Mopane Worms . . . also called masonja have a lot of health benefits, they are really good for you. And for those of you who don’t eat them, maybe it’s time to give them a try at least once in your life (I dare you!).
They are actually very popular in South Africa as well as other African countries, like in Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana and in Zimbabwe, and they have been enjoyed in many households for decades.
According to Taste Magazine, the best way to cook mopane worms is to soak them in hot water for a good two hours. After that, you can then place them in a saucepan, and cook them with boiling water for about 20 minutes.
I also know from people who enjoy them that there are mopane worms recipes that include cooking them and including things like onions, tomato, chilli, garlic and more, which makes for an interesting dish with pap. Also, other people prefer to fry them or roast them, and the way you cook them is really up to you.
Why Should You Include Mopane Worms in Your Diet
Lets talk about the health benefits of eating mopane worms. According to the website ingwelala.co.za, mopane worms provide a great deal of nutritional value. They are 60% protein, with good amounts of calcium, iron and phosphorus.
As you may already know, our bodies need a good amount of protein, which helps us in the formation and repair of muscles.
“Mopane worms are a good source of protein,” says dietician Sylven Masoga, who works in the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Limpopo.
Mopane worms contain high “amounts of iron, calcium and phosphorus. Iron is required for the haemoglobin component contained within the red blood cells. These red blood cells are responsible for, among other things, the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to tissues around the body. Low levels of haemoglobin predispose one to development of anaemia, a condition associated with fatigue and paleness,” says Masoga.
According to Nutrition Week, mopane worms are great for children, and that kids from six months of age should be given mopane worms as a source of iron. The site says the worms should be “cooked and pureed or minced”.
Mopane worms, though scary for some people to look at are great, hopefully these benefits will help you re-think including the in your diet/your baby’s diet, if they aren’t already.