Crickets are small insects with flat bodies and sphere-shaped heads. The insect is a favorite snack for reptiles and large insects and is edible to humans.
Why should you eat crickets? You might think crickets are gross but they aren’t. These little bugs pack lots of nutrition our bodies need. And they are neat and safe to eat too.
Can You Eat a Cricket?
Many people now see crickets as food because of the nutrition they offer. These insects are available in powdered form or mixed with other fruits or nuts.
How Much Protein is in a Single Cricket?
A cricket has about 60% protein content. Crickets have protein content two times higher than that of chickens and cows.
For example, while a 100-gram cricket meal gives 60% protein chicken offers just 31% protein. The protein content of crickets makes them a more nutritional option than other sources.
Benefits of Eating Crickets
Crickets are a good source of complete proteins. Very few protein sources possess up to nine (9) vital amino acids. The essential amino acids in crickets are:
These proteins help us stay healthy and must be in our diet. Find some of the best cricket protein benefits below:
Proteins make up more than half of cricket powder. Crickets also provide about three (3) times the proteins available in pork.
Cricket proteins help provide nutrition for muscle growth. These proteins also support muscle repair and other essential body activities.
Better gut health
Cricket proteins are high in chitin, which has good bacteria our intestines need. The bacteria help digestion and other activity in our intestines. This also helps reduce gut irritation. Its composition helps ease the effects of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Apart from being great for gut health, chitin helps to boost our immune system. The microorganisms in chitin also help us develop better moods, energy, and health.
Increased iron supply
Crickets are rich in iron. It is an essential mineral nutrient that plays important roles in many biological processes in the body, including oxygen transport, energy metabolism, and DNA synthesis.
Low iron can cause tiredness. The high iron content of crickets can help to reduce fatigue from lack of iron.
Crickets are a good source of vitamin B12. One serving of cricket powder has more vitamin B12 than what’s available in chicken. Vitamin B12 is vital to the nervous system and brain health. B12 helps us convert food into needed energy and supports the formation of red blood cells in our bodies.
Crickets are a good source of other B-vitamins, as well.
Crickets offer much more nutrition than the vitamins and minerals identified above. Crickets also contain the following nutrients:
All these nutrients boost our health in different ways. In most cases, crickets have more nutrients than what is available from livestock.
Where to Get Crickets to Eat
You can buy crickets to eat at some specialty food stores, online retailers, and insect farms. In many countries, including the United States, Canada, and several European countries, edible insects are becoming more widely available as a sustainable and nutritious source of protein.
6 Cricket Protein Companies (and What They Produce)
Exo’s protein bar contains about 11g of cricket proteins in every 2-ounce stick. The Exo protein bar is available in cocoa banana and barbecue flavors.
Exo also has a pure cricket powder with 6g of proteins per pack.
The Chapul brand produces and sells protein bars that contain cricket flour. No soy or dairy content goes into producing these bars.
Chirps from Six Foods are chips infused with cricket proteins. The company uses crickets fed on high-protein diets. Six Foods’ aim is that these chips will help reduce dependence on meat.
The company produces cricket protein powders you can mix with water or in shakes. Crik Nutrition hopes to replace the dependence on livestock for high-quality proteins.
Aspire Food Group
The Austin TX. insect farm sells cricket protein flour and whole crickets.
The Entomo Farms sells honey-mustard crickets and cricket flour. Entomo Farms also supply cricket powders to other companies.
Dangers of Eating Crickets (and How to Avoid Them)
While crickets are nutritious, it is not advisable to eat wild bugs:
Wild crickets may feed on things that make them harmful to humans.
They could also be exposed to pesticides from agricultural farms.
They could carry parasitic worms that could cause serious health problems.
You need to cook crickets properly to avoid any health issues these worms may carry.
However, crickets farmed for consumption are safe and pose no risk. Milled crickets used for protein bars, pasta, and flour are also safe to eat.
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