The Apitherapeutic Superfood to Include
I'm sure you know already that raw honey is a total superfood for your overall wellness. But do you know why this apitherapeutic superfood is so powerful in comparison to filtered or unpasteurized honey? Raw honey is more than just a natural sweetener, it contains many properties from the hive; this sweet nectar is packed with natural bee propolis, royal jelly and bee pollen.
But this blog isn't on honey or natural sweeteners, which you can read more about here. I'm so excited to share with you the amazing properties of the apitherapeutic superstar; bee pollen!
: A branch of alternative medicine that utilizes bee products such as honey, pollen, bee bread, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom.
What is Bee Pollen?
These sweet, vibrant and floral tasting granules naturally contain almost all of the nutrients required for the human body to thrive. There is a theory that if the world ended, and we still had access to bee pollen - that we could survive off just a teaspoon a day.
(I sure don't want to be around to test that theory).
But what exactly is It...
Our little bee friends are quite the workers - when they're out-and-about pollinating, they collect hundreds and sometimes millions of 'pollen grains', from just a single flower! These pollen grains will naturally stick to the tiny hairs on the back of their hind legs, and our bee friends will secrete a sticky substance which helps to pack and bind the collected pollen into a pollen granule.
Carrying just one or two little granules at a time, the bees travel back to their hive - the pollen is now packed into little honeycomb cells, and thin layer of honey and beeswax is applied to seal the granules before some natural anaerobic fermentation begins. This end bee-product is known also as "bee bread" and this formula functions as a protein source for the colony.
That's cool. But how on earth is it harvested?
Beekeepers will often attach a pollen trap in the doorway of a hive, aka a small box that is fitted with a screen, which allows the bees to enter - but will harmlessly remove the pollen granules from their hind legs. Beekeepers are careful to collect only small amounts of pollen from any given hive, to ensure that the bee's food source in not deprived.
Every year a single bee colony will produce 2-15 pounds of pollen. In one day, 50-250 grams are produced.
Pollen ranges in both colour and size- so each granule is completely unique. You can find bee pollen in fresh, frozen and dehydrated forms. On a nutrition note, bee pollen contains over 250 substances; including amino acids, lipids, vitamins, macro and micronutrients, and flavonoids.
Talk about some bee therapy.
Here's the IMPRESSIVE composition of bee pollen:
- 30 percent digestible carbohydrates
- 26 percent sugars (mainly fructose and glucose)
- 23 percent protein (including 10 percent of essential amino acids)
- 5 percent lipids (including essential fatty acids)
- 2 percent phenolic compounds (including flavonoids)
- 1.6 percent minerals (including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, silicon and selenium)
- 0.6 percent water-soluble vitamins and acids (including B1, B2, B6 and C)
- 0.1 percent fat-soluble vitamins (including vitamins A, E and D)
That's all great, but let's translate that into some real benefits.
5 Reasons to add Bee Pollen to your Routine
The anti-inflammatory effects of bee pollen (thanks to the flavonoids) have been compared to NSAID drugs like Naproxen! Get on track to turning off inflammation with the addition of bee pollen. Best when practiced in conjunction with a whole-food diet, regular exercise and some green juice!
Enhanced Energy Levels
A wide range of nutrients found within bee pollen make it a wonderfully natural energizer. The carbohydrates, protein and bee-vitamins can provide the boost that you need to power through the day. It's anti-stress effects also work to fight fatigue, improve stamina and nourish your adrenals.
Pollen reduces the presence of histamine - everything from asthma, allergies and sinus problems have the potential to be cleared with the introduction and use of bee pollen! It is also wonderfully effective against a wide range of respiratory diseases.
Next-Level Immune Support
Bee pollen supports a healthy digestion and intestinal flora - which builds a strong immunity. Bee pollen has antibiotic-type properties that can help protect the body from contracting viruses, and since it's also rich in antioxidants - bee pollen may protect cell oxidation from free radicals.
In addition to healthful vitamins, minerals and protein - bee pollen also contains enzymes that can aid in digestion. Enzymes assist your body in breaking down and absorbing all the nutrients from your healthy food choices. The healing properties of bee pollen are also beneficial for decreasing inflammation in the gut, which all-in-all helps you to achieve Better Digestion.
Is digestion your biggest concern? It's time to get on track to Better Digestion and heal your gut with my latest online program.
How to Take Bee Pollen
It's time to naturally boost your nutrient intake! Bee pollen is a functional food and works best when taken at mealtime and especially with fruit (the fruit fibres reinforce the positive activities of pollen).
If it's your first time with this new functional food - you must start slow - to ensure it's a fit for you.
HOW TO BEGIn
- Start with just 1 or 2 granules - place them under your tongue and allow them to dissolve (or chew them). If you do not experience a reaction, you can now double the amount of granules you consume on day two. Continue this for at least a week to build up your tolerance.
- For general health and well-being, 1 - 2 heaping teaspoons of the raw granules per day will be more than enough. You can mix them into a fresh pressed vegetable juice, add them to your smoothie, yogurt or enjoy as is! (Or enjoy a teaspoon of this therapeutic raw honey each day!)
- Bee sure to support local bee products! You can find bee pollen in a fresh, frozen or dehydrated form at the farmers market or directly from the beekeeper!
- Thanks to the world-wide net - you can now also find high quality bee pollen on Amazon - some of my favourites are this Organic Bee Pollen from Honey Bunny (Product of Canada) and this Bee Pollen from Dutchman's Gold (Product of Canada & the USA).
Potential Side Effects of Bee Pollen
It’s safe for most people to take bee pollen by mouth for a 30 to 60 day period, depending on the dose.
The biggest safety concerns with bee pollen are allergic reactions - which may be an issue for people who are allergic to pollen. If you notice itching, swelling, shortness of breath or light-headedness after consuming bee pollen, discontinue use until you’ve spoken to your health care provider.
Pregnant women should avoid bee pollen.
More Bee-Loving Blog Posts
Holisticole Online Programs
Top 10 benefits of Bee Pollen - Kate B. Forsyth