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  • Writer's pictureKaren LeBreton

The Nutritional Value of Tuna - and a Healthy Tuna Pizza Recipe


A healthy tuna pizza made by Karen from Body By Karen, Riverview, New Brunswick
A healthy tuna pizza made by Karen

In today's fast-paced world, where convenience often takes precedence over nutrition, it's essential to find creative ways to integrate healthy eating into our daily lives. Tuna, a pantry staple, is a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to promoting a healthy and balanced diet. Its versatility allows it to be a star player in numerous dishes, including a twist on the classic pizza that your family, especially kids, will love. Here, I dive into the nutritional assets of tuna and provide you with a healthy tuna pizza recipe.


The Nutritional Value of Tuna

Tuna is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is vital for the growth and repair of our bodies. It's also abundant in essential omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to heart health and may aid in the pursuit of wellness. Additionally, tuna is a rich source of an array of vitamins and minerals, including selenium, vitamins B3, B6, and B12, and phosphorous.


High in Protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Protein is the building block of life, serving as the main component of muscles, skin, and hair. Omega-3s, found in abundance in tuna, are recognized for their role in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. They may also play a significant part in combatting depression and age-related mental decline.


Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Selenium, a micronutrient found in tuna, is an essential mineral that acts as an antioxidant and has been linked to reducing the risk of certain cancers. Meanwhile, vitamins B3, B6, and B12 are crucial for various bodily functions, including metabolism and the production of red blood cells.


Low in Calories and Fat

For those conscious about their caloric and fat intake, tuna offers a lean protein source that can replace higher-fat meats in various dishes without compromising on taste or texture.


Health Benefits of Tuna

The health benefits of incorporating tuna into your diet extend beyond mere nutritional content. Tuna is a champion in promoting numerous health outcomes, including heart health, cognitive function, and weight management.


Promotes Heart Health

The omega-3 fatty acids present in tuna are renowned for their role in reducing levels of triglycerides and preventing blood clots. This can help in reducing the risk of heart disease and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.


Supports Brain Function

The same omega-3s that protect heart health are integral to ensuring the proper development and function of the brain. They have been linked to a lowered risk of cognitive decline and improved memory in later life.


Boosts Immune System

Tuna’s rich nutrient profile contributes to a robust immune system, defending the body against various pathogens and illnesses. Key nutrients such as selenium and B vitamins play intricate roles in the immune response.


Aids in Weight Management

With its high protein content and low-calorie profile, tuna can be a valuable addition to a diet focused on maintaining or losing weight. Protein helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which can lead to a reduction in overall calorie intake.


Making a Healthy Tuna Pizza: The Recipe

Now that we've extolled the virtues of the humble tuna, let's harness its goodness with a healthy and creative tuna pizza recipe.


Ingredients and Their Health Benefits

Start with a can of tuna packed in water, drained, which will serve as the 'crust' of your pizza. Mix it with a dollop of avocado oil mayonnaise for a healthy binding agent and season to taste with some simple spices like garlic and onion powder.


For toppings, opt for sugar-free pizza sauce or salsa, plenty of cheese (use a mix of low-fat mozzarella and a more flavorful option like sharp cheddar), and an abundance of veggies. Think bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and even some leafy greens like spinach for an extra nutrient punch.


The Tuna Pizza Recipe

To prepare your healthy tuna pizza:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the tuna mixture thinly to form the 'crust.'

  • Bake the tuna ‘crust’ until it begins to brown and crisp up a bit around the edges.

  • Remove the crust from the oven and add your sauce, cheese, and toppings.

  • Return the pizza to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. For an extra touch, broil the pizza for a couple of minutes to achieve a golden-brown crust.

  • Top with fresh avocado slices for a creamy finish, and serve hot.


Tips for Making It Appealing to Children

If you're making this tuna pizza for children, you might want to consider incorporating their favorite (healthy!) ingredients. Involving them in the cooking process and letting them sprinkle the cheese or arrange the toppings can also make the meal more exciting. Remember, presentation is key, so use vibrant ingredients and create fun shapes or patterns with the toppings.

Why Tuna Is Tops

Tuna holds incredible nutritional value, offering a wealth of benefits that contribute to overall health and well-being. The beauty of tuna lies in its adaptability, as it can be enjoyed in a myriad of dishes, each as healthy as they are delicious. As we've explored, a tuna pizza can be a delightful way to incorporate this nutrient-dense fish into your meals, winning over even the pickiest of eaters with its flavor and health profile.


As you strive to maintain a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle, consider the inclusion of tuna as a staple ingredient in your meal planning. Its health benefits, ease of preparation, and the ability to please every palate make it a worthy addition to your culinary repertoire. Give this healthy tuna pizza a try and enjoy a nutritious and satisfying meal with your loved ones.

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