When most people think of eating insects, they picture a dare on Fear Factor or a child in a third-world country eating bugs as a source of protein. But in recent years, there has been a growing trend of people in the West looking to insects as a viable dietary option. While it may still sound unappetizing to many, there are actually some surprising health benefits to incorporating edible insects into your diet.
First and foremost, eating insects is better for the environment. It takes much less land, water, and feed to raise insects than it does to raise larger animals, such as cows and chickens. This means that the farming of edible insects is more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. Plus, farming and harvesting insects is less labor intensive than other animal-based proteins, meaning that it takes fewer resources and manpower to produce.
In addition to being better for the environment, eating insects is also healthier than eating other animal-based proteins. Insects are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and they are low in calories and saturated fat. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and zinc. Plus, they are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which are known to have beneficial effects on heart health.
Another health benefit of eating insects is that they are much lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than larger animal-based proteins. This makes them a much better source of heart-healthy fats than a steak or hamburger. Eating insects can also reduce your risk of certain diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Finally, eating insects can also improve your mental health. Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in protein can improve brain health and boost cognitive function, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression. Eating insects can provide a great source of protein that can help to improve your mental health and reduce the risk of developing certain mental illnesses.
Ultimately, there are many surprising health benefits of eating insects. Not only are they better for the environment, but they are healthier than other animal-based proteins and can help to improve your physical and mental health. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional protein sources, then consider adding some edible insects to your diet.