Crickets for Joint Pain: Putting a Hop Back in Your Step

Being rich in iron, full of non-dairy calcium, low in fat and high in protein and dietary fiber makes crickets an already desirable option as a replacement for other mainstream nutritional needs. But if this list of numerous health benefits doesn’t yet have you convinced to give crickets a try, maybe their anti-inflammatory properties will.

Some other important nutrients to note in crickets include Glycosaminoglycan (also known as “GAG”) and, one you might be more familiar with, Omega-3s. Crickets get the nickname “land shrimp” partially from the fact that both crickets and shrimp specifically share a commonality of being prime sources of Omega-3s, except crickets have been found to be even richer sources of Omega-3s than shrimp.

So, who’s ready to do a deep dive into some science?

Let’s start with unpacking the familiar, looking at Omega-3s’ role in helping to prevent joint pain. According to EntirelyHealth, Omega-3 fatty acids are a “healthy form of fat which reduces inflammation and prevents related diseases.” Special molecules called “protectins” and “resolvins” are derived from these fatty acids for anti-inflammatory purposes. But how does inflammation cause joint pain? The inflammation can cause a chain reaction and activate other nerves of the body, leading to pain in your joints.

Omega-3s have been known to reduce triglycerides, lower high blood pressure, and prevent heart problems because of their anti-inflammatory powers and thus are vital for competitive athletes who often suffer from joint pain and inflammation due to rigorous, repetitive exercise. Omega-3s are also recommended for pregnancy, as they promote healthy brain growth for young fetuses.

Now on to Glycosaminoglycan (GAG). The repeating two-sugar unit consists of a uronic sugar and an amino sugar. Because GAGs are highly polar and attract water, they are used in the body as a lubricant or shock absorber. GAGs play important roles in various biological processes such as cell adhesion and signal transduction, as well as promote anti-inflammatory activity.

GAGs taken from crickets were used in a 2018 study that included 20 healthy people who consumed 25 grams of whole cricket powder per day for two weeks in order to study the cricket powder’s anti-inflammatory effects. The study found consuming cricket powder on this schedule led to “increased growth of beneficial gut bacteria and reduced inflammatory markers.”

The same study also revealed the pro-inflammatory cytokine “TNF-α” in plasma was reduced with cricket consumption relative to the control diet. Increased levels of TNF-α have been linked to intestinal inflammation and inflammatory gut conditions, which is why we also recommend crickets as a step in the right direction to promote gut health.

So, thanks to the amino acids and sugars found in crickets, incorporating cricket protein into your daily diet can help prevent joint pain by lowering inflammation and, as a couple bonuses, promote gut health and a healthy fetus, if you’re pregnant.

You can access our Harmony Cricket Farm cricket protein powder and cricket flour in our online shop. You can also check out different meal ideas and recipes with cricket powder on our recipe page (link below).

Be well,

Le Cricket Queen

Health benefits and facts found through EntirelyHealth, Healthline, NCBI, Arthritis.org, and PubMed.gov (US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health).

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