Cricket powder is very interesting both in terms of macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, protein, fibre) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), as previously mentioned in the article comparing crickets and beef. But why is cricket a superfood? Read this article to find ou!
Cricket powder is rich in protein. In fact, in 100g of cricket powder, there is approximately 60g of protein! In comparison, a 100g beef steak contains around 20-30g of protein, thus 2-3 times less.
But what about quality? Cricket protein is a complete source of protein: it possesses all 9 essential amino acids. (To learn more about protein, check out the article we dedicated to it!)
Graph 1: Percentages of the daily essential amino acid requirements for a 65kg person covered by 100g of cricket
As one can observe on the graph above, 100g of cricket powder covers double and even triple of the essential amino acid daily needs for a 65kg individual. Thus, it is very rich in high quality protein.
Omega-3 and omega-6
Omega-3 and omega-6 are two fatty acids essential to our body. Since we cannot synthesize them, it is important to ensure a steady supply in our diet. The organism uses them as a 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. Cricket powder possesses these two fatty acids in the optimal ratio of 3:1.
Fibre is a carbohydrate usually contained in plant-based foods. On the contrary of traditional animal protein like beef or chicken, cricket possesses fibre, which gives it an advantage.
Fibre helps in promoting a healthy digestive system. Eating high-fibre foods also helps you feel full for longer, which helps with appetite and weight control.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body and 99% of it is stored 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, it 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 crucial during growth when the skeleton grows and strengthens, but also later in life, to minimize bone loss that occurs naturally with ageing. 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 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 is a mineral essential to cell activity. Most iron used in the human body helps carry oxygen with 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. Non-heme iron is absorbed in smaller amount than heme iron, 17% against 25% respectively.
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 is a mineral used by the body to maintain the balance of fluids and electrolytes, and is also involved in preserving cell integrity. A diet low in sodium and high in potassium reduces blood pressure and can therefore help prevent hypertension.
Potassium deficiency results in increased blood pressure, renal calculi and muscle weakness.
After an effort, potassium intake can help with hydratation because the latter, regulating the balance of fluids in our body, is lost in perspiration.
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 protect nerve fibres and promotes 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.