|Tuna Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Thunnus thynnus|
|Shapes||Elongated, robust, sleek, streamlined body about 1 foot in length to 15 feet|
|Flesh colors||Pink to dark red|
|Major nutrients||Vitamin B-12 (385.42%)
Vitamin A (91.86%)
|Health benefits||Improves your mood, Builds muscle, Prevents stroke, Fights kidney disease,Improves your skin health, Mercury and Selenium Balance, Weight Loss and Obesity, Blood Pressure, Reduces stress, Brain Health,Cell Membrane Damage, Energy Levels, Strengthens your bones, Heart Health, Good for eye health, Depression, Reduce Inflammation, Boosted Immune System, Kidney Disease, Blood Circulation, Growth and Development, Cancer Prevention|
Tunas are elongated, robust, sleek and streamlined fishes; they have a rounded body that tapers to a slender tail base and a forked or crescent-shaped tail. In color, tunas are generally dark above and silvery below, often with an iridescent shine. They have a conspicuous keel on either side of the tail base; a row of small fin lets behind dorsal and anal fins, and a corselet of enlarged scales in the shoulder region. Another notable feature is a well-developed network of blood vessels below the skin that acts as a temperature-regulating device associated with long-term, slow swimming.
However this appearance varies amongst the different types of tuna fish. The Yellow fin tuna, as its name implies, is more yellow than the other species. There is a golden stripe that runs along the side of the Yellow fin. The second dorsal and anal fins and fin lets are also bright yellow. Skipjack tuna, on the other hand, dark purple-blue backs while their lower sides and bellies are silver with four to six dark bands.
Tuna has been fished by Pacific peoples for millennia. In the Mediterranean, Tuna has been a part of their diet since the Greeks and Romans. Not much Tuna was eaten by the English-speaking world, however, prior to the 1910s. Fishing for albacore Tuna to be sold fresh began off the coast of southern California in the late 1800s.
Tuna really became available, however, with the advent of canned Tuna. Canning turned out to be a perfect way of preserving Tuna and to reach inland markets. A Tuna canning factory was established in Olhão, Portugal in 1882. By the 1880s, the US was importing canned Tuna from France. In 1903, a trial of canned albacore in California proved successful and the American canned Tuna industry took off. Demand led to the canning of skipjack, blue fin and yellow fin in America by the 1920s.
In America, in the 1920s, tinned Tuna was considerably more expensive than salmon.
Apart from their mild taste, Tuna is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 85 gram of tuna offers 9.25 µg of Vitamin B-12, 643 µg of Vitamin A, 39.8 µg of Selenium, 8.959 mg of Vitamin B3, 25.42 g of Protein, 277 mg of Phosphorus, 0.446 mg of Vitamin B6 and 1.165 mg of Vitamin B5. Moreover many Amino acids 0.285 g of Tryptophan, 1.114 g of Threonine, 1.171 g of Isoleucine, 2.066 g of Leucine, 2.335 g of Lysine, 0.752 g of Methionine, 0.273 g of Cystine and 0.993 g of Phenylalanine are also found in 85 gram of tuna.
Tuna is not a single species of fish, but rather numerous species. Scientists often use the term “tuna and tuna-like fish” which includes a total of 61 species, fourteen of which are considered “true tuna”. Four species are of major commercial importance in the Pacific Islands: skipjack, yellow fin, big eye, and albacore. Listed below are some of the popular varieties of Tuna fish
1. Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin Tuna is normally found in subtropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic and north Pacific Oceans, also in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Its high-quality meat commands a premium price in the “sashimi” market in Japan.
2. Southern Bluefin Tuna
Southern Bluefin Tuna has an excellent sweetness so it is popular for sushi, they look similar to blue fin tuna but they are smaller and the size is only 2.2 m in length and 160 kg in weight. Its main characteristic is the small yellow fin near their tails. Its meat consists of rich amounts of iron and because of the red color it’s easy to see the border between the red meat and the fatty part (Toro). The Toro part of the fish is thick and very sweet, plus it’s nice and fatty so it is used as much as blue fin tuna as a premium tuna in sushi shops.
3. Big eye Tuna
Blue eye tuna has a lot of distribution in the Kanto region, East Japan and surrounding areas, that delivery sushi, sushi train restaurants and supermarkets have big eye tuna mostly. The meat has less fat compared to blue fin tuna and southern blue fin tuna so it’s No.3 when it comes to sushi and sashimi. The taste is light, but both red meat and middle-fat is delicious too so there are numerous dishes that can be enjoyed such as carpaccio, pickles, wood fried and simmered dishes with eyeballs. Big eye tuna from Sanriku region in coastal Japan is extremely valued as a sashimi particularly in autumn.
