Crickets and beetles and ants, oh my! Swallowing an insect may seem like an activity reserved for children’s games of Truth or Dare, but there are plenty of reasons to make insects, especially crickets, a part of your daily balanced diet.

Eating Crickets Is Nothing To Get Bug-Eyed About

In many parts of the world, eating crickets is no new phenomenon. In fact, a third of the world’s population eats insects as a regular part of their diet. From Thailand to China, Mexico to Chad, around 80% of countries around the world do so.

In the United States, livestock and poultry are the go-to sources of animal-based protein. However, raising livestock requires huge amounts of natural resources and creates air pollution to boot. Now, attention is turning to the use of insects as an environmentally friendly protein source. Harvesting crickets is relatively easy and involves lower greenhouse gas emissions than harvesting larger animals.

Crickets Are Great For The Gut

Crickets offer many nutritional benefits. They are highly nutritious, packed with protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and healthy fats. Their exoskeletons also contain fibers that aren’t found in many other foods.

A study by Valerie Stull of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies highlighted a host of potential health benefits of these singing critters. Each day of the experiment, participants ate 25 grams of powdered crickets that had been mixed into a muffin or a shake. After just two weeks, the results were undeniable. Compared to their peers, these participants saw a spike in a bacterium called Bifidobacterium animalis, which increases immune systems and gastrointestinal health. They also saw in increase in an enzyme associated with gut health.

Are You Ready To Crunch A Cricket?

Crickets are good for the environment, great for the gut, and can apparently be enjoyed in muffin-form. What’s not to love?

Ok, we understand if you’re hesitant to try this creepy crawly food of the future. In most Western countries, insects have been regarded for centuries with disgust. For those who are brave, perhaps it’s time to join the 2 billion people around the world who enjoy the tasty and nutritious qualities of crickets. Before long, these will be the next health food craze.