To eat or not to eat edible Insects: A debate heard throughout the world as the new Sustainable Protein and Superfood trend - known as Entomophagy - grows.
Did you know that edible insects are already part of our diet? People are eating insects for all sorts of reasons, be it survival, a delicacy or merely out of nutritional reasons. In fact, more than 2 billion people worldwide are eating insects already and your daily food is already full of them without you even knowing.
With the trend growing fast as the world searches for more sustainable and nutritious protein sources, researchers have begun looking into these little beings and the positive impact they may have on our health.
Newly, a study has shown some very interesting results that suggest that insects, specifically crickets, could go beyond being a mere delicacy or being consumed out of nutritional benefits, but that crickets could even improve your gut bacteria. These findings are incredible, as an unhealthy gut has been linked to various conditions including Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS.
What is IBS?
If you are not part of the 10-15% global IBS community, then you may be wondering what IBS is.
In a nutshell, IBS is a condition that affects the digestive system which causes muscle spasms in the bowel. Symptoms include cramping, bl oating, diarrhoea and constipation.
Doesn't sound very pleasant right? Adding onto that, there is unfortunately still no IBS cure that has been found. Many affected by IBS and various other diseases and conditions are waiting for cures and improved medical drugs. The unfortunate reality is that around 25% of all drugs are derived from rainforest plants but with current deforestation plants that have not even been discovered yet, are destroyed. Deforestation is thus having a direct impact on the possibility of finding cures for many disease and conditions and currently 91 % of deforestation is caused by livestock farming.
Insect farming can not only combat deforestation due to it being a more sustainable farming method but certain insects such as crickets have also shown promising results for various conditions such as IBS.
Image Credits: AndreyPopov
Crickets promote good bacteria
A study published in the Scientific reports journal and conducted at the Colorado State University shows that eating crickets in high doses is not only safe, but can help support the growth of good gut bacteria and may also reduce inflammation in the body.
Your gut microbial ecosystem is a very important component when it comes to your overall health. In essence, you need a healthy microbiome for you to be healthy, and this is associated with having a good balance between good and bad bacteria.
One of the causes of IBS is when the gut becomes “unhealthy” due to an imbalance of the good and bad guys - as you may have guessed we want a bit more of the good guys, but sometimes they are a little hard to find ;).
How could Crickets help with IBS?
Crickets contain a very specific Fibre - Chitin Fibre.
Chitin is an insoluble fibre which means that it does not dissolve in water, this allows it toact as a source of food (prebiotic) for the good bacteria in our gut and in doing so promotes the growth of good bacteria. This has shown to lead to a healthy immune system, good gut health and to reduce inflammation.
Experts also suggest that a high protein diet is a very important component for people with IBS, as a high protein diet is suggested to promote a more tolerant and less inflammatory gut immune system.
Cricket powder is incredibly high in Protein and contains 64 grams of protein per a 100g serving. This is more than many traditional protein sources which are often also not easy to digest. Crickets protein content also competes closely with some of the worlds most supreme protein powders such as Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder.
However individuals should not merely just start to eat more protein but they should also ensure that they are eating a protein that their body can easily digest. Crickets are not only known to have a high protein content but are also a lot easier to digest than many protein powders and traditional protein sources. An easily digestible protein is often very important for individuals with a sensitive digestive system.
On the topic of easily digestible foods some of the most common causes of IBS are food allergies such as Gluten and Dairy.
Luckily Gluten and Dairy Free options have become available in most restaurants and grocery stores in the UK but finding Gluten & Dairy/Lactose Free foods that are also nutritious is often quite challenging. Crickets can help in that area as they are mostly Gluten and Dairy Free. However, as different cricket farms feed their crickets different types of food always check the packaging to ensure that the crickets are 100 % Gluten Free. Chirp Nation Cricket Powder is among the Gluten Free certified Cricket foods available on the market.
Crickets are also packed with incredible nutrients such as Fibre, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B12, a complete amino acid profile and are packed with healthy fats.
Interested in learning more about the nutrients that Crickets have to offer, check out our blog discussing how you can benefit from the nutritional profile of Crickets.
What is the recommended dosage for Cricket Powder?
25g daily, that is what has been suggested to reap the potential benefits of a healthy gut. The beauty is that this 25g of cricket powder can be thrown into smoothies, cooked dishes and even baked into muffins and cakes. It is as easy as that. Insects as food is sounding better by the minute I would say.
Dare to be different
So now we know that we could be on the verge of something great. A possible natural IBS aid that can be incorporated into everyday dishes, which even provides us with various other incredible nutritional benefits.
The question is…
Will you dare to be different and give it a go?
Got more questions? We would love to answer them. Simply comment below or contact us directly.
Statements and information given on this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The content of the article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.