4. Yellow fin Tuna
Yellow fin tuna is liked in the Kansai region, West Japan. The meat is a light red color close to pink and the taste is a light with no sharpness. The fat is low so the Toro part cannot be taken out but the meat is firm, so it’s perfect for sashimi or steak. It’s called Ahi in Hawaii, and it’s popular. The season is from spring to summer and this yellow fin tuna caught in Japanese coastal areas has a high reputation as a sashimi too. Also, they are used for tinned tuna products a lot.
Albacore tuna is often consumed as processed products; it’s an extensively famous ingredient for tinned tuna. Pale pink and almost white colored meat has a chicken like texture more than tuna. They are loved in Europe and the US, and there are global demands. The size is 140 cm long and 60 kg in weight; the pectoral fin is considerably long. They widely inhabit the temperate and tropical zones in the world.
Skipjack are a surface–schooling tuna which are simply distinguished from other species of tuna due to their small size, small dark pectoral fins and three to six distinct dark longitudinal lines (stripes). It is found year-round concentrated in warmer tropical waters of the WCPO, with that distribution expanding seasonally into subtropical waters to the north and south.
Bonito is a species related with the tuna family, but cannot be promoted as Tuna in many countries. Bonito is quite popular as a fried fish with olive oil, particularly in the Mediterranean region. Due to its small size and firm dark meat it is well fit for this purpose. The species is mostly fished in coastal water by small local vessels. The catches tend to be quite seasonal.
8. Little tunny
The little tunny is distinguished by a scattering of dark spots, commonly 4-5, resembling fingerprints between the pectoral and ventral fins. This species also has wavy markings found on the back above the lateral line, located within a well-marked border that never ranges further forward than the middle of the first dorsal fin. The pectoral and ventral fins are short and broad, and the two dorsal fins are separated at the base by a small interspace. The teeth are small and conical. No swim bladder is present. There are 37-43 gill rakers on the first gill arch.
Health Benefits of Tuna Fish
We all know that consuming fish is healthy and that we should eat it at least twice a week. The benefits of eating tuna are many, and tuna is healthy, we should all eat more tuna. Today we’re having a closer look at them, and bring you the benefits of tuna fish in detail. Let’s dive in.
1. Cancer Prevention
As we all know that, tuna fish has very good antioxidant properties thanks to selenium and various other nutritional components, making it effective at preventing some types of cancer. Numerous researches are ongoing, but those already conducted have connected tuna to a reduction in the occurrence of breast cancer, while other studies have also revealed a benefit against kidney cancer as well. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals before they can cause mutations in healthy cells, thus turning them into cancer cells. Other promising results have shown a reduction in colon cancer, thanks to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acid.(1)
2. Growth and Development
When people give up red meat or become a vegetarian, one of the most dangerous dietary challenges is obtaining an appropriate amount of protein. Fortunately, for pescatarians, tuna fish is loaded with protein. A single serving of only 165 grams (nearly 1 can of tuna fish) consists of more than 80% of your daily protein requirement. Proteins are the building blocks of our body and with proper amounts of protein in our system, we are certain to have increased growth and development, faster recovery from wounds and illnesses, improved muscle tone and growth, and overall metabolic efficiency. It can boost our energy levels and make our body work more efficiently.(2)
3. Blood Circulation
Tuna fish is quite beneficial for the heart as well as for the blood! It is rich source of iron, along with the B-complex vitamins that play an important role in red blood cell formation. Without iron, people become anemic, and their blood is unable to appropriately oxygenate the body’s extremities or vital organ systems that need fresh oxygen to function proficiently. It provides that important source of iron, keeping our body operating at optimal levels.(3)
4. Kidney Disease
Potassium and sodium content found in tuna is well-balanced, which helps to manage the fluid balance in the body. When your body properly maintains the fluid balance between salts and potassium, then the kidneys can function appropriately and without undue stress, thus lowering the chances of developing and serious kidney conditions.
