Do Ants Have Nutritional Value?
Several cultures around the world consume insects as a staple of their diet. Whether they’re served raw or cooked, they’re a delicious and nutritious option. Besides being delicious, insects are an environmentally friendly source of protein.
In fact, insects can be up to three times more protein rich than steak. This is thanks to the presence of a gland in the abdomen that releases formic acid. It’s a bit bitter, but it also makes the insects taste citrusy.
Ants are also rich in iron, calcium and protein. For example, the red ant, a species of ants, is a great source of iron, providing a whopping 14 grams per 100 grams. Ants also have a lot of antioxidants. Black ants have polyphenols that are comparable to orange juice.
Although there are no official human studies to show that insects have nutritional value, they are an attractive option for a sustainable diet. Ants also reduce carbon emissions from the atmosphere. Adding more ants to your diet could help reduce the strain on water supplies, and may even combat oxidative stress, which is linked to several diseases.
One of the benefits of ants is that they’re easy to harvest. You can collect them using a stick. They don’t have to be dead – the ants will simply go back to their colony.
Ants also help keep you safe from parasites. If you live in a house with lots of ants, it’s a good idea to kill them before you eat them.