Cricket protein has been a new popular type of protein in the bodybuilding and health world lately. Recently, I was at a gym and saw a guy with a pack of cricket protein powder. I almost couldn’t believe it myself, but after doing some intensive research and consulting with dietitians/PHDs, I realize that there are a lot more to cricket protein than just bugs.
Insects provide the highest-quality protein on the planet—but will you dig in? You will if you know what’s good for you.
In this article, I’ll go over cricket protein and whether or not it is actually good for you.
The truth about eating bugs
Most of us feel disgusted when we think about bugs, but the truth is that we eat a lot of bugs on a daily basis without knowing. Did you know that bugs actually crawl into your mouth when you sleep? Didn’t want to scare you, but it’s true..
It’s next to impossible to keep bugs out of our food chain. Right from the second crops start to grow in fields, there are all kinds of creatures living in amongst them, and when it comes time to harvest many of the smaller ones like insects don’t get out of the way and end up in our food.
Just one cup of rice can contain up to 3 whole insects. I eat a lot of rice everyday, so technically, I’m eating insects quite often.
Here’s another one for ya: The tomato sauce used in one regular sized pizza can have up to 30 fly eggs or 2 whole maggots.
The flour used to make the dough for that same pizza can have 1900 visible insect fragments in there.
Or the ground coffee used to make just one cup can have up to 60 bug parts.
The nutrition value behind crickets
Ok, so now we know that we eat bugs on a regular basis, let’s talk about the nutrition value behind crickets. Crickets provide you with more than just protein. It actually contains a lot of nutritious minerals.
Let’s go over some key facts about crickets:
- Has more iron than spinach
- More Calcium than Milk
- More than double the protein contained in beef
- More B12 than Salmon or Beef
- 9x More Omega’s than Wild Salmon
Besides what you see above there are many other benefits to crickets, such as high levels of Zinc, Magnesium, and B6, which have all been shown in some studies to promote a better sleep, and at the right combined ratios has shown to increase testosterone in men. This is a necessary nutrient in our body.
Pretty amazing huh? Seems like the world is discovering new things in nutrition every single day.
How is cricket protein made?
The most common form of cricket protein is cricket flour. Cricket flour is made by drying or roasted crickets that are raised on domestic cricket farms. They are then milled into a fine flour that can be used in protein bars, smoothies, and baked goods.
Some people like to carry around the cricket protein flour in a bag and then mix it up with drinks, but I personally don’t like the taste of that.
Cricket protein powder is made from crickets, and the main ingredient is cricket flour. Cricket protein powder provides a full nutritional profile and amino acids and BCAAs important in creating the best cricket protein powder.
Because cricket protein powder and cricket protein supplements use full crickets, they provide a cleaner source of digestible protein that is less processed and contains naturally occurring calcium, iron, B12, and more.
This is why more and more people prefer to use cricket protein as their protein supplements.
When it comes to cricket flour:
A serving of cricket powder is two tablespoons (12 grams) and contains about:
- 55 calories
- 0.8 grams carbohydrates
- 7 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fat
- 4 percent DV iron
- 2 percent DV calcium
- 17 percent DV vitamin B12
- 23 percent DV vitamin B2
Another major plus about cricket flour is that it is gluten-free, so for those that have digestive issues, you can try out cricket flour as opposed to whey protein.
The health benefits of cricket protein/flour
Let’s go over some health benefits of cricket flour.
As mentioned above, crickets are an excellent source of vitamin b12. Just one serving of cricket flour contains about 17 percent of your daily value of vitamin B12.
Getting enough vitamin B12 every day helps to main energy levels, prevents memory loss, helps the nervous system to function properly, plays a role in maintaining heart health, and promotes healthy skin and hair.
Most dermatologist would recommend vitamin B12 for those who suffer from hair problems such as alopecia.
Cricket protein is complete protein
By dry weight, a single cricket ranges between 65–70 percent pure protein, while beef is only 17–40 percent protein.
A 200 calorie serving of cricket flour contains about 31 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, 1.8 grams omega-3, 7 grams fiber.
A 200 calorie serving of beef contains about 22.4 grams protein, 11 grams of fat, 0.04 grams omega-3, 0 grams fiber.
To get one pound of protein, about 2,500 gallons of water is required for cattle, 800 gallons for pigs, 567 for chickens and 1 gallon for crickets.
Crickets require about 6 times less feeding than cattle, 4 times less than sheep and 2 times less than pigs to produce the same amount of protein.
Helps with muscle building and weight loss
Another huge benefit of cricket powder and protein is that it promotes weight loss. If you are looking to burn body fat quickly, you need to consume a substantial amount of protein. You will want to replace extra carbohydrates in your diet with more protein.
Cricket protein is a great source for that. The problem with traditional whey protein is that whey protein may cause abnormal heart rhythms, changes in cholesterol levels, headache, increased diabetes risk, increased fracture or osteoporosis risk, kidney dysfunction, liver damage, stomach or intestine symptoms (acid reflux, bloating, constipation, cramps, gas, increased bowel movements, and movement problems.
With cricket protein, you won’t experience any of these problems as you would with whey protein.
Where can I buy cricket powder and which one is best?
There’s a lot of options online for you to purchase cricket powder. Personally, I like Chocolate Crik because of the chocolate flavor that it comes with.
If you like sweet flavors, I would recommend the Vanilla Crik, which gives you a sweet taste.
All cricket powders come from cricket flour, so my experience have been the same for all. I would recommend that you pick a flavor that works for you, similar to protein powders.
Final thoughts on cricket powder
Cricket flour is emerging as a new source of protein for athletes and people who are looking for a more sustainable option.
Not only does cricket flour contain more protein than beef, but it’s also 20 times more efficient, requiring less feed, water and shelter.
Cricket flour helps to build muscle and lose or maintain weight. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin B2, iron and calcium. It may be worth giving this sustainable and healthy source of protein a try soon.
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