If you are going to have cans of anything, BPA free tuna is the thing to keep stored away in your pantry. Every now and then it is fine to dust the cobwebs off of one of these little lads, as the humble tin of tuna can be the basis for a spectacular mid week feast when you are strapped for time or cash.
Tuna is a seriously nutrient dense food. It is the perfect pantry staple because it can quickly add an excellent source of high quality protein to your meal. While the importance of eating fresh fruit and vegetables is drummed into us regularly, we have to remember not to forget the importance of including an adequate protein intake throughout our day. Protein is not just for people trying to gain an Arnold Swarzenegger physique. Every one of us need an adequate, consistent supply of protein at every meal. After all, it is a vital macronutrient that is involved in almost every process in the body!
Structural proteins are the material that literally hold us together, by maintaining the structural integrity of nearly all cells in the body. Enzyme proteins help to catalyse chemical reactions, and transport proteins are responsible for the transportation of substances within the body, and are vital to the growth and life of all living things. The protein in tinned tuna provides all nine of the essential amino acids our body requires from the diet and is a complete source of protein.
Canned tuna is a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing both eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. DHA is a building block in the tissue of the brain and the retina of the eye, and therefore consuming DHA regularly will help to ensure the healthy function of both of these areas. When consumed, both EPA and DHA are converted into hormone like substances called prostaglandins which help to regulate cell activity and healthy cardiovascular function. Consuming foods rich in EPA and DHA may also prevent and help with mental abnormalities such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.
Tuna also contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. It boasts high levels of vitamins B6 A, E, K, B12 and niacin, and minerals selenium, phosphorous and potassium. Interestingly, studies have shown that niacin has the unique ability to help you naturally relax and get to sleep more rapidly at night. It has also been found to greatly reduce anxiety and depression.
If you want to enjoy all of these wonderful benefits of tuna, you don’t just have to slap a tin full onto a sandwich. Try this spectacularly flavorsome and spectacularly simple meal, and you will be pleasantly surprised what you can create with a simple pantry item. Supercharging your diet does not need to be a mission to the end of the earth. In half an hour you can have this lovely dish plated up and ready to devour!
- 2 red capsicum
- ½ cup brown rice (cooked)
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 large can (425 gms) tuna in extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 TBS basil chopped
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes
- Preheat oven to 200 Celsius
- Cut top off capsicums removing seeds and veins
- In a separate bowl combine brown rice, tuna, onion, garlic, egg, lemon and herbs
- Spoon mixture into capsicum
- Place capsicums in a baking dish
- Sprinkle with Nutritional Yeast Flakes and cover with lid
- Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes
- Remove when ready and serve with a crunchy green salad
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