March 24, 2020 3 min read
As most of you have already gathered, bee pollen is picked up by honeybees and brought back to the hive to be packed and used as a food source for the colony. Nothing quite like a covert pun gone undetected.
How is bee pollen collected by us humans? Well, worker bees collect more pollen than the hive needs, so bee keepers are able to collect the surplus in a mesh trap. As the bees enter a hive, they pass through a bank of specific sized holes where the pollen is gently removed and falls into a collection tray.
People typically take a bee pollen supplement, or sprinkle a tablespoon over their oatmeal or acai bowl. Bee pollen is made up of carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A single teaspoon of bee pollen contains over 2.5 billion nutrient-packed flower pollen granules. Bee pollen is a nutrient powerhouse of eighteen vitamins including a B complex, all essential amino acids, fatty acids, RNA/DNA nucleic acids, enzymes, and is at least 25% protein.
Let’s go into the details for some of these benefits.
May Improve Nutrient Utilization, Metabolism and Longevity
Studies suggest that bee pollen may improve your body’s utilization of nutrients. In rat studies, iron-deficient rats absorbed 60% more iron when pollen was added to their diet. On top of that, healthy rats fed pollen absorbed more calcium and phosphorus from their diet.
Pollen contains high-quality proteins and amino acids that may aid such absorption. Other animal studies have demonstrated that bee pollen may improve muscle growth, speed up the metabolism and promote longevity.
May help with Inflammation
One study found that bee pollen has anti-inflammatory properties comparable to over-the-counter meds. Other studies show that bee pollen may help soothe burn wounds, relieve menopause symptoms, and even decrease multiple sclerosis symptoms in patients.
May help Strengthen the Immune System
One study found that bee pollen naturally inhibits allergic reactions in mice. Another study suggests that bee pollen has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. These properties could help kill off bacteria and viruses, such as staphylococcus aureus, which causes food poisoning.
May help Protect the Liver
Animal studies have found that bee pollen may enhance its detoxifying abilities. In older animals, bee pollen boosted the liver’s antioxidant defense and removed more waste products from the blood.
Other animal studies show that bee pollen antioxidants safeguard the liver against damage from several toxic substances, including drug overdoses. Bee pollen promotes liver healing as well.
Bee Pollen is typically safe for everyone except when it comes to people with allergies. People with pollen or bee sting allergies should avoid pollen products, as they may cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, shortness of breath or anaphylaxis.
Bee pollen contains many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it incredibly healthy. Studies have linked bee pollen and its compounds to health benefits such as decreased inflammation, as well as improved immunity, menopausal symptoms and wound healing.
However, most of the evidence surrounding bee pollen and its components stems from test-tube and animal studies. More human research is needed to clarify its health benefits. That being said, bee pollen is a great addition to your diet and can be easily sprinkled over cereals, yogurt, or oatmeal, added to homemade granola, or mixed into smoothies.
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