5. Boosted Immune System
Tuna fish consists of good amounts of vitamin C, zinc, and manganese, all of which are considered antioxidant in nature. Antioxidants are one of the body’s defense mechanisms against free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause cancer and other chronic diseases. However, the real champion of tuna’s immune system-boosting potential is selenium. This relatively rare mineral is found in huge quantities in tuna fish, nearly 200% of the daily requirement in a single serving. This makes tuna fish a very powerful antioxidant and immune system-stimulating food source.(4)
6. Reduce Inflammation
Tuna fish consists of healthy cholesterol and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals, which helps to keep the body’s overall stress levels down. A reduction in inflammation across the body helps all of the organ systems by not diverting resources away from essential functions. It also helps to prevent against inflammatory diseases like arthritis and gout, both of which afflict millions of people around the world.(5)
Frequent consumption of Tuna is a good cure for depression. Research study recommends that fish consumption may be beneficial for women’s mental health and reduce risk of developing depression in women.(6)
8. Good for eye health
Macular degeneration which causes vision to deteriorate is the main cause of blindness in people over the age of 50. The omega-3 fatty acid present in tuna prevents the occurrence of this condition. Tuna also protects individuals from dry eye syndrome which is a significant ocular complaint.
9. Heart Health
Tuna fish has its significant impact on heart health. Tuna fish consists of good amount of omega-3 fatty acids which helps to reduce coronary heart disease and also reduce omega-6 fatty acids and cholesterol in the arteries and blood vessels. Additionally, it often replaces foods with high saturated fat content, further lowering the risk of heart diseases of various types.(7)
10. Strengthens your bones
Vitamin D contained in Tuna fish is the major building component of the bones. The benefits of this vitamin demonstrate in cancer prevention, strong and healthy bones, and no fractures.
11. Energy Levels
B complex of vitamins has been associated with a wide range of health aspects, but as a whole, they are mainly involved in improving the metabolism and increasing the effectiveness of our organ systems, while also protecting the skin and increasing energy. By consuming tuna fish frequently, you can guarantee that you are active, energetic, and healthy.(8)
12. Cell Membrane Damage
Proteins present in tuna fish start to break down into fragments, called peptides, when heated, and these fragments can in fact be powerful antioxidants that specifically target cell membranes, keeping them healthy, strong, and functioning properly. Free radicals often attack membranes throughout the body, including those in the brain, so cooking tuna and boosting our membrane protection is a very good idea!(9)
13. Brain Health
Making tuna a part of regular diet will help prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because omega-3 fatty acid prevents inflammation and encourages blood supply to the brain. Niacin present in tuna also plays an important role in delaying age-related cognitive decline and decreases the likelihood of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.
14. Reduces stress
As we have mentioned before tuna fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps to reduces stress. A recent study has shown that the relationship between eating tuna-rich in omega-3 fatty acids and decreasing the aggression levels among youngsters is enormous. Other similar studies tell that the DHA will lessen the degree of aggression and improve the ability to deal with the stress. Besides all of this, it has been proven that aggressive people have increased omega-3 amounts in the blood plasma.
15. Blood Pressure
The combination of omega-3 fatty acids help reduce blood pressure, along with potassium, a vasodilator, making tuna fish very good for lowering blood pressure. Reducing hypertension can considerably boost your health by lowering the strain on your cardiovascular system. This will help prevent heart attacks and strokes, as well as conditions like atherosclerosis, which can lead to a number of health complications.(10)
16. Weight Loss and Obesity
Obesity is one of the most distressing conditions that are on the rise in current decades. Thankfully, tuna fish is low in calories and fat, yet overloaded with beneficial nutrients and protein. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna stimulate a hormone called leptin, which balances the body’s food intake with the internal desire to eat more. This can decrease overeating and make sure that your body is only consuming what it actually needs, assisting to quickly get your diet and appetite back on track.(11)
17. Mercury and Selenium Balance
Many fish consists of small levels of methyl-mercury, and when eaten in small quantities, does not harm humans. However, in larger quantities, mercury poisoning can occur, which is difficult and dangerous. Thus, opposing studies have recommended certain amounts of tuna to be eaten, but that might bring the mercury level to an unhealthy point. The most recent research has shown that there is a unique form of selenium, called selenoneine. This actually binds to mercury and acts as an antioxidant, slightly changing the composition of mercury to make it less dangerous. This has been witnessed occurring in the tuna’s body, but ongoing studies will show if we can receive the same benefits.(12)
18. Improves your skin health
Tuna consists of trace mineral, which prevents damage to blood cells due to intoxication and heath state of the body. Second, a protein called elastin provides additional tissue repairs and gives the smoothness to the skin.
