Choosing a choice-cut tuna fish steak over prime ribs is a great way to have a deliciously rich meal without worrying about causing problems for your heart. Tuna can satisfy your taste buds with a good dose of healthy fats and proteins. It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. Tuna, especially the kind that is caught from Northern waters, is a super food for preventing hypertension and heart disease. Studies have shown that having tuna at least three times a week can significantly improve your cardiovascular health.
Heart Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Tuna is one of nature’s best sources for omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid.) DHA and EPA are highly valued for a number of health benefits, including prevention of neurological disorders, relieving allergies, improving brain function, and mostly importantly, preventing strokes and heart disease. Studies have shown that regular dietary intake of DHA and EPA can effectively help reduce blood cholesterol level as well as lower your blood pressure. They also increase the fluidity of blood flow so that you have better circulation.
You get about 1,000 milligrams of DHA and 300 milligrams of EPA for each 3-ounce serving of tuna. Eating one good-sized tuna steak eliminates your need to take a fish oil supplement.
Choline Prevents Cholesterol Buildup
Tuna is an excellent source of choline, an essential amino acid that is also found in egg yolks. Choline has an important role in lipid metabolism. Studies have shown that a high choline diet can help promote faster triglyceride breakdown in your blood and prevent cholesterol buildup. Reduced plaque formation and better blood flow are essential elements in controlling your blood pressure.
Vitamin B6 Strengthens Blood Vessels
Vitamin B6 is very important for a healthy heart. It helps to breakdown homocysteines, which cause your blood cholesterol to stick together and deposit in your blood vessels as plaque. Elevated homocysteine levels significantly increase your chances for arterial thrombosis and strokes. Adequate supply of dietary vitamin B6 prevents homocysteine buildup, so that your blood vessels are better protected against plaques and lesions. Strengthened blood vessels respond better to changes of blood pressure and thus, your risks for heart attacks is reduced. Every 3-ounce serving of tuna delivers more than 1/5 of your daily requirement for this vitamin.
Niacin Improves Blood Profile
Niacin is one of the nutritional highlights of tuna. Each 3-ounce serving of tuna supplies about 45% of your daily niacin need. This vitamin has proven effective in removing plaque-forming LDLs in your blood and replacing them with heart-healthy HDLs. Studies have linked higher niacin intake with reduced blood pressure and lower risks of heart diseases.
Magnesium Also Lowers Blood Pressure
Adequate dietary intake of magnesium is mandatory for having normal blood pressure. It is involved in muscle relaxation, which directly influences your blood pressure reading. In fact, magnesium has been used to treat patients with congestive heart failure. Magnesium supplements are also recommended for patients with chronic hypertension. Tuna is rich provider for this mineral. Fifteen percent of your daily requirement for magnesium is delivered in each 3-ounce serving of tuna.