There is always a new superfood that people are touting. They say that it could be the natural discovery that saves the world.
How do you determine what is an actual superfood and what is just an industry scam meant to get you to buy their products?
Doing your own research always helps.
That’s where we come in with the bees. Bee pollen is said to be the next big superfood. With what we know about the huge impact bees have, the intense positive health effects that honey has, bee pollen seems to fall right in line.
A superfood, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is as a nutrient-rich food that is thought to be especially beneficial for a person’s health and overall well-being.
If you are wondering if bee pollen qualifies, keep reading to discover how incredible this unknown superfood can really be.
What is Bee Pollen?
You have heard of honey before, a tasty sugar replacement that can be flavored with all sorts of natural additives, making it blueberry flavored, raspberry, it can be creamy or smooth.
We all know how beneficial it is and most of us love it on toast, in our tea or sweetening our coffee. But what do we really know about bee pollen?
For most of us, it is pretty much nothing.
“Isn’t bee pollen what honey is made from?”
Yes and no. Honey bees that are born to go out and forage in nature will collect pollen from different plants and bring it back to the hive.
Then, it is stored and often used as food for the colony during the colder months.
What bee pollen actually is, is a mixture of pollen from the harvested flowers, nectar brought with from the flowers, enzymes, mixed with a bit of honey, wax and bee secretions from being in the hive.
The traction that has recently started to gain in the health community isn’t surprising, since it has been found to contain loads of nutrients, amino acids and beneficial enzymes.
Health Benefits of Bee Pollen
When you consider whether it should be on your agenda to add bee pollen to your meal plan, it would be helpful to know the positive effects bee pollen can bring you.
Below, we have compiled a list of some of the most universally applicable health benefits that are inherent to bee pollen. If some of these resound with you, it might be the right time to bring bee pollen into your diet on a regular basis.
Some healthcare professionals have been supporting bee pollen as the new way to easily get your vitamin top-up from day to day.
The reason for this is that bee pollen contains just about all of the nutritional components that are commonly a part of a vitamins set-up, without the additional chemicals.
Bee pollen contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, enzymes and even antioxidants. In total, it is said to contain over 250 biologically active components.
Science Direct gives us a breakdown of what compounds make up bee pollen, so you know exactly what you can expect to take in.
- Carbs: 40%
- Protein: 35%
- Water: 4-10%
- Fats: 5%
- Other substances: 5-15%
The “other substances” category is made up of all those vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that we have been talking about.
Supplement Your Skincare
When it comes to skincare, plenty of us know that to really have a great complexion doesn’t just rely on what we apply topically, but also what we put in our bodies.
We know that eating a lot of greasy and/or sugary foods may equate to breakouts. But what about things we can ingest that are helpful?
Turns out, bee pollen is one of those substances.
This is because of the amino acid, called proline, that is an active agent in bee pollen.
Proline is a building block for collagen synthesis, which means that it helps to boost how firm your skin is. A great treatment to keep you looking young and supple.
Some people have even started to use bee pollen as a facial scrub to work as a sort of toner, clearing away blemishes and acne.
If you are looking for something like this to supplement your skin routine try this Queen Bee Overnight Therapy.
Allergy treatment has been associated with honey for many years, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to many that bee pollen is also an effective treatment.
The process that takes place is pretty much the same for both of them.
Ingesting honey and bee pollen allows you to begin the process of “desensitisation”. This means that by taking a small dose of the allergen that is contained within the pollen, you are building up the antibodies to increase your immunity to the allergen.
This means that if you are allergic to pollen or dust particles of something that is commonly found in a specific area, it will only work to get bee pollen harvested from hives in that area.
By harvesting local honeys and pollen, you will have a much higher chance of that substance containing your allergen.
The CDC has found that 1 in every 4 deaths in the U.S. are caused from heart disease.
Many heart diseases are linked to high blood lipids and blood cholesterol. It has been a recent point of interest that studies have found bee pollen helping to lower these risk factors.
Bee pollen has been found to lower blood cholesterol with a concentration on the “bad” cholesterol, LDL and increase HDL levels to bring a better balance back to the blood.
The antioxidants that are contained in bee pollen also help to keep lipids from oxidizing.
Basically what that translates to is that your blood vessels are at a lowered risk of being restricted due to lipids clumping together because of oxidation.
Pump It Up With Protein
We have touched on the protein that is contained in bee pollen, but that wasn’t enough to do it justice.
It is such a rich source of protein that it could begin to replace some of the other protein sources that have been touted to be an important part of everyday diets!
It is made up of 10-40% protein, containing all of the essential amino acids in a form that the body can put to use.
