Edible insects could offer more antioxidants than orange juice


Crunch time: Crickets are rich in antioxidants says new study (Picture: Charles Haynes/Flickr)

It may sound like the nightmare stuff of a Bush Tucker Trial, but swapping your morning glass of OJ for a handful of critters has a substantial health benefit, says a new study.

Research from the University of Teramo in Italy found that crickets have antioxidant power five times higher than fresh orange juice.

What’s more, the squirmish study found black ants, mealworms and grasshoppers have the highest levels of the antioxidant polyphenols – after they were grounded down to produce water soluble extracts, that is.

But it doesn’t stop there. The studywhich focused on commercially available edible insects – also found that silkworms and the fat from African caterpillars have twice the antioxidant power of olive oil.

Antioxidant-rich foods are important for protecting cells against free radicals, which can play a role in heart disease and cancer.

Researchers decided to take up the study after they saw a global rise in entomophagy (the practice of eating insects and invertebrates) with people actively trying to reduce their carbon footprint from animal food consumption.

Professor Mauro Serafini, the study’s lead author, said: ‘At least two billion people – a quarter of the world’s population – regularly eat insects.

‘The rest of us will need a bit more encouragement.

‘Edible insects are an excellent source of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and fibre.

‘But until now, nobody had compared them with classical functional foods such as olive oil or orange juice in terms of antioxidant activity.

‘In the future, we might also adapt dietary regimens for insect rearing in order to increase their antioxidant content for animal or human consumption.’

MORE: The UK’s most vegan-friendly city revealed – and it’s not London

MORE: London pub pop-up to serve ice cream topped with fried chicken, chips and hot sauce

MORE: Would you dare attempt this 4,671 calorie deep-fried munchie box?





READ SOURCE

READ  Pickle juice and Marmite: the 11 best hangover cures – by pub landlords

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here