Valerie Stull, a doctoral graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, is the leading author of a new surprising study that asserted that eating crickets is beneficial to your gut. And there couldn’t be anyone else more appropriate for such research than Valarie who ate her first insect while she was 12.
“I was on a trip with my parents in Central America, and we were served fried ants. I remember being so grossed out initially, but when I put the ant in my mouth, I was really surprised because it tasted like food – and it was good,” Valerie recalls the experience.
Now, Valerie Stull’s study showed that the habit of eating crickets is beneficial for gut bacteria and might also reduce inflammation in the body.
Edible insects become more and more popular in many parts of the world
“There is a lot of interest right now in edible insects. It’s gaining traction in Europe and the US as a sustainable, environmentally friendly protein source compared to traditional livestock,” said Valarie Stull.
According to the studies on edible insects, these creatures are excellent sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. However, Stull and her co-workers focused on showing the benefits of eating insects scientifically.
“This study is important because insects represent a novel component in Western diets and their health effects in human populations haven’t really been studied,” explained Tiffany Weir, the study’s co-author.
Eating crickets might be beneficial for your gut, the new study revealed
According to the new research, crickets, pretty much like any other edible insects, contains a specific type of fibers, chitin, which is different from the conventional dietary fiber from sources such as fruits and vegetables. Fibers are essential for the digestive system because they support the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
The scientists discovered that eating crickets might lead to a healthier gut by boosting the metabolic enzyme and Bifidobacterium animalis good bacteria, both linked to healthy intestines. Also, they detected a reduction in the TNF-alpha inflammatory protein.