The Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Jumil, the Mountain Bug

Discover the nutritional value and culinary uses of Jumil, the mountain bug. Learn about its health benefits, how to prepare it, and how it can be used in a variety of dishes.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Jumil, the Mountain Bug
Jumil, also known as the mountain bug, is a versatile ingredient that can be roasted and ground to make a paste or seasoning for other foods. Credit: Wikipedia

Jumil, also known as the mountain bug, is a type of insect that has been in high demand for centuries. It is believed to derive from the word xotlimilli and is found living in the stems and on the leaf litter of various species of oak trees in Mexico. In pre-Hispanic times, they were eaten during celebrations in honor of the dead, as they were believed to be the souls of the deceased who had returned.

Nutritional Value of Jumil

Jumil is highly nutritious and is considered to be an excellent source of protein. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc. According to a study published in the journal "Nutrition Today," jumil contains about 60% protein, 10% fat, and 6% fiber. Additionally, it is low in carbohydrates, making it an ideal food for people who follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet.

Culinary Uses of Jumil

Jumil is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. In the State of Mexico, some roast jumil and grind them in a molcajete (mortar and pestle) with roasted tomatoes and green chiles. The resulting paste can be used as a sauce or spread on tortillas. Some people also add jumil to guacamole and rice. Roasted jumil can also be sprinkled with salt and pepper and used as a seasoning for other foods.

How to Prepare Jumil

There are several ways to prepare jumil for cooking. One method is to give them a squeeze with your hands to prevent them from flying, then put them on a tortilla. Another way is to roast them on a comal (a traditional Mexican griddle) until they are crispy and golden brown. The roasted jumil can be ground into a paste or powder in a molcajete, then mixed with other ingredients to make a sauce or seasoning.

Benefits of Eating Jumil

Aside from its nutritional value, jumil is believed to have several health benefits. Some people believe that eating jumil can help to cure certain diseases and boost libido. While there is little scientific evidence to support these claims, jumil is a natural source of protein and other nutrients that can support overall health and well-being.


Jumil, the mountain bug, is a highly nutritious and versatile ingredient that has been enjoyed in Mexico for centuries. It is rich in protein, minerals, and other nutrients, and can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you prefer to roast jumil on a comal, grind them in a molcajete, or add them to guacamole and rice, this insect is a unique and flavorful addition to any meal. While the health benefits of jumil are largely anecdotal, it is a natural and sustainable source of nutrition that is worth exploring for adventurous eaters.