Tuna stars on plates in many popular ways, such as in sushi, seared, as a burger, or in the traditional tuna sandwich. This fish provides many vitamins and minerals for meals. A lean protein source, tuna has many other nutrients that do not get much recognition.
Vitamins A and B, but Not C
Tuna is an excellent source of vitamin A, with over 30 percent of the recommended daily value in just a 3-oz. serving. Tuna also has a lot of B vitamins, such as niacin, B-1 and large amounts of folic acid. It also has vitamin B-6, which along with folic acid helps to prevent atherosclerosis. But there's no vitamin C, unfortunately, for this popular fish.
Minerals to Mention
Tuna is a great source of three main minerals. Three ounces of tuna provide almost 50 percent of the daily value for selenium, 20 percent for phosphorus and 10 percent for magnesium. Selenium has been linked to being helpful for prevention of heart disease and cancer, so this pumps up the nutritional value of eating tuna.
Every Little Bit Counts
Other minerals are present in tuna in small amounts. A 3-oz. portion of tuna has about 4 percent of the daily value for iron, 3 percent zinc and 6 percent potassium. A bit of sodium is present at about 1 percent, and calcium is present at less than 1 percent of the recommended daily value.
Cooked Versus Raw
The vitamin and mineral levels in tuna vary slightly depending on whether the tuna is raw or cooked. Raw tuna has higher amounts of most of the vitamins and minerals, since the heat hasn't degraded the nutrients. An exception is sodium, which may be higher from the processing or the typical addition of salt when cooked and canned.
- USDA: Nutrient Data Laboratory
- "Bowes & Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used"; Jean A. T. Pennington, Anna De Planter Bowes, Helen Nichols Church; 1998