Aug 8, 2018

Will this be the year when Gwyneth Paltrow and her followers would regularly eat crickets?

Because there’s a study published in Scientific Reports last month stating that eating crickets may be good for your gut. Entitled “Impact of Edible Cricket Consumption on Gut Microbiota in Healthy Adults, a Double-blind, Randomized Crossover Trial,” this study found that these crawlers may increase enzymes and beneficial gut bacteria in the stomach—which help metabolism—and may reduce inflammation in the body.

nolisoliph crickets
Photo courtesy of KQED

Like other insects, crickets contain fibers, like chitin, that are different from the dietary fiber found in fruits and vegetables. These serve as a microbial food source and they promote the growth of probiotics.

[READ: Probiotics helps more than just your tummy, it’s good for your skin, too]

“There is a lot of interest right now in edible insects,” says Valerie Stull, the lead author of the study and a doctoral graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. “It’s gaining traction in Europe and in the US as a sustainable, environmentally friendly protein source compared to traditional livestock.”

It was a six-week study which followed 20 healthy men and women who consumed either a cricket-free control breakfast or 25 g. of crickets in a powdered form made into muffins and shakes every day for 14 days.

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“Results demonstrate cricket consumption is tolerable and non-toxic at the studied dose. Cricket powder supported the growth of the probiotic bacterium, Bifidobacterium animalis, which increased 5.7-fold,” the study states.

Besides, eating insects is not too farfetched an idea. In Pampanga, they have various dishes for kamaru or rice field crickets. The natives of Nueva Ecija eat the protein-rich salagubang or beetles. Meanwhile, people in Zambia, South Africa love flying termites.

The study conducted the first clinical trial of its kind (evaluating the impact of edible cricket consumption on the human gut microbiota) so the researchers highly suggest that further study is needed to understand the crickets’ effects and the processes’ latent mechanisms.


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Featured image courtesy of Pacific Gourmet

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TAGS: crickets as food probiotics scientific reports