Your Body Tips

April 30, 2015

Should You Be Eating…Insects?!

Warning to anyone squeamish: Bugs are about to become the next health craze. In 2013, the U.N. recommended edible insects as an eco-friendly way to provide enough protein to an ever-growing population. Now, nutrition experts have gotten on board for the critters’ many health benefits: Because they’re eaten whole with their exoskeleton and internal organs, insects contain all nine essential amino acids, plus omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, insoluble fiber and B vitamins.

Before you cringe, know that there may already be several bugs in the processed meals and snacks we eat. Many companies have long used insects for purposes like dyeing foods and coating candy. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows packaged food to contain certain amounts of “accidental insect fragments”—up to 90 fragments per 100 grams of chocolate, for example—because these bits and pieces are essentially harmless.

Today, aside from the occasional grasshopper taco, entrepreneurs are mostly grinding up farm-raised insects (typically crickets, which have a nutty, toasted flavor) into a flour that can be used in baked goods and protein bars. Want to try a taste? Check out products like Exo’s cricket-flour protein bars or the cookies from Bitty Foods.

Power Through Cramps

Menstrual cramps are never a welcome visitor, but on a performance or audition day, they can be especially distressing. To help them pass more quickly, increase your core temperature with an easy warm-up, like a few yoga moves or a gentle jog. The heat will speed the breakdown of the inflammatory compounds that make your uterine muscles contract, shortening the amount of time you’re in pain.