This means that bee pollen often contains more beneficial amino acids per equal weight of beef and eggs.
We aren’t going to eat an entire serving of bee pollen equivalent to that of a steak or a couple of scrambled eggs.
However, it is still extremely beneficial for muscle growth and hormone production, as well as antibody production vital to our healing processes.
If you want to read more about wound healing and infection prevention, check out list point seven in this article by healthline.
Considering the fact that Americans normally eat twice the maximum amount of recommended proteins in a day, getting a smaller serving when you take in bee pollen may be a good thing!
In recent studies, bee pollen has been found to have a pretty impressive anti-inflammatory effect.
Traditionally, it has been used to lower inflammation and reduce swelling. It has even been compared to some nonsteroidal drugs that are commonly prescribed for anti-inflammatory purposes.
The reason for these properties is the presence of the antioxidant quercetin and the bioflavonoid, rutin. Together, these two are tremendously helpful, working to suppress inflammation and treat issues such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Positive Effects for Women
Bee pollen can have a positive healing and nutritional impact for everyone.
It has been promoted as a reproductive aid, and has been shown to act as a stimulant for both male and female reproductive organs.
For men, this results in an increased libido, while for women it will equate to a boost in fertility.
As a woman finds herself in a later stage of life, she may find that bee pollen supplements make menopause more tolerable.
Women have reported that bee pollen improved their menopause symptoms, like hot flashes, sexual pain and even forgetfulness.
The New Coffee Bean
We are all well acquainted with caffeine, some of us struggling to keep it out of our every day diet.
Bee pollen doesn’t contain caffeine, but still manages to act as an effective, and natural, energy booster.
Part of the reason for its effectiveness is that it contains a high amount of helpful carbohydrates.
Beyond this though, it contains B vitamins.
B vitamins work to help your body process the food that you eat and turn it into energy instead of adding to your body’s fat stores.
Bee pollen helps your body to work more efficiently. Whether it is getting you ready for your first 10K, or getting you through the daily grind, you will feel more prepared in the long run.
Beyond looking at the vitamins and nutrients that help to boost your body up to its daily needs, bee pollen is an effective immunity booster.
Bee pollen has antimicrobial properties, along with antimicrobial and antimutagenic properties.
It helps to fortify your body, actively working against salmonella and other compounds that cause sicknesses.
If you are on the lookout for even more of the positive effects that bee pollen can have for you, check out this article.
Has it Earned the Title “Superfood”?
So, what do you think?
Has bee pollen earned the title of “superfood”?
When we get down to the nitty gritty of the defintion, bee pollen is absolutely loaded with nutritional benefits that not only improve your health, but also add to your well-being.
From lowered menopausal symptoms to increased immunity, a needed energy boost that packs a vitamin and protein punch may be just what you need to start getting through the day a little easier.
Is All Bee Pollen Created Equally?
We mentioned that if you are taking bee pollen to help lessen allergies you will want to get it from local sources.
Otherwise, the area that you buy it from isn’t going to matter a great deal in the end.
When it comes to sourcing your bee pollen, the important things to look for is going to be how they treat their bees, if the company adds anything to the pollen supplement, and how it is processed.
Bee pollen is a positive supplement overall, but adding unnecessary chemicals doesn’t help anyone out.
A great place to find quality bee pollen is through Royal Bee. Royal Bee is a luxury gift shop that works hard to celebrate one of the world’s most precious pollinators, the honey bee.
They offer Tea Blossom Bee Pollen Granules that give you all of the positive effects of bee pollen at the same time as keeping the harvesting process clean for the bees.
How to Use Bee Pollen
Bee pollen is almost always used in a granule form, but can be found in capsules and tablets.
To keep those granules tasting palatable, many people like to add them to the inside of their smoothies or protein shakes at the end of a workout.
Some suggest topping oatmeal, yogurts, or even salads with a healthy sprinkling of granules to add some extra nutritional content to a simple meal.
Scientists suggest soaking the granules in warm water for a few hours to help along the release of more of the nutrients.
To get some more ideas and more information on the positive health benefits, check out this article by 1MD.
Safety Considerations of Bee Pollen
While bee pollen is considered extremely beneficial for most people, there are still some tips to keep in mind.
As mentioned before, you will want to ensure that your bee pollen is coming from a reputable, and safe source.
It is important that wherever they harvest it from isn’t coming from an area with high amounts of harmful chemicals being sprayed on the fields around it.
Also, if you are highly allergic to pollen or even to bee stings, you will want to talk to your doctor before taking bee pollen supplements.
It is also recommended to be careful of bee pollen during pregnancy.