This is the time of year that a lot of us are making new year's resolutions to improve our health. If you haven't made a resolution yet or are looking for another, one we highly suggest is adding bee pollen to your daily diet. Bee pollen is one our most favorite superfoods. Not only is it made by bees, but believe it or not, it also contains nearly all the essential nutrients required by humans!
What is Bee Pollen?
Bee pollen is made by honey bees as food to feed their young. In the hive, this food is commonly known as “bee bread”. As bees travel from flower to flower collecting nectar, not only do they pollinate, but they also collect a bit of pollen for themselves. They collect flower pollen from plant anthers, mix it with a small amount of nectar and then pack it into baskets called corbiculae located on their hind legs. When they return to the hive, they will pack it into the honeycomb and cover it with a thin layer of honey and wax. This "bee bread" is the main source of protein for the hive. Beekeepers gather pollen for human consumption by using large screens that collect the granules from the bees’ legs as they enter their hives. This collection doesn’t harm the bees and only a negligible amount of pollen is taken to ensure the bees have plenty of food to feed their young. Bee pollen will vary in color, taste, and texture depending on where it is collected from.
Should I eat Bee Pollen?
Always talk with your doctor before taking bee pollen. Bee pollen is packed with nutrition. It is known as an apitherapeutic product because it is made by bees and has a unique natural chemical composition that is commonly used for medicinal purposes. There is no other food on the planet quite like bee pollen and it has never been replicated in a lab. This unique composition includes over 200 different substances including proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids and fatty acids, phenolic compounds, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
Average Composition of Bee Pollen
- 30% digestible carbohydrates
- 26% sugars (fructose and glucose)
- 23% protein (including 10% essential amino acids)
- 5% lipids (including essential fatty acids)
- 2% phenolic compounds (including flavonoids)
- 1.6% minerals (including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, and selenium)
- 0.6% water-soluble vitamins and acids (including vitamins B1, B2, B6, and C)
- 0.1% fat-soluble vitamins (including vitamins A, E, and D)
How should I use it?
Bee pollen is most commonly eaten as granules or powder mixed with food. When consuming bee pollen, always start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage to make sure you don't have any adverse side effects. For adults, we suggest taking 1 to 2 teaspoons per day. For children, we suggest a 1/2 teaspoon per day. With a slightly sweet, grassy flavor and crunchy texture, it is delicious sprinkled on hot cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruit. It is also an amazing ingredient to add to smoothies.
*The information above has not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and is not approved to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. The information provided is for informational purposes only is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use this information for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.