A tuna salad bowl in the middle of a table.

Tuna health benefits

If you’re searching for ways to boost your protein intake and currently follow a diet which includes fish, why not plan to eat more tuna? As well as being tasty and incredibly diverse, tuna also has numerous health benefits for the body, bones, and brain.

Tuna health benefits

Tuna is a saltwater fish closely related to mackerel, and it has numerous varieties, including bluefin and skipjack. The most common ways to eat it are cooked (typically grilled or baked), raw (known as sashimi in Japan) or from a tin where it’ll be preserved in either brine, spring water, or oil1. Whichever way you like it, it’s undeniable that tuna is packed with goodness! In fact, tuna’s nutritional profile includes the fact2:

It’s an excellent protein source. Tuna is also very low in calories, making it an ideal food for those looking to maintain a healthy weight while keeping up their energy levels.

Contains omega 3 fatty acids. Tuna is especially abundant in omega 3 fatty acids. They’re brilliant for the body and are thought to help lower cholesterol, boost brain function and improve eye health.

It’s an excellent source of vitamin B12. Tuna is rich in vitamin B12, a form of B vitamin responsible for helping the body form new red blood cells.

The benefits of fresh and canned tuna are typically the same. However, fresh tuna is thought to contain slightly more protein. Nevertheless, tinned tuna is more affordable and lasts much longer3.

How to include more tuna in your diet

Packed with both flavour and heaps of nutrition, tuna is a great food to include more in your weekly meals. Why not try:

  • Stirring some mayonnaise and seasonings with tinned tuna to create a delicious sandwich or wrap filling.
  • Adding tinned, fresh tuna to salads as a healthy lunch option.
  • Mixing tinned tuna with pasta and veggies and then baking it in the oven.
  • Baking or lightly frying a fillet of fresh tuna and serving it with veggies or salad.
  • Dolloping tinned tuna onto a baked potato as an easy and comforting meal.
  • Carefully slicing fresh, high-grade raw tuna and enjoying it Japanese-style as sashimi.

If you’re using canned tuna, try to select one preserved in spring water as it’s healthier than brine or oil.

Potential risks

Those who include fish in their diet should have no problem with regularly eating small amounts of tuna. Remember, if you’re keen to try it raw, only buy the freshest, highest quality tuna. Tuna is also thought to contain trace amounts of mercury. Because of this, you shouldn’t overeat tuna, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding4. Another risk associated with tuna is its sustainability. It’s one of the most popular fish globally and has unfortunately been overfished in many regions. To enjoy tuna while also supporting sustainable fishing practices, look for tins which feature the MSC (Marine Stewardship Standard) label5. Like the sound of adding more tasty tuna to your diet? Shop our full cooking range to find delicious items to add to or enjoy with this popular and highly nutritious fish. Shop Food & Drink

Last Updated: 11th February 2021

donial hilal

Author: Donia Hilal, Nutritionist

  • Joined Holland & Barrett: January 2018
  • Qualifications: Bsc in Nutrition, Registered Associate Nutritionist, Certification in Pre and Post Natal Nutrition

Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018. Donia has 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.

Donia has a special interest in; weight management, plant-based nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, special diets and disease risk reduction. Donia's LinkedIn profile
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