A new study shows that grasshoppers and silkworms are particularly rich in antioxidants. A new reason to dare put them on the menu…
It may not be so easy to bring locusts and silkworm chrysalis to your table. For some people, this is a very horrible thing. They may prefer not to eat this meal.
Admittedly, this insect is the favorite of a few people, but research will not deceive people, and this “horrible” food may be a good source of antioxidants.
Why eat insects?
Entomophagy, eating insects, is attracting increasing interest because it not only conserves agricultural resources but also reduces the ecological impact of animal food on the planet. About 2 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population, already regularly eat insects.
Eating insects would be a sustainable and healthy alternative to meat consumption, which is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Putting insects on your plate and not only more environmentally friendly, but it is also interesting from a nutritional and health point of view. Insects are a good source of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition looked at their antioxidant power.
What does the study say
In this new study, researchers measured the levels of commercially available antioxidants in insects and edible invertebrates. They compared them to those of orange juice and olive oil. The insects were crushed and two parts were extracted: the fat-soluble part and the water-soluble part. The antioxidant activity of each extract was then determined.
Water-soluble extracts from grasshoppers, crickets, and silkworms have the highest antioxidant capacity values: 5 times that of orange juice. These comparisons relate to ground, dry and non-greasy insects. For a similar dilution (88% water), the antioxidant capacity of these insects would represent 75% of that of fresh orange juice. The fats of the silkworm and the giant cicada are twice as antioxidant as olive oil. Antioxidant capacity is higher for herbivorous insects.
The researchers observed that the antioxidant capacity of insects depends on their polyphenol content but also on other compounds.
Although this study suggests that some insects are good sources of antioxidants. However, further work is needed to determine the nature of these antioxidants. In addition, their bioavailability and their effectiveness in humans have not been specifically studied.
It’s too early to say that insects are 100% perfect sources of antioxidants.
What should you do?
Insect consumption is not part of our culture or eating habits. It will certainly take a few barriers to start eating it.
Ecological motivation may probably help some of them. From a nutritional point of view, insects can help us reduce our meat consumption and meet our protein needs just like vegetable proteins (legumes).
Finally, you should know that some restaurants have insects on their menus, and there are recipes for insects.