Eating insects? Yeah, you read the title right and you are probably having that ticklish feeling on your spine. Many are familiars with the word insects, even some have taken a major to study about them. But not many know that even insects can be for consumption. The concept of eating insects have been there from centuries ago. According to the biologist and scientist, Charles Robert Darwin, the humans before us have been eating insects just as now we are eating rice and chicken.
Some of you may even think this idea is insane, scary or disgusting. Yet the truth is, insects have many nutritious and scientifically proven health benefits of eating insects. Though, not all insects can save for consumption. Some insects have a poisonous chemical in their bodies, as a way of protections against the large insects or animals which are preying on them. We have listed some types of insects which are safe for consumption.
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Did you know that currently, scientists have classified 1,900 species of insects which are safe for consumption? Out of those 1,900 species, we have listed some for you.
- Beetles. About thirty – one percent ( 31% ) of the 1,900 species, beetles or science name Coleoptera have been classified as safe for consumption insects.
- Caterpillars. About eighteen percent ( 18% ) of the 1,900 species, Caterpillars or scientifically known as Lepidoptera have been classified as safe for consumption insects.
- Bees, ants, and wasps. About fourteen percent ( 14% ) of the 1,900 species, bees, wasps, and ants or scientifically known as Hymenoptera
- Locusts, crickets, and grasshoppers. About thirteen percent ( 13% ) of the 1,900 species, locusts, crickets and grasshoppers or also known with latin name Orthoptera have been classified as safe for consumption insects.
- Scale insects and true bugs. About ten percent ( 10% ) of the 1,900 species, cicadas, leafhoppers, planthoppers, scale insects and true bugs or also known with latin name Hemiptera have been classified as safe for consumption insects.
- Termites and dragonflies. About six percent (6 % ) of the 1,900 species, termites with science name Isoptera and dragonflies with science name Odonata have been classified as safe for consumption insects.
- Flies. About two percent (2% ) of the 1,900 species, flies or also known with latin name Diptera have been classified as safe for consumption insects.
- And the rest six percent (6%) are other orders and types of insects.
All of the insects listed above are known to be in rich protein. This is another reason why the United Nations (UN) is persuading people to start consuming edible insects as a way of fighting world hunger.
Compositions of Insects
Insects are known to have rich protein in them, it is one of many reasons why eating insects can be highly beneficial for your body. But what makes insects are more special and better than other normal meats, such as fish or chicken. Below are the comparisons of protein in insects and other meats.
- in 1 kilo gram of termites, contains roughly of 350 grams of protein. While in 1 kilogram of beef only contains 320 grams of protein.
- for every 1 kilo gram of caterpillars, it contains around 280 grams of protein. While in 1 kg of salmon has 20 grams less, 1 kilo gram of port has 30 grams less and 263 grams more than 1 kilo gram tofu.
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With all its importance, the health department of the United States has stated that each of us needs a different dosage of protein throughout their life. Now that we know the importance of protein for your body, we will see the health benefits of eating insects, which has more protein than any other food.
1. To boost your much mass
Eating enough insects is necessary for building and also maintaining your body muscle mass, not only the muscle mass it will also help support other body tissues such as tendon and ligaments. In other words, insects are important for bodybuilding and necessary for developing leaner muscles. The main reason for this is because of the rich protein in the insects.
2. To help manage your weight
Although some studies are still conflicting over this one, mostly because of high-protein versus low-protein diets in maintaining an ideal weight or losing weight fast. Yet there is plenty of evidence on how the protein in insects can help making you full and prevent over eating. In addition, helping you maintain the ideal weight.
Studies also show that this method can be taken along with controlled calorie intake for more practical and weight loss strategy. High protein food, which can be found in insects can increase satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrates or fats, so they can prevent overeating or the desire to eat snacks over the time.
3. To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin is the hormone which can help in stabilizing your blood sugar level also required for carbohydrates, fat and protein to be metabolized. Carbohydrates require more insulin than fat or protein does. This is the reason why for maintaining blood sugar levels we should not consume food which is high in carbohydrates due to the major amount of insulin it will take in burning it to energy.
But it is not the same with protein, which means eating something which is high in protein such as insects can help you maintain your blood sugar level. Insects have low to zero effects on blood glucose levels and slowing down the sugar absorption.
4. Natural remedy for depression
Apart from high in protein, insects also have amino acids which are needed to balance hormones naturally, control your mood. To those who are lacking in amino acids will start experiencing moodiness, weakness, increase anxiety, and all those are the signs of depression. The protein which can help stabilize the sugar level in your blood, it can also stabilize your mood changes which sometimes occur due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.
5. Promote Healthy Brain Function
As we have mentioned before, protein is needed to make hormones and enzymes. Both which are critical for cognitive function. When you were just a kid, your mother might have told you to eat healthily especially breakfast to help you to think better for the rest of the day, learn and to remember information. Now, eating insects can also help you to increase your brain function as it can give a steady supply of amino acids, which is what the brain requires in order to maintain focus, concentration, and keep up your energy level steady.
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6. Stronger Bones and Healthier Teeth
A recent study by the United States of America shows that the bone losses can occur in people with low protein intake which is around 16–50 grams per day. The study proved that that low-level protein can affect the insulin growth factor which has a negative effect on calcium and phosphate which is required for the bones formation. Many studies have shown a positive association exists between eating insects will increase and your daily protein intake and better bone health.
7. Protect Heart Health
Many studies have shown an inverse relationship between eating insects and the reduced risk of heart-related disease. This is evident in adults. Instead of just protecting your heart health, eating insects can also help you to fight the bad cholesterol in your blood. Eating insects tend to help prevent other heart disease-related causes, including obesity and diabetes.
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8. Anti Aging
We have been explaining so many natural benefits of eating insects mainly it is because of the high protein in those insects. Apart from above-mentioned benefits of protein, the last one is protein is the natural anti aging component in the body.
9. Rich of Protein
Protein can help the body to produce glutathione, it is also called as the master antioxidant because it helps us to detox and reduces any sign of aging. Instead of helping the body as an antioxidant, it also plays a key role in hormones balance, to oxidate stress, and helps to fight Parkinson disease.
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More Insects Uses
Thus, here are more health benefits of eating insects:
- For children from aged two to six, women, and older people it is recommended for having two daily servings of protein for a total of five ounces.
- For teenage and men who are fit and active need three daily servings of protein for a total of seven ounces.
- For teen girls, women who are fit and active and most men, they need two daily servings for a total of six ounces
Insects are rich in protein, and protein is the most important component for your body. Protein is used by each and every cell in your body from building to repair tissues. Protein is also used to make body chemicals such as hormones and enzymes. Apart from body chemicals protein is also being used in building bones, skins, muscles, skin, blood, and cartilage. Thus, there are health benefits of eating insects.