Loving the BITE: Seared Tuna Steaks
Fishing around for something to eat tonight? Loving the Bike’s got you covered. Why not soothe your cells, strengthen your heart, and even keep your wits about you with a little tuna? You don’t have to go out to your favorite Japanese restaurant for this yummy dish. Instead, just gather a few healthy ingredients for:
Recipe of the week: Seared Tuna Steaks with Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce
Ingredients (per serving):
- 6 ounce Tuna Steak (high quality, preferably sushi-grade)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp Mirin (rice wine)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- ½ Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp peanut oil
- wasabi paste (to taste)
In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, Mirin (rice wine), honey, and sesame oil. Divide into two equal parts. Stir rice vinegar into one part and set aside as a dipping sauce. Spread sesame seeds out on a plate. Coat a fresh, high-quality, 6-ounce tuna steak with the remaining soy sauce mixture, then press into the sesame seeds to coat. Heat 1 Tablespoon peanut oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Place steak(s) in the pan, and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. Serve with the dipping sauce and wasabi paste.
(525 calories, 9 gm carbohydrates, 5 gm fiber, 46 gm protein)
If all the tuna you ever eat comes from a can, you’re missing out! Tuna steaks offer variety to your seafood repertoire, and are easy to prepare. Like other fish, they are highly nutritious. Tuna provides:
- An excellent source of high quality protein which is easily absorbed
- Important minerals including selenium, magnesium, and potassium
- B vitamins niacin, B1 and B6 for energy production and heart health
- Super beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids
What does this mean for you and your ride?
First, a cyclist needs a strong heart and cardiovascular system. Eating tuna and other omega-3 rich foods will lower triglycerides, reduce and prevent high blood pressure, prevent strokes, protect you from Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism, and help prevent obesity by improving metabolism and increasing insulin sensitivity in cells.
Then, let’s calm all our inflamed over-used and abused cells. The omega-3 fatty acid, EPA, helps our bodies produce resolvins (recently identified lipid products). They have been shown to reduce inflammation in animal studies, are made from EPA by our cellular enzymes, and work by inhibiting the production and regulating the migration of inflammatory cells and chemicals to sites of inflammation. This means less inflammation at joints, better blood flow, reduced oxidative stress, and healthier cells. And, unlike anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and the COX-2 inhibitors, the resolvins our bodies produce from EPA do not have negative side effects on our gastrointestinal or cardiovascular systems.
Next, an athlete’s skin could use a hand. Ever seen a great endurance athlete with really nice skin? Me neither. Most of the ones I’ve seen looked a little worn and weathered from long hours in the sun. Another benefit of omega-3s anti-inflammatory effects may be their ability to protect our skin against sunburn, and possibly, skin cancer. Although there are many reasons for skin damage, one is a ratio of omega 6 fats vs. omega 3 fats that is too high in the 6’s. It’s now believed that this imbalance contributes to weakening cells, including skin cells.
And now a little detox. In addition to tuna’s omega-3s, the selenium it contains is a necessary component in one of the body’s most important antioxidants–glutathione peroxidase–which is critical for a healthy liver, the organ responsible for detoxifying and clearing potentially harmful compounds such as pesticides, drugs, and heavy metals from the body. Selenium also helps prevent cancer and heart disease.
Stay sharp on your ride. A number of recent studies indicate that omega-3 DHA and EPA fats can lessen cognitive decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. By boosting the production of the protein LR11, which destroys the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, omega-3s can reduce your risk.
And last, but not least, Love Your Bike a little more. A recent study found that participants with high ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 not only had higher levels of various compounds involved in inflammation, but were more likely to suffer from depression. Both depression and stress promote the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Eating more omega-3 foods can improve your fatty acid balance.
Let’s tuna into our bodies’ health and help it out. With all it faces every day, it could use some added heart strength, reduced inflammation, stronger skin cells, and a healthier brain. Be of good cheer and keep loving the bike!
Nourish your Body. Fuel your Ride.