We keep hearing about the benefits of smoothie drinking, but what are they really? Why are smoothies, those liquid meals, so healthy and why should we incorporate them in our daily lives?
For starters, if you are not keen on eating fruits or veggies, drinking a smoothie might help you trick your body into eating those “five a day” while actually enjoying the taste!
Additionally, if you keep forgetting to drink at least eight glasses of water per day (yes, so many numbers to keep in mind!); you could at least keep your body hydrated by drinking a homemade smoothie. During summer, do not forget to add some ice cubes before blending for some extra water intake.
Smoothies are much healthier than juices. While drinking juice, you get vitamins and minerals, but almost zero fibre. Smoothies, however, are made out of the whole fruit or vegetable, so nothing gets wasted.
Smoothies are so easy to make! If you do not have much time in the morning, you just throw whatever fruit or vegetable you have at home, mix it with something liquid and blend it! And voilà, your breakfast is ready! Moreover, if you are really tight on time, you can make packs of cut fruit or vegetables and freeze them. Like that, you will always have time for a healthy start of the day.
Smoothies are also cheap! Forget about the ones you buy in a supermarket, you can make yours for a few cents! You can also stop buying (expensive) multivitamins and food supplements, as drinking a glass of smoothie every day will provide you with all the vitamins you need.
If you are trying to lose some weight, smoothies, especially the green ones, are a perfect choice! They are low in calories but fill you up very well. As they contain a lot of water and fibre, they will make you feel as if you just ate the whole meal. Moreover, they will also help you fight cravings and hunger while consuming something healthy.
Smoothies boost your metabolism. As they are already blended, they are easy to digest and therefore, your body does not work that hard to process it. If you are suffering from constipation, drinking a smoothie might be a good idea to get your digestion going!
Vitamin B12 is a safe, reliable and inexpensive vitamin. For health-conscious individuals, a regular intake of a prescribed amount of vitamin B12 is a key element for preserving a balance in the human body. B12 could be obtained from food sources or could be taken in the form of supplements orally or via injections.
In combination with other B-group vitamins, vitamin B12 ensures the smooth functioning of vital life processes of the human body. It is important for maintaining a healthy nervous system and DNA production. Vitamin B12 helps to regulate the formation of red blood cells in the body. Other benefits of vitamin B12 include its role in maintaining and increasing energy levels in the human body.
Vitamin B12 is highly beneficial in various forms. Methylcobalamin, the coenzyme form of vitamin B12 is a body-friendly version, which means that no metabolic steps are required for its ingestion and it can be used it in its normal form. It is available as a sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue (because the digestive system might modify this molecule). Through this method, vitamin B12 can directly penetrate the bloodstream and yield numerous benefits. Hydroxocobalamin is another form of vitamin B12 that has been recognized as an effective cure for cyanide poisoning.
Research studies reveal a clear, inverse correlation between homocysteine (an amino acid found in the human body) levels and vitamin B12 levels. Blocking the formation of homocysteine leads to endothelial dysfunction (a narrowing of the arteries) and is a precursor of atherosclerosis; vitamin B12 helps to curb atherosclerosis. A supplement of vitamin B12 also augments the efficiency of folic acidís capacity to lower homocysteine levels. Researchers are of the opinion that in conjunction with folic acid, an adequate dose of vitamin B12 helps to counter heart diseases and thrombosis. The synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a compound involved in immune function and mood, depends on the association of folate and vitamin B12.
Studies indicate that the absorption of Vitamin B12 decreases with an increase in age. Hence, an increased intake of vitamin B12 is extremely useful for adults above fifty. The recommended form of intake is in supplement form since elderly people absorb this form better than food forms of vitamin B12. Supplementation of vitamin B12 aids in the cognitive function and heals neurological impairment within this group.
In most cases, vitamin B12 should be taken in conjunction with a folic acid supplement and a B-Complex vitamin. The good news is that while the intake of vitamin B12 facilitates functions necessary for everyday existence, an extra dose causes no harm but instead could be stored for future use.
Being a fan of the online magazine Vice and the Viceland channel on Sky (channel 183), they usually have some decent films and Manga on there.
Anyway, It was great honour when Kieran Morris contacted me to talk about our cricket pasta and Entomophagy as part of their food series on their Amuse channel, a premium travel and experiences destination for the global explorer, inspiring the adventurous mind with the world less travelled.
We spoke about how I started my love of eating insects, I didn’t know it was called entomophagy at the time, our cricket pasta and where Kric8 and The Ento podcast see this movement going.
The question “How much protein is in a cricket” is one of the many that I get along with “Why would you eat crickets” and the inevitable “Yuk” when people find out that I include them in at least one of my daily meals.
