That it was a healthy, nutritious, versatile and at the same time economic food we already knew. In fact – as shown by the data provided by the ANCIT (National Association of Fish Producers) – Italians seem not to be able to do without it. Canned tuna is now present in 96% of Italians’ homes and in 2013 Italians consumed as much as 2.3 kg per capita.
But perhaps not everyone knows that this preserved fish, so popular, is also one of the symbolic products of sports nutrition, as shown by the survey Ancit / Doxa which shows that for 7 out of 10 Italians, canned tuna is considered an ideal food for those who want to keep fit or practise a sport. And it is they, the ranks of athletes, about 25 million Italians, between regular and casual sportspeople, who confirm it: tuna is an essential ingredient of their diet, along with white meats, legumes, low-fat yogurt and bresaola.
Canned tuna: an irreplaceable source of protein for our muscles. “The protein needs of the sportsman – says Migliaccio, nutritionist and president of SISA (Italian Society of Food Science) – is slightly higher than that of a sedentary individual. An adult must introduce 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, which corresponds to about 15% of the calories from the total daily ration.
Those who practise sports, also in relation to the type of activity that they perform, may need daily up to 1.2 – 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To meet this need, canned tuna, preserved in oil or in brine, is a precious food for the whole family, and in particular for those who practise sports at an amateur level or even competitive. In fact, it provides an excellent amount of proteins that are of high biological value, that is, they provide a quantity of essential and non-essential amino acids that are optimal for obtaining and increasing protein synthesis. This guarantees the tone and efficiency of the musculoskeletal system and is also fundamental for the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters, essential for optimizing all the muscular work. “
Easy to find, store and versatile in the kitchen, canned tuna is ideal for preparing a meal prior to doing a sport activity.
Once considered the summer food par excellence, over the years it has become a food suitable for all seasons, able to give life through its adaptability in the kitchen to good and light recipes: from appetizers to pasta, from salads to second courses even in a traditional sandwich.
“Canned tuna – says Migliaccio – can be consumed as part of a complete meal that also includes the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates such as rice or pasta or bread. Food rich in water, vitamins and minerals such as fruit and vegetables should also be present. Among other things, the abundance of tuna lysine balances the lack of this amino acid in cereals. “
“Preserved tuna – continues Prof. Migliaccio – is also excellent as a snack, especially if accompanied by bread or crackers or other baked products. In this case it is preferable to consume one or two hours before training or immediately after physical activity. This snack allows you to better face the muscular effort or to replenish the protein losses due to sporting activity. “