19. Fights kidney disease
Potassium mineral present in Tuna helps with the fluid balance and regular functioning of the kidneys. Kidney cancer is one of the most frequent cancer types in the world, and it develops from the inadequate functioning of organs. Including tuna fish in your diet is one of the best options to fight kidney disease.
20. Prevents stroke
With five servings of tuna a week, adults can lower the risk of the stroke by 30%. The prevention of blood clots and improving the artery walls, thanks to B vitamin complex and folic acids in tuna.
21. Builds muscle
One of the main ingredients of tuna meat is protein. Tuna is among the protein-richest meats, making it the perfect companion in muscle development and fat loss. Muscles grow from proteins, recover faster, and improve the metabolism rate of the body.
22. Improves your mood
Selenium found in Tuna fish helps to handles the appetite and mood in humans. Research shows that lack of selenium in the body will cause anxiety. Another benefit of omega-3 acids is mood improvement process that they trigger.
How to eat
- Tuna is a very popular ingredient in some cuisines.
- Canned tuna is eaten in sandwiches, salads, and pickles in American cuisines.
- Fresh tuna is served as sashimi or used on sushi in Japanese Cuisines.
- It is also popular in coastal regions where the fish made by frying, grilling, currying or skewering the fish meat.
- Tuna, either fresh or canned, are rich in protein, vitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids that provide a range of health benefits.
- Canned tuna is served as part of an antipasto plate and is used to make salads, sandwiches and casseroles.
- Yellow fin tuna, is capable of speeds of up to 75 km/h (47 mph).
- Tunas are over-fished in different parts of the world, especially in Japan and Australia.
- Largest (ever recorded) specimen of tuna was 21 feet long, weighing 1600 pounds.
- Despite their large size, tunas are very fast swimmers. They can reach the speed between 44 and 62 miles per hour.
- Tuna can swim near the surface or can dive to the depth of 3000 feet while it searches for food.
- Tuna is a carnivore. It feeds on different types of fish (mackerel, herring, hake…), squids and crustaceans.
- Tunas can travel large distances in a short period of time. It can pass across entire Atlantic in 30 days by traveling 16 miles per hours.
- One female can release 30 million eggs. Only 2 of those 30 million will survive until the adulthood. Remaining eggs will be eaten by other marine creatures.
- Tuna usually swim at a speed of around 40km per hour.
- To get enough oxygen they must move one body length per second.
- Tuna get their oxygen from water, not from the air.
- A typical tuna may eat one-quarter its own weight in food in one day!
- They can dive to the depth of 3000 feet to search for their next meal.
Fresh albacore is generally available from spring through fall, while yellow fin is available year-round but is most abundant in summer. The different kinds of fresh tuna are exchangeable for cooked dishes, although yellow fin steaks are often favored for grilling and pan roasting. For sushi and sashimi, look for the freshest-possible fish, usually labeled “sushi-grade,” “sashimi-grade,” “tuna loin” or “tuna belly.”
When selecting canned tuna, imported Italian tuna packed in olive oil is considered the premium kind for antipasto, salads and sandwiches, though you may prefer a lower-calorie tuna packed in spring water. Domestic tuna is also packed in vegetable oil. Solid albacore tuna is the most expensive domestic canned tuna followed by chunk light tuna and then flaked light tuna. Solid albacore can be somewhat dry, however, and some cooks prefer chunk light tuna. “Dolphin-safe” or “line-caught” tuna has been caught by methods that do not endanger dolphins.
Pat fresh tuna dry with paper towels and put it in a heavy-duty zippered plastic bag. Place the bag on top of a bowl of ice cubes or cracked ice and refrigerate. Cook the fish the day you buy it. If you must wait, it should be kept no longer than 24 hours. Freezing degrades the texture and flavor of fish somewhat, but if you must freeze tuna, place it in a freezer-weight plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator. Unopened canned tuna may be kept indefinitely.
Overall eating fish is a very healthy activity to do. Fish meat has positive oils and is normally quite healthy for your digestive system overall. A few things to consider however:
Some fish has been liked to higher levels of mercury in the people who consume it. This typically only happens when the people are consuming it daily and for several meals a day (depending on your consumption you may want to consider it).
From an environmental level, overfishing has become wide-ranging and many tuna stocks have been fished to near extinction. If you are consuming a lot of tuna, and it sounds like you are, you may want to look for brands and are more environmentally conscious to minimize your impact on the environment.
