Did you Know Crickets are Sustainable Food Source? Check out these Five Health Benefits.
In May 2014, United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) hosted the first international “Insects to Feed the World” conference, where they promoted edible insects as low in fat, high in protein and sustainable source of food. Meanwhile, a relatively good number of manufacturers in the U.S. have begun producing foods made from roasted or dried crickets. In December of 2014, Cricket Snack Bar and Cookies passed a Consumer Reports’ taste test.
If you are not dainty about eating insects, crickets have more than a few nutritional benefits to provide. These include:
Rich in Protein, Low in Calorie
Crickets are lower in fats than many other sources of animal protein. In fact, a single serving of crickets is likely to give you nearly as much protein as hamburger for less than half the calories. These insects contain 13 grams of protein, 126 calories and 6 grams of fat per 100 grams. On the other hand, ground beef, which is 70% lean, contains 14 grams of protein, 332 calories, and 30 grams of fat per 100 grams. As opposed to other low-fat protein sources like beans, crickets offer complete protein that contains all nine of the essential amino acids.
Rich in Iron
Research proves that a three-quarter serving of roasted cricket contains around 53% of your RDA for iron. In comparison, a 3-ounce serving of sirloin steak offers just 14% of your daily iron requirement. According to recent health studies, iron deficiency is not only the most common nutritional deficiency but also the leading cause of anemia in the U.S. Aside from requiring more dietary iron than men, women of child-bearing age are more likely to suffer from low levels of this mineral. It is important to include cricket-based snacks in your diet as this could help ensure that you do not develop mild anemia symptoms like lack of concentration and persistent fatigue.
Crickets are a Whole Food
In the United States, most of the animal protein consumed is muscle. On the contrary, nothing goes to waste when you eat crickets, as you consume everything including the internal organs and exoskeleton. Because they contain many of the B vitamins such as B12, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin as well as pantothenic acid, eating them offers you a wide range of nutrients. Crickets also provide many different minerals such as iodine, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. According to Advocates of cricket consumption, crickets deliver almost five times as much magnesium as beef.
Crickets are a Good Source of Omega-3
Besides oily fish, not many common protein foods are good sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Studies indicate that crickets could offer another option. Omega-3 is essential for the body, and it reduces inflammation as well as can help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Moreover, omega-3 is vital for cognitive and memory performance. Although the typical American diet contains far too many sources of omega-6, it is deficient in omega-3 fats. Eating crickets could help you restore a healthy omega-3/6 balance.
Crickets contain Dietary Fiber
Unlike many common animal foods found in the standard Western diet, crickets have dietary fiber. A cricket’s exoskeleton is made up of chitin, the same biopolymer, which makes up the cell walls of mushrooms. Since chitin is classified as a functional fiber, research shows that it can help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). A three-quarter cup serving of crickets has around 3 grams of fiber, nearly the same amount you would find in a three-quarter cup serving of cabbage, green beans or corn.
Other health benefits of eating crickets include the provision of muscle building protein. They are also a non-diary source of calcium and research points out that they can help you cut down on carbs. With all these health benefits, it is commendable that you start eating crickets as soon as today.