The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a 2013 report that recommends integrating edible insects into our diets to reduce our environmental footprint. Eating insects is more common than you think. New markets and food products have been emerging that feature crickets as a healthy and sustainable alternative to animal protein.
Crickets are not only delicious, but are excellent for health, especially for ultra endurance athletes! Need further convincing? Here are 10 reasons why you should add crickets to your diet.
1. Crickets are rich in protein
Did you know that crickets are particularly high in protein? Crickets are actually 60% protein by weight, containing approximately 21 grams of protein per 100 grams of cricket. This is comparable to protein levels found in beef and milk, for example, ground beef contains about 25 grams per 100 grams of meat and powdered whole milk contains about 26 grams per 100 grams.
Why all the focus on protein? Well, protein is one of the 3 macronutrients needed in your everyday diet, along with carbohydrates and fats. Protein is especially important for ultra endurance athletes because it is used by the body to repair and rebuild muscle that is broken down during exercise, making it essential for maintaining lean body mass. Additionally, protein makes you feel full which helps to control hunger and cravings.
2. Crickets are high in vitamin B12
Crickets are a great source of vitamin B12. This nutrient, which is essential for DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation, can be hard to consume in adequate amounts, especially with plant-based diets. Thankfully, one serving of cricket powder gives you 190% of your daily B12 needs!
3. Crickets are the most sustainable source of protein
Not only are crickets incredibly good for your health, but they are also eco-friendly. Farming crickets requires way less resources than traditional livestock does, just look at the table below to compare the resources needed to farm crickets vs beef! Alternative protein sources like cricket protein will play a critical role in solving long-term food and resource challenges.
4. Crickets are a source of complete protein
For endurance athletes, getting in adequate amounts of protein is critical for repairing and rebuilding muscle broken down during exercise. Crickets are a great source of complete protein, which contains a sufficient proportion of each of the 9 essential amino acids necessary in the human diet. In comparison, plant-based proteins don’t always provide a complete source of protein. Additionally, crickets are 60% protein by weight, so you can be sure that you’re getting in good amounts of high quality protein.
5. Crickets provide other essential nutrients
In addition to vitamin B12, crickets are also rich in many other essential nutrients and minerals that optimize health, especially for endurance athletes: it’s no wonder that crickets are considered a superfood! Crickets carry a great source of antioxidants, calcium, iron, fiber, essential fatty acids, and potassium. With crickets added to your diet, you can wave goodbye to expensive supplements!
6. Crickets are delicious and versatile
For the less adventurous eaters out there, you can try crickets in the form of cricket powder! Cricket powder has a very neutral and slightly nutty taste, making it a great addition to recipes for an added nutritional boost. You can add 2 tablespoons of cricket powder to your morning smoothie or substitute up to 25% of the flour in a baking recipe with cricket powder. If you need help deciding how to use cricket powder in your diet, discover easy and delicious recipes from our blog here!
7. Crickets can be added to most diets
Crickets are naturally gluten and soy free, so they are convenient for most diets and suitable for many allergies and intolerances. Many plant-based eaters are even open to adding insects into their diets because of their nutrient composition, sustainability profile, and ethicality. Unless you have a crustacean allergy, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be including crickets into your diet!
8. Entomophagy is already widespread
Eating insects has gotten a bad reputation even though insect consumption is nothing new. Today, more than 2 billion people eat insects and it has been a practice for thousands of years. There are over 2,000 edible insect species, some in which you have already eaten! On average, each person unknowingly swallows 500 grams of insects hidden in salads, fruit, or peanut butter!
9. Crickets are a local and certified product
There’s no need to waste energy crossing the ocean when farming crickets. Insect farming is already widespread throughout the world, including right here in Canada. The biggest insect farm in North America, Entomo Farms, is located right in Ontario.
At Näak, we strongly believe in the need for sustainable living and are always looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, which is why all of our products are made with free-range crickets raised at Entomo Farms. The crickets are raised and harvested in the most ethical way possible with no additives or preservatives. We are proud to offer bars with local and eco-friendly ingredients!
10. Crickets are found in delicious and healthy products
If you’re interested in trying out insects but are not yet quite ready to chew on a whole bug, there are many cricket powder based snacks and products that you can try. At Näak, we came up with a delicious way to incorporate crickets into your diet: energy bars! Our energy bars are made with cricket powder and other natural and sustainable ingredients which help endurance athletes fuel their adventures.
At Näak, we believe in sustainable nutrition and our mission is to power the world of ultra-sport performance with efficient and sustainable fuel. We strongly encourage you to join the movement! Order our environmentally friendly and tasty products here.