A new study has explored the potential benefits that could be obtained from eating insects. The study was conducted by a team of Italian researchers who discovered that the invertebrate creatures, along with grasshoppers and crickets besides other insects, feature a high amount of antioxidants.
These particular chemicals play an essential role in the body’s effort to minimize the chemical reactions which release free radicals, one of the prime causes of cancer. Free radicals are also associated with higher rates of heart disease and diabetes.
It is well-known that antioxidants can be encountered in a large selection of foods, but most of them have a low carbon footprint. Some food scientists believe that Western consumers will embrace the consumption of insects in the following decades, an argument which was also featured in the paper. The antioxidant content of the insects was tested in a series of experiments.
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After the insects were ground and analyzed, the researchers discovered that they contain a considerably more significant amount of antioxidants in comparison with orange juice and olive oil, two of the prime foods which are often used to combat the release of free radicals.
Analysis of water-soluble extracts proves that grasshoppers, silkworms, and mealworms feature the most substantial amount of antioxidant, up to five times when compared to fresh orange juice. Black ants, mealworms, and grasshoppers also feature the highest concentration of polyphenols. Fat-soluble extracts recovered from a giant cicada, African caterpillars and silkworms contain a double amount of antioxidants in comparison with olive oil.
According to statistics, at least 2 billion people are eating insects regularly, and they are a prime source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is the first paper which explores their qualities in comparison to traditional function food. For the paper, the researchers analyzed insects after they removed the inedible part. Vegetarian insects feature a higher amount of antioxidants, and they are starting to appear in supermarkets under various forms. The results were published in a scientific journal.