23 | ABR | 2019
Surprising health benefits of eating grasshoppers
Grasshoppers are strongly recommended by experts for their high A, B, and C vitamin content - Photo: Luis García Soto/EL UNIVERSAL

Surprising health benefits of eating grasshoppers

09/01/2019
18:09
Samara Monroy
Mexico City
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According to UNAM experts, chapulines are more rich in protein than beef, chicken, and pork

Mexico is famous for its rich cuisine, exuberant dishes, and variety of flavors, though some of the most exotic foods this tradition has to offer are insects, which have been part of the Mexican people’s diet since before the conquest.

One of the most common insects that are still eaten today are chapulines (grasshoppers), though they are mostly found in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Morelos, and the State of Mexico. Its name comes chapolin, which is Náhuatl for “insect that jumps like a rubber ball.”

Though it may seem shocking, chapulines are more nutritious than other foods such as beef, chicken, or pork and, according to the Biology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), these bugs also have medicinal properties.

They are also strongly recommended for their high A, B, and C vitamin and protein content. They are even richer in protein than milk and fish, plus they provide more energy than wheat. Chapulines are also rich in fiber and provide magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

Doctor José Pino, from UNAM, has stated that “chapulines are 62.93% total protein, out of which 89.63% is digestible.” Therefore, these insects are easy to digest and help to improve digestion.

Furthermore, the ingestion of insects reduces the chances of developing zoonotic diseases such as H1N1, E. coli infection, and salmonella, among others transmitted from animals to people.

However, Fernanda Alvarado pointed out that, though insects have a very high nutritional value, one would have to ingest them in very large quantities in order to cover for all necessary nutrients by comparison with a portion of meat.

Notwithstanding, chapulines, chinicuiles, escamoles (ant eggs), scorpions, and other bugs are highly convenient for the growth and maintenance of the human body.
 

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