Tuna is a saltwater fish and is easily caught. Tuna is sold more often canned than fresh but, those who know will share the fact that fresh tuna is more nutritious and rich in Omega 3 than the canned version. Just like other fishes, types of tuna are also available in the market.
Tuna the name strikes the image of a miniature fish but, that’s not true. The various types of tuna available differ in their structure and size. These can be from as small as only 50 cm to as long as 15 ft. So tuna is a fish variety which is loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids and proteins.
Types of Tuna
The various tuna varieties are:
1) Skipjack Tuna
This is the easiest to recognize variety as they have vertical stripes on their belly area. Their flanks are usually silver and so is their belly while their fins are short in size.
Their meat color ranges from slightly pinkish to dark shades.
2) Black Skipjack
Its dorsal fins are lined with around 10 – 15 spines while the anal fin has a similar number of soft rays. It has an entire body without scales, though the lateral line features a few scales.
3) Yellowfin Tuna
Their recognition can be made due to the shape of their anal and second dorsal fins which resembles a sickle. The meat of the yellowfin tuna ranges between pale yellow to shades of brown.
4) Albacore Tuna
This variety features large pectoral fins which almost cross the anus. Their belly and flanks are usually blueish greys in color. This variety is also often called the chicken of the sea as their meat is white.
5) Bigeye Tuna
As the name suggests, these tuna’s have big rather large eyes. They have grey meat which often darkens on cooking. It resembles the taste and color of beef to be precise.
The Bonito tunas have short pectoral fins. The bonito also have 9 – 12 dark stripes on their back. Their meat has a firm texture and has a dark sort of color. These fishes have some fat content too.
7) Northern Bluefin Tuna
These Tunas have a black or dark blue back while their lower sides have a silver hue. They are rich in their fat content and are popular for sashimi made in Japan.
8) Southern Bluefin Tuna
These are extremely similar to the northern Bluefin tuna but are even higher in fat content, and due to this they are often loved for the sashimi preparations and the Japanese people are ready to pay high amounts for these tunas.
The Tongol fishes have short pectoral fins. The color of these fishes ranges from shades of really dark blue to black. Their meat is usually tender. These are more often sold as canned tunas.
10) Pacific Bluefin Tuna
As the name states, these tuna are common in the Pacific region or the Pacific ocean, but they do also migrate at times. These warm-blooded fishes take around five years to mature.
11) Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
This fish variety has already been labeled as an endangered species. But, these are majorly targeted for Japanese markets where they are highly prized for their use in sashimi and sushi.
12) Blackfin Tuna
These are one of the smallest tuna fishes with beautiful black backs and beautiful hues of yellow on either side. These fishes can be found deep in water as well as near the surface.
13) Little tunny Tuna
This variety features high spined and large dorsal fin. Though not both the dorsal fins are large, one is still small. It has a white belly and is most common in the West Indies.
14) Mackerel Tuna
These are also known to be a part of the ray-finned bony fishes and are usually found in the range between the red sea and up to French Polynesia.
15) Frigate Tuna
These fishes have a zig-zag marking of dark color on their hind portion. It only weighs about 1.8 kgs in weight.
16) Bullet Tuna
These Tunas have a dark black marking usually on their upper hind body while the rest of their body is silver in color. They are only about a 50 cm in length.
17) Slender Tuna
Unlike the bullet tuna, these fishes can weigh up to a whopping 10kgs and can be as long as 3 feet. These fishes are the most difficult to catch as they have oily flesh which slips easily.
Health Benefits of Tuna
1) Tuna is known to lower cholesterol levels which further improve the heart health as it helps in maintaining a regular and ample supply of blood to flow. This also prevents any chances of heart ailments.
2) If facts are to be believed, then tuna covers almost double the needs of antioxidants in your body per day. Hence, they are good for your heart and also stop the growth of free radicals preventing you from chronic diseases like cancer and further also benefit your skin and hair.
3) Uncanned Tuna is rich in Potassium which helps in lowering and maintaining your blood pressure. But, canned tuna already contain sodium which instead of lowering the blood pressure sometimes increase it. Thus, to get the apt benefits of tuna, they should be consumed fresh and uncanned.
4) Vitamin D content of tuna is beneficial for your bone health. It is also known to prevent cancer and prevent fractures.
5) It is further claimed that if in a week five servings of tuna are consumed then you are reducing the risk of you getting a heart stroke by almost 30%. Hence, tuna is known to improve your cardiovascular health.
6) There is a serious condition known as macular degeneration which reduces the vision, but Tunas high omega three content can help your curb this condition.
There are many more benefits of consuming this not so small fishes. They make you healthy inside out and are a wholesome choice of food, unlike red meat. Make sure to consume this wholesome food whenever you get an opportunity to enjoy its wholesome benefits on your health and beauty.