Or more specifically, the many amazing benefits of bee pollen! Yes, bee pollen — collected on the legs of honey bees. These tiny granules pack more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients per ounce than any other known natural substance.
“Modern research has found that bee pollen is rich in important health-giving phytochemicals. Some phytochemicals found in pollen can reduce inflammation and promote detoxification. Others are known to lower cholesterol, stabilize and strengthen capillaries, reduce inflammation, quench free radicals; and are antiviral, antibacterial and anticarcinogenic,” said research scientist C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD.
Though it has recently surfaced as an herbal “fountain of youth” in natural health circles, it is not a new discovery; Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used bee pollen as a healing substance over 2,500 years ago with the belief that it contributed to a longer, healthier life. Moreover, this wonder food is so perfect that some researchers have claimed humans could survive on a diet of solely bee pollen.
A list of the major known nutrients in bee pollen:
- Vitamins: Provitamin A, B-1 Thiamin, B-2 Riboflavin, B-3 Nancin, B-5, B-6 Pyridoxine, B-12 (cyanocobalamine), Pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, F, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin H, Vitamin K, Vitamin PP, Folic Acid, Choline, Inositol, Rutin.
- Minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Iodine, Zinc, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Boron, Silica, and Titanium.
- Other nutrients: 22 Amino Acids, 14 Fatty Acids and 11 Enzymes
Some of the documented benefits:
- weight loss
- increased energy, vitality and stamina
- enhanced immune system
- relief from allergy and asthma systems
- improved sexual function and prostate problems
- improved digestion
- slow the aging process
- prevention of cancer and other diseases
I’ve been known to eat the bee pollen by the spoonful (it tastes a bit like honey infused gram cracker crumbs) for a quick health and energy buzz-zz, but it’s easy to blend into a smoothie if you’re not as crazy about the flavor. A teaspoon (or two) per day should be enough to reap the benefits.
When purchasing bee pollen, please be cognisant of where it was sourced. Like any consumed food, seeking products that originate from an environment free of pesticides, chemicals and other toxins is the healthiest choice. In addition, I don’t recommend the non-refrigerated varieties as many vital nutrients will be lost due to heat and shelf-life. Many natural food co-ops have organic, locally sourced bee pollen available in the bulk refrigerated section — the most economically and environmentally friendly option. And, depending on your area, Whole Foods usually carries a selection of fresh bee pollen in the refrigerated Whole Body section (I know — I’ve been to over half of the Whole Foods in the U.S., no joke). My favorites include Y.S. Organic Bee Farms (Midwest and West regions), Stakich Organic Bee Products (Northeast and East regions), and Local Bee Pollen, Buzzer Bee Inc.(Southeast regions) .
If you are allergic to bees, please do not use bee pollen products!
Sources and Additional Information:
- Broadhurst, C. Leigh; PhD. Health and Healing With Bee Products. Alive Books, 2000.
- Elkins, Rita. Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, Propolis, and Honey: An Extraordinary Energy and Health-Promoting Ensemble. Woodland Publishing, 1999.
Online studies and periodicals:
- Bee Pollen as a “promising candidate” in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17639562?ordinalpos=23&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSu
- On prostate health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1699628
- On antioxidant effects: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19243635?ordinalpos=6&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
- On allergies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19367658?ordinalpos=5&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum