Munching on ants, grasshopper could be the solution to protecting yourself against Cancer. A new series of experiments by Italian scientists show that the six-legged invertebrate contain high concentrations of antioxidants, an important component for reducing the risk of cancer. Given the insects rich components of antioxidants food scientists believe western consumers will have to begin incorporating insects into their diet in coming years.
Following the claim that ants and grasshoppers contain high amount of Cancer reducing components, a group at the University of Rome set out to discover the invertebrates’ antioxidant potential and found that after grinding down the insects, many had several times the concentration of antioxidants found in orange juice or olive oil, two of the items most frequently recommended to limit free radicals.
In the findings that was published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, the researchers add that water-soluble extracts of grasshoppers, silkworm and crickets displayed the highest values of antioxidant capacity, five-fold higher than fresh orange juice.
While grasshoppers, black ants and mealworms contain the highest levels of total polyphenols. Silkworm, giant cicada and Africa caterpillars also showed an antioxidant capacity twice as that of olive oil.
Professor Mauro Serafini, who led the research, 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 fiber.
“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’’ the researchers added.