Posts Tagged ‘cats’


If there was a support group for tuna addicts, I would be sitting in the front row. I have been a tuna fish lover since I was in elementary school. My mother always packed my lunch, and when I opened that brown paper bag and saw a tuna fish sandwich wrapped in waxed paper, I was euphoric. Now that I am an adult, my opportunities to eat tuna have increased exponentially.

In addition to tuna sandwiches, I also love tuna noodle casserole, tuna burgers, grilled tuna and cheese, and tuna pasta salad. Unfortunately, growing up, my kids hated tuna fish, so I didn’t make those dishes very often when they were still at home. Now that they are gone, I can indulge myself to my heart’s content.

A couple of years ago, my granddaughter spent the day with me and watched me eat a tuna fish sandwich. Since her father (my son) probably never brought a can of tuna into their house, she didn’t know what it was and asked for a taste of my sandwich.  I gave her a bite, and she said “this is really good.”  Hallelujah, I got another tuna lover (it just had to skip a generation). So now my son buys tuna and makes it for her at home, which pleases me no end.  Because the health benefits of tuna are amazing.

Research over the years has clearly shown anti-inflammatory benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, and tuna is an important source of omega-3’s. In an average 5-ounce can, you can get anywhere from 7-28 milligrams of EPA and 140-850 milligrams of DHA. Both types of fatty acids are necessary for regulation of the body’s inflammatory system and prevention of inflammation. The higher numbers are more reflective of the omegas in albacore tuna; the lower from canned “light” tuna. But albacore tuna may contain more mercury, so I stick with the light version since I eat it 2-3 times a week.

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk for heart disease, cancer and arthritis. They can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Because they support a healthy brain, omega-3’s may aid in the treatment of certain mental disorders such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Tuna contains small amounts of the antioxidants vitamin C, manganese, and zinc. But where it really shines is in its selenium content. Selenium also acts as an antioxidant, as well as boosting the immune system, regulating thyroid function, and improving blood flow.

As well, tuna is high in niacin, a B-vitamin that helps keep your digestive system, skin and nerves healthy. Niacin helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels and may increase beneficial cholesterol as well.

Do you have a cat?

Cats love tuna water. Don’t throw it down the drain. Press the lid down, squeeze the water into a bowl, and give it to your cat. You end up with a sandwich for yourself and a bowl of fishy goodness for your favorite feline. Win, win.




Written by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu


Reviewed by:  Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu






Read Full Post »

Chumlee and Big Hoss

Chumlee and Big Hoss

Pet ownership is a responsibility, and with this responsibility comes numerous health benefits including exercise, companionship, and unconditional love.

Nearly two years ago, while cleaning the gutters on our garage, my husband and I heard a “yelp” coming from under the weeping cherry tree at the end of the front deck.  A few minutes later, we heard another “yelp”, then much to our surprise; an adorably cute puppy (brown one pictured in the basket above) came running towards us.  After a few minutes of holding the puppy, it was back to work.  However, the puppy didn’t leave our sights.  Moments later, another “yelp”, another cute, adorable puppy had arrived from under the cherry tree (white one pictured in the basket above).  Needless to say, Chumlee (brown) and Big Hoss (white) have become vital members of our family providing companionship and unconditional love.

Lots of people have pets.  In the U.S., 69.1 million homes have at least one pet.  Most common are dogs (43.5 million) and cats (37.7 million).

While most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with animals, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond.  They are noticing the companionship of the animals affects us on four primary levels – physical, social, emotional and cognitive. These affects can lead to a number of health and life benefits.  The American Heart Association has linked the ownership of pets, especially dogs, with a reduced risk for heart disease and greater longevity.

A study at Cambridge University found that pet owners have fewer ailments and their overall well-being was improved.  A pet can have positive effects on its owner (s). Here are a few of the potential benefits.

  • Lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
  • Elevate mood and reduce loneliness, isolation and depression.
  • Lead to more social contacts and open the door to making new friends.
  • Create movement and increase exercise.
  • Fewer visits to the doctor and take fewer amounts of medications.
  • Offer unconditional love and daily doses of affection.
  • Offer a sense of security.
  • Help to deal with the loss of a spouse and other loved ones.
  • Provide an outward focus and decrease the emphasis on  personal problems.

Once you have known the experience of unconditional love and the many health benefits involved with caring for a pet, you realize the valuable role they play in your life and gladly take on the additional level of responsibility.






Written by:  Cindy Shuster, CFLE, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Reviewed by:  Liz Smith, R.D., L.D., Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, OSU Extension, North East Region

Reviewed by:  Kim Barnhart, Office Associate, OSU Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Read Full Post »