Protein is an essential part of our diets as it a major component of the body’s tissues. Around half of the body’s proteins are found in structural tissues such as skin and muscles. it is therefore essential for growth as our bodies continually renew tissues.
Proteins are made up of around 22 amino acids and they combine together in various ways within the body depending on the body’s requirements. Some go towards making muscles, bones, skin and hair while others are used to produce enzymes within the body.
Of the 22 amino acids 9 are classified as “essential” for the body. These are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine and they must come from our diet as they cannot made quickly enough or in sufficient quantities by our own bodies.
Complete Amino Acids
These are generally found in animal protein foods meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk
Incomplete Amino Acids
These are foods that lack one or more of the essential amino acids and are generally derived from plant based sources. However by combining different plant based foods in our diets we can still get the complete amino acids by having, for example, a meal made up of grains with legumes (rice and peas or everyone’s favourite beans on toast).
Most adults with limited daily activity should be able to cover their protein needs through a standard healthy diet and the general rule of thumb is .80g of protein per KG of body weight.
If we take a woman weighing 60kg based on the calculation above her daily protein requirements would be 48g (60x.80)
These figures would change depending on different circumstances e.g increased activity or pregnancy but as you can see below this can be easily achieved
2 large eggs – average15g of protein
100g Chicken – average 20g of protein
Now if we take the same woman but she is now training say 3 to 4 times a week or training for a long event like a marathon then these figures would change as we can see below
“So how much protein does a runner actually need? The latest guidelines recommend something I call protein pulsing, where protein is consumed more frequently throughout the day rather than as a large amount straight after exercise. This has been based on scientific findings demonstrating that our bodies can only absorb and utilise a certain amount of protein at any given time. It works on the principle that you need to consume up to 0.4g/kg BW from your three daily meals. For most runners this will equate to around 20-30g of protein. Those of you who also include weight training would also benefit from an additional 0.4g/kg BW portion before you go to bed to enhance your recovery.”
If you are looking to loose weight there are a lot of High protein diets around with Atkins, Paleo and Dukan being the best known.
Adding protein to your diet helps in weight loss as it slows down the digestion process in turn making you feel fuller for longer and when eaten with carb rich foods also helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. So instead of snacking on high carb “treats” why not try some of our Honey & mustard crickets or a handful of nuts.
Remember that eating more protein alone can also have its own issues like overeating any food. The body cannot store surplus protein and in some cases too much protein and could cause kidney issues if excess protein is consumed over a long period.
The protein content of insects varies depending on the species and it can even be different between sub species and like most things diet and environment are among the contributing factors effecting this.
In the table below you can see the protein content in 100g of cricket powder compared to the same 100g of different protein sources.
A more detailed table an be found in Edible insects future prospects for food and feed security by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation found here (page 69 table 6.3)
So before ruling crickets completely out of your diet why not try one of our sample sized Kric8 cricket protein powder packs? These 15g pouches contain enough cricket powder for a batch of cookies, muffins or if used in a smoothie it will add around 9g of protein the same as an egg.
In the second part of our series we look at the types of crickets commonly used in Entomophagy.
There are 2 types of crickets most commonly used in the food industry, The House Cricket Acheta Domesticus from the order Orthoptera & the Banded Cricket Gryllodes sigillatus from the family Gryllidae.
The House Cricket
Lets cover the House Cricket Acheta Domesticus from the order Orthoptera derives its name from two Greek words Ortho meaning straight and ptera meaning wing and covers more than 25,000 species around the world although the majority can be found around the tropics and included Locust, grasshoppers and crickets. The House cricket is around 15-21 millimetres in length brownish in colour.
The Banded Cricket
Second is the Banded Cricket Gryllodes sigillatus also known as Tropical house cricket, Indian house cricket from the family Gryllidae.
The Tropical house cricket being slightly small at around 13-18 millimetres in length and a light yellowy brown. They get their name from the 2 black bands that they have on their bodies, One through their thorax and another across their abdomen.
It is the males in the species that make the chirping or stridulation sounds by rubbing the upper part of one wing against the lower part of the other or by rubbing the hind leg against the front wing that the males are able to call out to the females.
They are both farmed in in southern Asia as food for both Human and and animal although due to its flavour profile the House cricket is the preferred choice for protein powders and snacks with the Banded cricket coming a close second due to its longer life span, it’s resiliency to certain diseases make them hardier than the House cricket and easier to farm.
In the next post we will talk about the protein content in crickets
There aren’t many quotes that I remember but I know that Angelina Jolie’s “Start with crickets and a beer” quote will be one that will stay with me. I might even get it created into one of those inspirational photos that I can put on my wall like the the courage pictures in some of the offices I have worked in.