Tuna is a saltwater fish that belongs to the mackerel or Scombridae family which also includes the bonitos, albacore and mackerels. Tuna are a streamlined silver fish with large eyes, dark blue backs and spiky fins. Tuna are normally between 1-2m in length, they can be very heavy for their size as they have lots of muscle for swimming! While most tuna fish live between 3-5 years, some have been known to live for more than two decades. The two species of tuna that dominate the global sales value are skipjack and yellow fin. Japan is the highest consumer of fresh tuna, while US is highest consumer of canned tuna. Other common species of tuna are Bluefin, ahi, albacore and big eye. Japan, Indonesia and Philippines are the top tuna catchers. Tuna fish of varying species are found in all of the world oceans, and while different cultures enjoy different varieties, the health benefits are largely the same. The taste of tuna fish makes it perfect for eating as a tuna steak, in “burger” form, as a spread with mayonnaise on crackers or bread, in tuna salad, or any number of other varieties. It is versatile, delicious, inexpensive, and very good for you.
|Scientific Name||Thunnus thynnus|
|Name in Other Languages||Albanian: Ton
Armenian: T’yunnos (թյուննոս)
Arabic: Tuna (تونة)
Bengali: Ṭunā (টুনা)
Belarusian: Tuniec (тунец)
Bulgarian: Riba ton (риба тон)
Chinese: Jīnqiāngyú (金枪鱼)
Greek: Tónos (τόνος)
Gujarati: Ṭyūnā (ટ્યૂના)
Haitian Creole: Ton
Hindi: Toona (टूना)
Indonesian: Ikan tongkol
Japanese: Maguro (マグロ)
Kannada: Ṭyūna (ಟ್ಯೂನ)
Kazakh: Twnec (тунец)
Khmer: Trei thou na (ត្រីធូណា)
Korean: Chamchi (참치)
Malayalam: Kaḷḷacceṭi (കള്ളച്ചെടി)
Marathi: Khāryā pāṇyātīla ēka mōṭhā māsā (खार्या पाण्यातील एक मोठा मासा)
Mongolian: Tuna (туна)
Myanmar (Burmese): Tuu naal ngarr tamyoe (တူနယ်ငါးတမျိုး)
Macedonian: Tuna (туна)
Nepali: Ṭunā (टुना)
Persian: ماهی تن
Russian: Tunets (тунец)
Serbian: Tunjevina (туњевина)
Sinhala: Tūnā (ටූනා)
Tamil: Cūrai (சூரை)
Telugu: Ṭyūnā (ట్యూనా)
Thai: Plā thūǹā (ปลาทูน่า)
Turkish: Ton balığı
Ukrainian: Tunets (тунець)
Uzbek: Tunets baliq
Vietnamese: Cá ngừ
Yiddish: Tunfish (טונפיש)
|Found||Usually located in temperate and subtropical waters of Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Black seas.|
|Fish Size & Shape||Elongated, robust, sleek, streamlined body about 1 foot in length to 15 feet|
|Fish Weight||550 pounds|
|Flesh Color||Pink to dark red|
|Predators||Humans, orcas and sharks|
|Feed on||Different types of fish (mackerel, herring, hake…), squids, krill, pilchards, mollusks and crustaceans. They also eat plankton, kelp, and other vegetable matter in the sea.|
|Fishing Periods||between August and January|
|Lifespan||15-30 years in the wild.|
|Major Nutrition||Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamine) 9.25 µg (385.42%)
Vitamin A, RAE 643 µg (91.86%)
Selenium, Se 39.8 µg (72.36%)
Isoleucine 1.171 g (70.04%)
Lysine 2.335 g (69.83%)
Tryptophan 0.285 g (64.77%)
Threonine 1.114 g (63.30%)
Valine 1.31 g (62.03%)
Histidine 0.748 g (60.71%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 8.959 mg (55.99%)
Leucine 2.066 g (55.90%)
Protein 25.42 g (50.84%)
Phosphorus, P 277 mg (39.57%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.446 mg (34.31%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 1.165 mg (23.30%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.26 mg (20.00%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.236 mg (19.67%)
Total Fat (lipid) 5.34 g (15.26%)
Iron, Fe 1.11 mg (13.88%)
Magnesium, Mg 54 mg (12.86%)
Copper, Cu 0.093 mg (10.33%)
|Calories in 3 oz (85 g)||156 K cal|