HOUSTON – A University of Wisconsin study examined how consuming crickets supports the growth of good bacteria and found the bugs might even reduce inflammation. This means the edible insects may be more beneficial for your gut and overall health than traditional protein sources.
“One of the interesting things is that crickets are one of our only protein sources, animal protein sources, that contains fiber," said Erin Gussler, nutritional director at The Whole Health Center.
For every one gram of cricket, there’s about one gram of protein. They’re also supposedly high in iron, calcium and B12.
Who should eat them?
While the insects are not safe for people with a shellfish allergy, Gussler said most people can safely try them and they’re commonly eaten in other parts of the world.
“In Asia they eat bugs. In South Africa they eat bugs, and in South America they eat bugs,” Gussler said. “In Thailand, if you go to a bar they usually have fried bugs to go along with your beer instead of peanuts.”
How to eat them
Online and in some health food stores, they now sell everything including candy, chips, protein bars and protein powders made from the insect.
It’s important to buy from a reputable source that cooks the crickets. Since you’re eating the entire animal, bacteria or parasites in the digestive tract can be ingested and cause illness if you consume them raw.