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What Does Tuna Do for Your Body?

by
author image Nicki Wolf
Nicki Wolf has been writing health and human interest articles since 1986. Her work has been published at various cooking and nutrition websites. Wolf has an extensive background in medical/nutrition writing and online content development in the nonprofit arena. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Temple University.
What Does Tuna Do for Your Body?
A variety of sushi and sashimi made with tuna. Photo Credit rodrigobark/iStock/Getty Images

Many people like the meaty texture and delicate flavor of tuna, both in fillets and mixed into salad preparations for sandwiches. This seafood is quite nutritious, and it can do good things for your body. Speak to your health care provider before eating tuna as a complementary or alternative treatment for any medical condition.

Boosts Energy Level

Including tuna in your diet is great for your energy levels. A 3-oz. portion of cooked tuna provides you with 24.8 g of protein, a considerable portion of the 50 to 175 g -- 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories -- you should consume each day. Your body looks to protein for energy when carbohydrates are not available. The B vitamins in tuna are also important for energy; without the B vitamins, your body would be unable to convert food to energy. A serving of tuna contains thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6 -- all B vitamins that help give you more energy.

Improves Fertility

When you are trying to conceive a baby, including tuna in your diet may be helpful. A 3-oz. serving of tuna contains 92 mcg of selenium, almost double the amount you require each day -- 55 mcg. A study featured in the January 2011 edition of the "International Journal of General Medicine" followed nearly 700 male study subjects over 100-day period -- those who took 200 mcg of selenium each day along with vitamin E demonstrated improved sperm motility. The niacin in tuna is helpful for fertility as well; this vitamin helps make sex hormones. You get 18.7 mg of niacin in 3 oz. of tuna, and you should consume 14 to 16 mg every day.

Influences Mood

Eating tuna does good things for your brain, particularly when you want to improve your mood. Tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, which influence brain function. Although studies are inconclusive, omega-3 may help ward off depression. Research available in the 2011 issue of the journal "Depression Research and Treatment" indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent depression, especially postpartum depression. The vitamin B-6 in tuna -- one serving contains just under 1 mg -- encourages the production of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, both of which affect your mood.

Protects Against Free Radical Damage

Tuna contains an antioxidant that may protect your body from a range of conditions. Research featured in the May 2010 issue of the "World Journal of Biological Chemistry" notes the discovery of selenoneine, an antioxidant, in tuna. This compound reacts to free radicals and may stop the growth of cancer, ward off signs of aging and prevent chronic diseases.

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