Tuna Health Benefits

The tuna is a fish that can be found in virtually all the world’s oceans, being more common in tropical and subtropical regions. Although all fish are a good healthy food option, tuna is among those that are richest in nutritional properties

This fish is classified into several species, including:

  • Fat tuna : Also known as toro, it has a special fat, which makes it highly valued in the market and, for this reason, the most expensive among the species.
  • Yellowfin : It has a reddish hue and is used to prepare sushi and grilled dishes.
  • Yellow : It is found throughout the Brazilian coast and can reach up to 1.90 m in length.
  • Black tuna: This tuna is the most popular for preparing sushi and sashimi and can reach up to 3 m in length.
  • Blue tuna : The most valued in cuisine and the largest tuna, size that reaches up to 5 m in length and weighs almost 700 kg.

Both canned tuna, with oil, tomato sauce or natural tuna can be found easily in Brazilian supermarkets. This fish is widely used in cooking, whether grilled, in the oven, to make pâtés, pizzas, snacks, tuna noodles, etc. It is an economical protein source, as well as being practical and can be taken anywhere without the need for refrigeration.

The price of tuna can vary depending on the species and the form in which it is sold. Fresh tuna, for example, costs around R$ 25.00 per kilo, while canned tuna costs, on average, R$ 3.50. However, depending on the species, it can be very expensive. A bluefin tuna weighing just over 400 kg has already been sold for an incredible R$ 5 million.

About the doubt that some people have if the tuna has scales, it has them in a very small size and they are mainly concentrated in the head region. Regarding fins, all tuna species have them, but the size varies according to the species.


Tuna is rich in high quality protein, as well as being a great source of nutrients that are essential for the body. Among the main properties of tuna are proteins, omega 3, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, iron, phosphorus and B vitamins. The large amount of omega 3 in tuna (150 g of fish has around 800 mg) corresponds to a healthy fat that benefits the heart.

Every 100 grams of natural fish (ie, not in the canned version) contains about 108 calories and 0 carbohydrates. The canned version with oil has a higher amount of calories, around 200.

Despite all the benefit of tuna for health, which includes low amounts of calories and fat, its consumption should be done in a moderate way, as there is the presence of mercury in its composition.

Mercury is harmful when excessively ingested, especially for pregnant or nursing women. The reason is because it can cause respiratory failure, muscle weakness, impaired speech and vision, insomnia, among other health problems.

People with kidney problems must be extra careful with the excess of this fish, as it can cause more damage. It is recommended that the weekly consumption of tuna does not exceed the amount of 340 g in the canned version and 170 g of fresh tuna.


Tuna is good for the heart, eyes, brain, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Check out what its main health benefits are.

  • take care of heart health

The components of tuna that help keep the heart healthy are omega 3 fatty acids, which prevent the heart from beating an irregular rhythm, which prevents the formation of blood clots and clogging of the arteries. This helps to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL), preventing coronary artery disease.

Another benefit of omega 3 is that its consumption reduces the risk of an arrhythmia and, sudden, sudden death.

  • Protects eye health

Ingesting large amounts of omega 3 helps protect against macular degeneration, a problem that causes loss of central vision, considered the main cause of blindness in the elderly. Another function in relation to eye benefits is that omega 3 consists of so-called fatty acids, which makes the risks of dry eye syndrome reduced.

  • helps to lose weight

People who perform training for hypertrophy may consider tuna a great ally, as this fish contributes to muscle mass gain. It contains a low amount of calories and provides energy for training due to the B vitamins.

One of the compounds present in omega 3 acids causes leptin to be released. When the levels of this hormone are high, it causes a reduction in the feeling of hunger, causing the person to eat less. The fibers in tuna also help to bring satiety.

  • Improves insulin response

Those who suffer from type 2 diabetes can benefit from consuming tuna, as it has a high content of omega 3 fat. Research has shown that this type of fat decreases the chances of obesity and also improves the body’s ability to respond to insulin. . This is due to the presence of EPA, the hormone that regulates the body and metabolism.

  • Helps prevent cancer

According to studies carried out, the consumption of fish with fatty acids, as in the case of tuna, contributes to protection against cancer cells. These studies revealed that omega 3 is a component that protects against cancer of the kidney, ovaries, breast, stomach, mouth and pharynx.

  • take care of the brain

Tuna is a rich food in niacin, a component that has been shown to protect against mental decline, common with advancing age. In addition, studies have shown that people with a diet rich in this substance have a 70% reduction in the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

An omega-3 component known as DHA causes the production of a protein called LR11 to be increased. This ends up destroying the beta-amyloid plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer’s.

The consumption of this fish also proved to be an ally in reducing the cognitive decline caused by this disease. The reason is because omega 3 helps reduce inflammation as it promotes a healthier blood supply to the brain. This makes the brain’s electrical signals happen more effectively, which reduces the damage caused by Alzheimer’s.

  • fights stress

Tuna is indicated to avoid stress, as its ingestion helps to regain well-being. The reason is because this fish is rich in magnesium, which has this effect on stress relief. Studies have also revealed that mental health is improved, which contributes to a reduced risk of depression.

As it is a food that contains DHA, it makes the electrical signals to be transmitted to the brain more easily, which is a factor that involves the metabolism of serotonin, an essential hormone for the prevention of depression.

  • Promotes detox

Tuna contains selenium, a component that increases the production of glutathione peroxidase, an essential antioxidant for keeping the liver healthy. This promotes detoxification in the body by eliminating harmful compounds such as drug and pesticide residues.

  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action

The omega 3 present in tuna contains anti-inflammatory action, which ends up reducing inflammation in the body. This makes this fish help prevent the onset of diseases such as arthritis and gout.

The antioxidants found in tuna, especially selenium, increase the body’s defenses, which prevents diseases caused by viruses and bacteria, such as flu and colds, for example.



Here’s how making tuna pate for an afternoon snack is easy:


  • 1 can of tuna
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • salt to taste
  • Chopped parsley to taste

Preparation mode

  1. Place the contents of the tuna can in a bowl.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, chopped parsley, grated onion and mash using a fork or, if you prefer, use a food processor.
  3. As soon as you knead it well, the pate is ready to be spread on the toast.



This tuna pie recipe is perfect for getting the family together on the weekend:


  • 2 glasses of milk
  • 2 cups (tea) of flour
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (dessert) of salt
  • 2 tablespoons (dessert) of baking powder


  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 portion of pea to taste
  • 3 chopped olives

Preparation mode

  1. To make the dough, place all the ingredients to beat in a blender, until a homogeneous dough is formed.
  2. The filling is made by mixing the ingredients in a bowl. Season to your liking and it’s ready.
  3. Grease a baking sheet and first place a layer of dough. Then pour a layer of filling and finish with a layer with the rest of the dough.
  4. Bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes, or until golden.
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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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