Eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated, explains Gill Cummings-Bell…

You have to be careful with the farming and canning of tuna so try to choose mercury free and organic if possible.

Tuna has a high vitamin and mineral content, particularly when it comes to antioxidants. Selenium is found in tuna in high quantities. It helps to combat the damage from oxidative metabolism which is high in endurance athletes. Tuna also contains vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and protein. It is a very good source of phosphorus as well as a good source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), choline, vitamin D, and the minerals potassium, iodine, and magnesium.

The fish is a good source of protein with 25 per cent of its calories coming from protein. The benefits of eating tuna instead of meat is that the remaining calories come from essential fats, known as PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). These cannot be made by the body so must be ingested.

These important fatty acids have de-saturation points which the body accesses to make many of our hormones including many of those that are important for metabolism, the immune system and reducing the inflammatory responses and the cardiovascular system.

Opt for tuna tinned in sunflower oil as this brings along another essential fat. You could also try mashing fresh tuna steak.

If you add a good wholegrain carbohydrate to your meal such as a quinoa salad or some polenta wedges or fries it will boost your meal substantially and you will have a high biological value meal full of nutrients. It will taste good, too.

Nutrition breakdown

  • 34g protein
  • 275 calories
  • 6g carbs
  • 1g fat
  • 1g fibre

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 100g tinned tuna in sunflower oil
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1tsp mustard
  • 1/4 lime
  • A few drops of Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Tip the drained tuna into bowl, then add all the other ingredients and mix well.

2. Using your hands break up the tuna flakes and squash the mixture together to form patties.

3. Heat a pan and add cooking spray to stop the patties sticking.

4. Cook until they are golden brown on each side, then serve.

IMAGE: Shutterstock RECIPE: musclefood.com