Healthy Fishing: Why You Need to Catch Albacore Tuna This Summer
Summer is midway and it’s time to go fishing with family and friends. Fishing is a pastime that bestows bonding between loved ones and teaches your children the value of patience. While you’re at it, why not catch one of the healthiest fish to eat: albacore tuna? You’ll be simultaneously nurturing familial bonds and overall health.
What is rarely mentioned, though, is that fish are well known to contain mercury. In fact, the National Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp) categorizes fish by their mercury content. Among other health detriments, mercury poisoning can cause memory loss, kidney and brain damage, and in moderate to severe cases, death.
Albacore tuna fishing season in the U.S. is from August through September due to their preference for warm waters. Only catch albacore tuna via traditional pole-fishing or trolling. Doing so restricts your catches solely to younger fish, which usually are smaller than average-sized adults. Adult albacore tuna contain high levels of mercury, but their young, on average, contain the least amount of mercury (less than 216 ppb) and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (200 mg per serving), making them one of the healthiest fish to eat.
Eight servings a month of this fish fulfills all of your monthly vitamin B12 requirement and 75 percent of your monthly vitamin B3 requirement. Among other nutrients, this low-fat protein provides vitamin D, iron, and calcium.
Unlike most seafood, young albacore tuna protects you from mercury poisoning because it also contains selenium. Within your body, selenium binds to mercury and renders it harmless. A 3-ounce serving of this healthiest fish gives you 63 mcg of selenium; your daily recommended amount is 55 mcg. In addition to combating mercury, selenium creates antioxidant enzymes which regulate thyroid function, support your immune system, and help to prevent heart disease and cancer.
If you’re going fishing this summer, fish for albacore tuna. Along with its rich nutrients, it comes with countermeasures against mercury poisoning.