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CRICKETS, A SUPERFOOD

Cricket powder is a very interesting food both in terms of macronutrients (carbohydrate, lipids, proteins, fibres) and micronutrients (minerals and vitamins).

PROTEINS

Cricket powder is a food rich in proteins. In fact, by 100 g of powder, there is approximately 60 g of protein! In comparison, a 100 g beef steak contains around 20 to 30 g of protein, thus 2 to 3 times less.

But what about the quality ? Cricket proteins are complete: they possess the 9 essential amino acids in their structures.

Graph 1: Percentages of the daily essential amino acid requirements for a 65 kg person covered by 100 g of crickets

As one can observe on the graph above, 100 g of cricket powder covers the double and even the triple of the essential amino acids daily needs for a 65 kg individual. Thus, it is a food very rich in high quality proteins.

OMEGA 3 AND OMEGA 6

mega 3 and omega 6 are two fatty acids essential to our body. Since it can not synthesize them, it is thus important to ensure a steady supply in our diet. The organism use them as base element to form other molecules necessary for the proper functioning of the cells.

However, these two fatty acids compete in the process of assimilation and absorption. It is therefore important to be careful not to consume too much of one to the detriment of the other. A ratio ranging from 3: 1 to 10: 1 (omega 6: omega 3) is often recommended.

The cricket powder possesses these two fatty acids in the optimal ratio of 3: 1.

FIBRES

Fibres are carbohydrates usually contained in plant-based food. On the contrary of traditional animal proteins like beef or chicken, cricket possesses fibres, which confers him an advantage.

Fibres help in promoting a healthy digestive system. Eating high-fibre foods also helps you feel full for a longer time, which helps with appetite and weight control.

CALCIUM

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body and is stored at 99% in the skeleton, providing structure and support to our body. The last 1% is found in body fluids. Although this is only a small proportion, this calcium is vital to the metabolism as it contributes to blood clotting, hormones secretion, muscle contraction, and blood pressure. Adequate intake throughout life is therefore essential, both at structural and metabolic levels.

Integrating enough calcium into your diet is a crucial point during growth, when the skeleton grows and strengthens, but also later in life, to minimize the bone loss that occurs naturally with aging. In fact, when calcium intake is not sufficient, the body draws this mineral from bones, in order to maintain the adequate concentration in the body fluids required to meet the metabolic needs. This can weaken the skeleton, making the bones more fragile.

When practicing sports, it is important to have adequate calcium intake to maintain healthy bones that can support exercise and resist fractures.

IRON

Iron is a mineral essential to cell activity. Most iron used in the human body helps carrying oxygen in two main proteins: hemoglobin, making up red blood cells, and myoglobin, contained in muscle cells.

Iron, like many other nutrients, is only partially absorbed by our body. This is due to interactions with other elements also contained in food. For example, vitamin C increases the absorption of iron while tannin (vegetable substances) contained in tea or coffee decrease it.

It is also important to identify the two forms of iron present in food: heme iron and non-heme iron, derived respectively from animals and plants. This latter is absorbed in smaller amount than the previous one, 17% against 25%.

Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world. About 10% of children, adolescents and women of childbearing age are iron deficient in the United States. It induces recurrent fatigue during physical activities as well as headaches.

Iron is a very important mineral for athletes. In fact, it is at the origin of oxygen transportation in the blood, from the lungs to the different tissues of the human body.

POTASSIUM

Potassium is a mineral used by the body to maintain the balance of fluids and electrolytes, and is also involved in preserving cells integrity. A diet low in sodium and high in potassium reduces blood pressure and therefore can help preventing hypertension.

Potassium deficiency results in increased blood pressure, renal calculi and muscle weakness.

After an effort, a potassium intake can help with hydratation because the latter, regulating the balance of fluids in our body, is lost in perspiration.

VITAMIN B12

Vitamin B12 is usually found in products of animal origin such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and crickets!

It has various functions in our body. Alone, it helps protecting nerve fibres and promoting their growth, and it is involved in the metabolism of bone cells. Coupled with vitamin B9, also called folate, it is essential to many enzymatic reactions involved in the various synthesis, including those of DNA, red blood cells and the non-essential amino acid methionine.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by megaloblastic anemia (red blood cells are taller than normal and therefore less effective), fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Source: näak

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