There’s really nothing quite like biting into a crispy, salty, cheesy melted tuna. The toasted bread, the hearty fish, the melting cheese – it’s like heaven on earth in a sandwich. And while eating canned fish isn’t necessarily the healthiest product in the world, canned tuna is one of the best (and cheapest) sources of lean protein you can buy at the grocery store. Aside from a long shelf life (meaning that you can indulge in the craving for tuna melt every time it hits you), there is another important effect of eating canned tuna that your body absolutely loves, and that’s it the boost of omega-3 fatty acids that the fish is full of.
Here’s why eating omega-3s is good for your overall diet. If you want even healthier eating tips, be sure to check out our list of the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Eat Right Now.
According to the National Institutes of Health Office for Dietary Supplements, omega-3s are a source of polyunsaturated fat that can give your body that much-needed boost to your body’s health. The omega-3 fatty acids can help with the health of your eyes and brain, and can even provide your body with all-day energy. Omega-3 fatty acids contain eicosanoids, molecules that support the structure and function of your body’s cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune, and endocrine health.
Harvard Health advises that omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body on their own. They are an essential fat that the body needs to function. They can be made from foods such as fish (like canned tuna), vegetable oils, nuts, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables.
Omega-3s also help with the cell membranes in your body, which, according to Harvard Health, lead to hormones that can regulate “blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of the arterial walls and inflammation.” Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, which means they can help prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as lupus, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, and in some cases even cancer.
But isn’t it bad for you to eat fat? Don’t believe this toxic diet myth! Dietary fats are an essential part of your diet as they aid digestion and fullness in your body, and keep your body energized throughout the day. The American Heart Association (AHA) says eating good fats (such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) regularly is important to support cell growth and regulate hormones – especially ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
While small amounts of saturated fat in your diet (which usually come from dairy and animal products) aren’t bad for you, focusing on ways to increase these other healthy fats in your diet can contribute to your overall health and weight loss.
Canned tuna is obviously a great source of omega-3 fatty acids to add to your diet for a relatively cheap price. An article published by the USDA Agricultural Research Service states that it is important to eat at least 250 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day, which is equivalent to 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per week. This amount of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a 3-ounce serving of albacore tuna contains 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating at least one canned tuna a week will give you all of the omega-3 fatty acids you need.
Take this as a sign for a roasted tuna to melt for dinner. Or how about one of these 13 healthy canned tuna recipes!