Angelina has long been a fan of adding insects to her and her children’s diets but it was during the Cambodian premier promotions for her new film “First they killed my father” that she was filmed by the BBC preparing insects to eat.
The Netflix film is based on the 2000 book First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung and is a personal account of her experiences during Pol Pot’s Khemer Rouge reigme. When the Khmer Rouge entered Phonm Penh in 1975 Ung and her family had to flee their home and in order to survive the family had to split up with Loung becoming a child soldier.
During the video Angelina is states how she first tried entomophagy when she first in the country and is shown preparing a tarantula along with some other bugs but when asked how you would get into Entomophagy she replies “Crickets, you start with crickets. Crickets and a beer and then you kind of move up to Tarantulas”.
I couldn’t have said it better Angelina, and we hope you are interested in giving crickets a go and we think our Honet and mustard ones are the perfect starting place…as for the beer I prefer a craft ale or a bottle of dog but I won’t hold it against you if your a larger drinker.
Join us in part 2 for a little deeper of a look into crickets
Think nothing can take the place of a juicy, perfectly cooked burger? Try a plate of fried grasshoppers.
Okay, so they won’t exactly taste the same — and it may be tough to even stomach the thought of munching on bugs. But experts say that nutritionally speaking, they’re a good substitute for beef, and may be a valuable food source of the future.
The idea of eating insects isn’t new. They’ve long been included in traditional diets of cultures around the world, and a 2013 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations noted that more than 1,900 insect species have been documented as food sources globally.
Americans aren’t so keen on consuming the critters, but bugs have crept into some Western food products in recent years. Cricket flour, for example, has become a popular ingredient in the high-protein, low-carb Paleo diet. (One tester’s verdict on crickets in chocolate chip cookies? Tastes like walnuts!)
Read Amanda MacMillan‘s Huffington Post article here
Earlier this summer the guys at Jellybean Creative launched a competition for a foodie start-up to win a freevideo with our #JBCYourStory competition which was promoted on their Twitter and out of the 1,358 engagements Kric8 were the lucky winners 🙂
To become a sustainable alternative to meat, reared crickets must be fed feeds other than the chicken feed that is most commonly used today. Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences now present a study which shows that there are weeds and agricultural by-products that actually work as single ingredients in feeds for crickets. The study was conducted in Cambodia, where many children suffer from malnutrition and where the need for cheap protein is large.
The study was led by Anna Jansson, professor of animal physiology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The results have very recently been published in the Journal of Insects as Food and Feed.
“Since there are both climate and environmental benefits of eating insects, we believe that this habit will become more common, also in Western countries. What our study shows is that it is possible to rear crickets on feeds that don’t compete with other kinds of food production,” says Anna Jansson.
Reared insects are increasingly seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to meat, even by the United Nations. The future food for a growing world population.
In the Western world there is a cultural reluctance to eating insects, but also a cautious curiosity, and there is an increasing interest among scientists. In other parts of the world, such as Asia, there is a tradition to eat insects, and some species are regarded as delicacies. Many insects also seem to have a high nutritional value. So far, people mainly catch wild insects, but rearing them is emerging as a way to meet the growing demand.
Crickets are prized as food and they also seem to be quite easy to rear. Today crickets are usually reared on chicken feed, and this production has limited environmental benefits compared to chicken production, since crickets and chickens grow equally well on this feed. Also, this feed is too expensive for poor people, and its nutritional value is so high that people could just as well eat it themselves.
To be a climate and environmentally smart food, crickets have to be reared on feeds that have little value in other kinds of agricultural production, such as residues or weeds, and they must be cheap enough for poor people. Scientists know that many cricket species can feed on “a little of everything” but very few attempts have been made to rear crickets on residues, and none using weeds.
What Anna Jansson and her colleagues now show is that there are weeds and residues that perform as well as chicken feed for the Cambodian field cricket. Now their recommendations are passed on to people who want to rear crickets in Cambodia.
A number of Cambodian weeds and various residues from agricultural and other food production were tested in the study. Today these commodities are available for free or nearly free, which means that even very poor people would be able to rear crickets, at least to cover their own family’s needs. The best ingredients were cassava tops and the weed Cleome rutidosperma (Fringed Spider Flower or Purple Cleome), both of which could be used as a single ingredient cricket feed.
Background to the project
Cambodia is one of the world’s poorest countries. It is estimated that 40 percent of Cambodian children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition, which inhibits both their physical and mental development. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has for many years run Sida-funded PhD projects in developing countries, and this project is one example.