Nutrition Writer Touts the Benefits of Tuna
With spring around the corner, it’s the perfect time to change up our eating habits. For some healthy inspiration, we reached out to RN Jody Bergeron, a nurse at Falmouth Hospital since 1994, who is a science-based nutrition and health writer/blogger. One of her recent blogs touted the benefits of canned tuna, a nutrient-dense food and versatile pantry staple that provides an excellent source of protein.
“I really enjoy phytonutrient nutrition research, heart health, brain health, culinary nutrition and recipe development,” says Bergeron. “I am passionate about sharing nutrition tips and related research to others.”
Bergeron graduated from Cape Cod Community College and finished her BSN at UMASS Dartmouth. She also served as an officer in the Army Reserves for nine years. While working the night shift in the ER at FH, she started reading Health magazine during her downtime, which inspired her to go back to school and obtain her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition.
With new beginnings upon us, Bergeron encourages everyone to try a new seafood, veggie, fruit, whole grain or spice. To help get you started, we’ve included a recipe for Mediterranean Tuna Pizza from Falmouth resident and registered dietitian Jenny Shea Rawn, who is also a recipe developer and food photographer. The recipe is followed by nutritional information about tuna from Bergeron. We can’t wait to dig into this healthy dish!
Mediterranean Tuna Pizza
Toasted mini naan bread topped with feta cheese, baby kale or arugula, a Mediterranean tomato parsley salad and flaky white tuna. These simple and flavor-packed flatbread pizzas are perfect for lunch at home or a quick dinner.
Jenny Shea Rawn
- 8 mini naan bread rounds (sandwich size)
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 4.5-ounce cans solid white albacore tuna in extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups baby kale or arugula
For the Mediterranean Salad
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup parsley leaves only (keep whole or chop)
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- ¼ cup capers, drained
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
For the Mediterranean salad
Combine all salad ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well.
To Assemble the Pizzas
Add feta evenly atop each naan round. Place rounds into toaster oven and lightly toast.
(You may want to place a piece of tinfoil under the rounds so the cheese doesn’t fall onto the bottom of the toaster oven. Top rounds with arugula or baby kale. Spoon salad (with juices) atop toasted naan rounds. Top with chunks of tuna. Serve.
Nutritional Information from RN Jody Bergeron:
Canned tuna is a nutrient-dense food that provides an excellent source of protein in addition to B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and iodine and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The two main omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA and DHA are long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which are abundant in fatty fish: Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring.
Omega-3s are a key component to phospholipids which are part of our cell membrane structure. The cell membranes are essential in cell receptor function. These omega-3s are therefore important in regards to blood clotting, inflammation and artery wall contraction and relaxation.
Albacore tuna contains 733 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per 3 ounce serving compared to light tuna which contains 228mg. Albacore tuna contains more mercury as compared to light tuna and it is recommended that pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children should limit albacore tuna to one serving per week.
Canned tuna is a versatile, affordable pantry staple that can be adapted to a variety of recipes. I like adding minced radish or jicama to tuna salad for added crunch and nutrients.