Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein, vitamins and minerals, and is a great food to include in a balanced and healthy diet. It is also high in the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and naturally low in saturated fat. Tuna is one of the highest protein natural foods you can buy and can be prepared in an almost endless variety of ways. Research suggests that consuming canned tuna may provide a wide range of health benefits, from improving blood vessel function to boosting weight loss.

Cardiovascular Function

Canned tuna is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. These are healthy unsaturated fats that might improve blood vessel function, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Healthy men and women were randomly assigned to eat a meal rich in omega-3 fatty acids or a control meal. Scientists reported in the March 2010 issue of the journal “Clinical Nutrition,” that subjects fed the omega-3-rich meal experienced less stiffness in their arteries compared to subjects fed the control meal.

Lean Protein

Canned tuna serves as an excellent source of lean protein. Each 6-ounce portion contains 33 grams of protein, but less than 2 grams of fat. Your body needs protein for cell growth, a healthy immune system and uses protein to maintain your muscle tissue, and the Harvard School of Public Health mentions fish, including tuna, as a healthy protein option.

Niacin and HDL Cholesterol Levels

One of the B vitamins found in canned tuna is niacin, which might maintain high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol levels, according to research reported in the March 2008 issue of the “Journal of Lipid Research.” The HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol since it prevents bad cholesterol from being stored as plaque inside artery walls. Researchers from the University of California discovered that niacin prevents the liver from removing HDL from the blood, thereby maintaining HDL cholesterol levels.


Salmon is an excellent source of protein and contains all the essential amino acids. Salmon is rich in minerals, vitamins A, D, B6 and B12 and also contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, which may assist in lowering the risk of heart disease. Its also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and other natural fish oils. Canned fish such as tuna and salmon contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of nutrition. Oily fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are also a great source of:

  • High quality protein
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • B vitamins Niacin, B1 and B6 and B12
  • Iodine

Regularly incorporating fish as part of a balanced diet carries many well-documented health benefits, including:

  • Prevention of cardiovascular disease and promoting cardiovascular health
  • Improving the ratio of good cholesterol levels in the body
  • Growth, development and brain function
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Promoting good eye sight
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing the risk of certain types of stroke
  • Improving mood and alleviating depression

Low GI

Tuna and salmon are also low GI. Foods with a low glycaemic index release energy more slowly than high GI foods, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Foods with low GI keep you feeling satiated for longer and you won’t need to eat as much in order to feel full so you’ll be less likely to over eat.

High in protein

Tuna and salmon are excellent sources of quality protein. Eating a couple of serves of tuna and salmon each week can provide the essential protein that is required for maintaining:

  • Muscle strength and endurance
  • Healthy skin and nails
  • Even increased energy levels


There are many species of mackerel fish. The jack mackerel is a common type of fish found in the Pacific coastal waters. It is also called the blue jack mackerel, Californian jack mackerel, Pacific jack mackerel or saurel fish. Because it is a fattier fish, the Pacific jack mackerel offers nearly as much omega-3 fats per serving as salmon but is less expensive.

Omega-3 Content

A 3-oz. cooked portion of Pacific jack mackerel provides 171 calories, 9 g of fat and 2 g of saturated fat. This modest serving size provides 1,759 mg of omega-3 fats. It is nearly as rich in omega-3 fats as Chinook salmon, which provides 1,822 mg per 3-oz. serving. Canned jack mackerel is the highest in omega-3 fats of all mackerel fish. One ounce of canned jack mackerel, drained, solids only, provides 385 mg of omega-3 fats.

Heart Health

Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, is the type of omega-3 fatty acid found in marine foods, such as fatty fish. Omega-3 fats benefit the heart of both healthy as well as those at high risk of—or who have—heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. It is true that all fish contain some omega-3 fatty acids, but varieties such as jack mackerel are particularly rich sources. Per the American Heart Association, you should consume at least two 3.5-oz servings of fish, especially fatty fish, weekly.


Sardines provide plenty of essential nutrients, earning them a place in a "Diabetes Forecast" list of five superfoods you should be eating. These nutritional powerhouses may have a bit of a bad reputation due to their strong taste and smell, but if you get past this, you'll be able to reap the potential health benefits of these small fish. One way to do this is to include sardines in pasta sauces and stews, where they will add to the flavour without being overpowering.


Each 3.75-ounce can of sardines packed in oil provides you with 191 calories, 22.7 grams of protein and 10.5 grams of fat, including only 1.4 grams of saturated fat. This is 16 percent of the daily value for fat, 7 percent of the DV for saturated fat and 45 percent of the DV for protein.


Sardines provide 12 percent of the DV for riboflavin, 24 percent of the DV for niacin, 137 percent of the DV for vitamin B-12 and 45 percent of the DV for vitamin D in each 3.85-ounce can. Riboflavin may help prevent cataracts and migraines, and niacin may lower your risk for Alzheimer's disease and improve arthritis symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The Linus Pauling Institute notes that getting sufficient amounts of vitamin B-12 may help lower your risk for heart disease and cancer, and consuming enough vitamin D may make you less likely to develop arthritis or cancer.


These little fish are also filled with minerals. Each can of sardines contains 35 percent of the DV for calcium, 15 percent of the DV for iron, 45 percent of the DV for phosphorus and 10 percent of the DV for potassium. You need calcium for strong bones and proper nerve and muscle function, iron is important for forming red blood cells and carrying oxygen where the body needs it. Phosphorus plays a role in forming DNA and storing energy. Potassium can help counteract the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium, potentially lowering your risk for heart disease.

Omega-3 Fats

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that you get an average of 500 milligrams of a combination of EPA and DHA each day. These essential omega-3 fats may decrease your heart disease risk. Just 3 ounces of sardines provides 835 milligrams of omega-3 fats, meeting your needs for the day and then some.



GOLDENPRIZE.IN provides health benefits and uses of canned fish as obtained from LIVESTRONG.COM.

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