When I hear the word “Superfood”, I can’t help but sigh. More often than not this label is nothing more than clever marketing hype (promoting the same age defying anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals commonly found in fresh fruits and vegetables), however I am pleased to report that bee pollen, seems to be the exception.
Long ago the Greeks and Romans called natural bee pollen “the life-giving dust” or the secret “ambrosia” eaten to acquire eternal youth. Pollen was entombed with pharaohs, it was used by the American Indians, for centuries by tribes in China and even the father of medicine, Hippocrates praised Bee Pollen for it’s healing benefits.
Bee pollen is a complete food and contains many elements that products of animal origin do not possess. Bee pollen is richer in proteins than any animal source. It contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body.
Here are just 10 amazing benefits of Bee Pollen…
1. Energy Enhancer – The range of nutrients found within bee pollen makes it a great natural energiser. The carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins can help keep you going all day by enhancing stamina and fighting off fatigue.
2. Improves Strength – Bee Pollen has also been known to help improve strength of athletes. The British Sports Council recorded increases in strength of as high as 40 to 50 percent in those taking bee pollen regularly.
3. Boosts Respiratory System Health – Bee pollen contains a high quantity of antioxidants that may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the tissues of the lungs, preventing the onset of asthma.
4. Treating Allergies – Pollen reduces the presence of histamine, ameliorating many allergies.
5. Strengthens capillaries – Bee Pollen contains large amounts of Rutin; an antioxidant bioflavonoid that helps strengthen capillaries, blood vessels, assists with circulatory problems and corrects cholesterol levels. According to Dr Joseph Mercola, Even if bee pollen had none of its other vital ingredients, its content of rutin alone would justify taking at least a teaspoon daily. Pollen is extremely rich in rutin and may have the highest content of any source.
6. Immune System Booster – Pollen is good for the intestinal flora and thereby supports the immune system. According to holistic health expert Dr.Joseph Mercola, bee pollen has antibiotic-type properties that can help protect the body from contracting viruses. It’s also rich in antioxidants that protect the cells from the damaging oxidation of free radicals.
7. Skin Soother – Bee pollen is often used in topical products that aim to treat inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations like psoriasis or eczema. The amino acids and vitamins protect the skin and aid the regeneration of cells. ?
8. Reduces Cravings – By boosting the value of each nutrient present in the food you eat, bee pollen also eliminates cravings.
9. Boosts Metabolic Fire – In addition to healthful vitamins, minerals and protein, bee pollen contains enzymes that can aid in digestion. Enzymes assist your body in getting all the nutrients you need from the food that you eat. It also speeds caloric burn by lighting and stoking the metabolic fires.
10. Prostate Aid – Men who suffer from benign prostate hyperplasia can find relief by using bee pollen. Bee pollen can help reduce inflammation to stop frequent urges to urinate.
11. Infertility Problems – Bee pollen has been known to stimulate and restores ovarian function therefore may be used to assist in accelerating pregnancy. As well as being a hormonal booster it is also a great aphrodisiac!
Bee pollen is a food and acts faster and more effectively when taken at mealtime and especially with fruit, which lets it gently, perform a little cleansing of the intestinal flora.
It is important to recognise that a one-teaspoon dose of pollen takes one bee working eight hours a day for one month to gather. Each bee pollen pellet contains over two million flower pollen grains and one teaspoonful contains over 2.5 billion grains of flower pollen.
It is important to note that beekeepers are able to remove pollen from hives without harming the bees or disturbing their routine.
Before taking a full dose of pollen it is very important to test for a possible extreme allergic reaction by ingesting just one pellet. Then gradually build up over a week or so (a granule or two at a time) to the correct dose of around 1 teaspoon daily.
Don’t cook with the granules or add powdered granules to anything that requires heat. Heat destroys the active enzymes and reduces the nutrient value.
Since your pollen is really a type of food and there are some fats in it. It is important to keep it refrigerated.
If you have any concerns, I always recommend checking with your Naturopath to see whether or not Bee Pollen is right for you.