In some Asian countries, swallow's nest is considered one of the prestigious foods. The benefits of swallow nests that are believed by the public are as nutritious food as well as alternative medicine. This food comes from the secretions of the salivary glands (saliva) of certain species of swallows.
The food source that is often used as soup is dominated by protein content of up to about 60 percent. The rest are carbohydrates and fats. In addition, swallow's nest also contains amino acids, calcium, sodium, and potassium. The nutritional content in it varies, depending on the type and the place where the swallow breeds.
Apart from being food, swallow's nest is also believed to have various health benefits. Some of the benefits of swallow's nest have been supported by research conducted by scientists.
In a study, it was found that swallow's nest is a food ingredient that has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The study was conducted on mice that ate a high-fat diet. The mice were studied for three months to see how the impact of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of swiftlet's nest.
The results showed that the benefits of swallow's nest can prevent obesity associated with inflammation and oxidative stress in rats. This opens the opportunity to make swallow's nest as a supplement to prevent obesity in humans. Of course, these findings still require further testing to confirm their effects in humans.
Another study that also used mice as experimental material, showed a positive effect of swallow's nest. This study highlights the use of swallow's nest to reduce the risk of insulin disorders, such as diabetes.
From the results of this study, it was found that the benefits of swallow's nest can improve insulin levels in experimental animals that are given a diet high in fat and sugar. This effect is predicted to prevent insulin resistance.
However, human studies to determine the benefits of bird's nest against diabetes have not been carried out, and this fact still requires further verification.
A study found the potential benefits of swallow's nest to be used as a treatment for osteoarthritis. This is based on the presence of certain components in swallow's nest which are suspected to reduce the severity of osteoarthritis and help stimulate cartilage growth. This research is only in the research stage in the laboratory.
Besides being believed to be able to help overcome the three diseases mentioned above, another benefit of swallow's nest is to increase endurance. Even a study in the laboratory concluded that swallow's nest can be used as a therapy to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, although clinical research to prove this does not yet exist.
The benefits of swallow's nest are indeed good for health, but be careful in consuming swallow's nest, especially for children. This is because swallow's nest contains protein with properties that resemble the allergy-causing protein in eggs.
In addition, the benefits of bird's nest as an alternative medicine so far have not been supported by accurate scientific evidence. Therefore, you should consult a doctor before consuming swallow's nest as a complementary supplement for the treatment of a disease.