Look to canned tuna to provide a healthy high-protein snack after a workout or to prevent that mid-afternoon energy crash. One can of light tuna canned in water contains 50 grams of protein and is a good source of niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B-12, iron and zinc. Tuna is also a potent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and might protect against heart disease. Pregnant women should exercise caution when consuming any form of tuna due to its possible mercury content.
Canned tuna turns into tuna salad with just a touch of olive oil or mayonnaise, plus lemon juice. Tuna salad can support any number of healthy additions. Black olives, scallions or red onions, fresh or sun-dried tomatoes, fresh cucumber chunks or sweet pickle relish, pimiento, hard-boiled eggs, celery and capers are all possibilities. Serve with crackers or on whole-grain bread -- try stuffing it in a pita or serving it on rye or pumpernickel for a twist.
You can also use your favorite tuna salad recipe to stuff vegetables. One healthy option is to stuff celery sticks with a tuna mix. The celery adds fiber and vitamin A. Stuff small tomatoes with tuna salad for a classic light luncheon dish -- the tomato provides a healthy dose of vitamins A and C. You can also stuff small boiled potatoes with tuna. The potatoes deliver vitamin C, vitamin B6 and iron.
Tuna and Beans
Tuna with white beans is a classic Italian combination that makes for a high-protein snack. The salad is dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice. You can also add tomatoes, arugula or watercress, capers and red onion to the mix. If you like, you can wrap the salad in lavash bread or a flour tortilla before you eat it. Beans are high in fiber as well, and they provide a hefty dose of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc, as well as some B vitamins.
Tuna Deviled Eggs
Another high-protein tuna snack, perfect for post-workout refueling and as a lunchbox treat, is deviled eggs with tuna. Add the chopped egg yolks to your favorite tuna salad recipe and spoon into hard-boiled egg whites. If you're worried about cholesterol, you can omit the egg yolk entirely.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Fish, Tuna, Light, Canned in Water, Without Salt, Drained Solids
- How to Cook Everything: Mark Bittman
- Eating Well: Healthy Tuna Recipes