Squirrels are one of the animals that are commonly seen all over the world. They belong to the family Sciuridae, which consists of small or medium-sized rodents.
They are small rodents with slender bodies, large eyes, and bushy tails. Their fur is short, silky, and soft. The color of their fur can be white, yellow, brown, gray, red, or black.
In Nigeria, they are known as okere in Yoruba, osa in Igbo, and kurege in Hausa. Their meat is largely consumed in some countries compared to other countries. They can be found in the Americas, Eurasia, Australia, and Africa.
Squirrels are omnivores, which means that they feed on plants and meat. They feed on fruits, seeds, nuts, small insects, and small animals. Squirrels are usually hunted as game meat and eaten in many parts of the world. Squirrel meat tastes like a cross between rabbit and chicken with a flavour of nuts. In this article, we will discuss the nutritional value and health benefits of squirrel meat.
Nutritional Value Of Squirrel Meat
Like most animal meat, squirrel meat is an excellent source of protein. The calories in 100 grams of squirrel meat are about 120 cal.
It is a great source of potassium, which aids the circulation of adequate oxygen in the body; niacin which helps in maintaining healthy cells; calcium which is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth.
It also contains essential vitamins, which include Vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and Vitamin D. It is also a decent source of magnesium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, and selenium.
Health Benefits Of Squirrel Meat
Based on its rich nutritional profile, here are some of the health benefits of squirrel meat.
1. Rich in protein
Squirrel meat is such a good source of protein. Unlike plant proteins, animal proteins are ‘complete,’ which means they contain all essential amino acids needed for anabolic growth. Proteins play an important role in growth and tissue repair in the body.
2. Lower fat content
Wild game meats such as squirrel meat tend to have a lower fat content when compared to bred animals.
Squirrels eat a natural diet as opposed to grain or corn, which is often used to feed domesticated animals, which leads to an increased fat content in their meat. Thus, squirrel meat is a better option for lower fat content.
3. Good source of lean protein
Wild game meats like squirrel meat are amazing sources of lean protein.
Eating more lean protein can help lower blood pressure and increase good cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) levels. In addition, lean protein can help you avoid high blood pressure and all the risks associated with it.
4. Increases body energy
Squirrel meat is a great source of energy. It contains vitamins and minerals, which increase the stamina of the body. Its rich protein and calorie content make it a good meat to eat for bodybuilding.
5. Aids in maintaining a balanced body metabolism
Squirrel meat contains a high level of electrolytes which are needed to maintain a balanced metabolism.
Also, electrolytes transmit electrical impulses from one cell to another to stimulate muscle contractions and nerves. They help maintain a balanced level of fluids in and around cells and support hydration and blood pH.
Squirrel meat is one of the most common bush meats in the world. Squirrels can be found mostly on trees, and most times, they are seen with nuts.
Squirrel meat is one of the most delicious meats due to the uniqueness of its taste. It can be roasted, fried or cooked. However, caution must be taken when consuming this meat because there is a high possibility of disease transmission.
Squirrel meat has a lot of health benefits for the human body. It has lower fat content than most meats, is a good source of lean protein, is rich in protein, and increases energy levels.
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