
Broiled or Grilled
Grilling or broiling a fresh tuna steak is not only one of the healthiest ways to eat tuna, but one of the tastiest. This method of cooking enhances the full, rich fish flavors. Brush a light coating of olive oil and fresh lemon juice on the fish surface before grilling to add flavor, seal in moistness and tenderize the tuna. Serve grilled or broiled fish with accompaniments such as fresh lemon slices and pepper to taste. Instead of lemon slices, try serving your tuna with a fresh fruit salsa made from mango or kiwi. Refreshing salsas or sauces made with healthy ingredients, such as fruits, olive oil, fresh herbs and vegetables, provide additional nutrients, such as healthy fats, vitamin C and fiber, to your meal.