A handful of bee pollen is like a whole shop of healthy foods. With the addition of roughage and water, the human body can only survive on honeybee pollen. Almost all the essential nutrients humans require to maintain optimal health are present in it, in perfect balance. This unique natural product can be an excellent addition to a balanced diet.
Bee pollen – Nutrition facts
Bee pollen has a very high energy value, a good amount of protein and zero fat content. High carbs and medium sugar. A good amount of fibre. Bee pollen has a medium amount of magnesium and calcium and a great amount of phosphorus.
Bee pollen – Good news
In recent years, scientists have published studies on the alleged beneficial properties of bee pollen. However, these studies have mainly been conducted on animals and have not yet been proven in humans.
1Protects your liver
The liver is responsible for the filtration of toxins from the body. A study conducted on rats found that bee pollen helps maintain a healthy liver and may even aid in the healing process in the case of liver damage. The scientists reported that the rats had no side effects when given bee pollen, compared to silibinin, a drug that also contains antioxidants but can cause harm.
2Helps treat cancer
Bee pollen may have potential applications in the treatment and prevention of cancers that arise from abnormal cell proliferation. Studies have shown that bee pollen extracts inhibit tumour growth and stimulate apoptosis – programmed cell death – in prostate, colorectal and leukaemic cancers.
3Boosts the immune system
In one study, bee pollen was found to naturally suppress allergic reactions in mice. According to another study, bee pollen has antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties. These properties can help to destroy bacteria and viruses such as golden staphylococcus, which causes food poisoning.
4Improves nutrient use
Iron-deficient rats absorbed more iron when pollen was added to their diet. This increase is probably because pollen contains vitamin C and bioflavonoids (any of a group of water-soluble yellow compounds, present in citrus fruits, rose hips, and other plants that maintain the resistance of capillary walls to permeation and change of pressure in mammals), which increase iron absorption.
Mice and rats fed pollen were shown to have higher levels of vitamin C and magnesium in the thymus, heart muscle and skeletal muscle as well as higher haemoglobin (the iron-containing protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen in the body) and more red blood cells compared to animals fed a standard diet.
Bee pollen has been successfully used for hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) and atherosclerosis. In patients who did not respond to the anti-sclerotic drug Grofibrate (fenofibrate), pollen reduced lipid and cholesterol levels by 30%.
Bee pollen may act similarly to anti-inflammatory drugs. In one study conducted on rats, scientists found that bee pollen extract reduced inflammation in rats with swollen paws. A study on mice found that bee pollen has an anti-inflammatory effect in the treatment of liver disease.
7Has vitamins and antioxidants
The health-promoting value of bee pollen is derived from a wide range of secondary plant metabolites (tocopherol, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, biotin and folic acid, polyphenols, carotenoid pigments and phytosterols) as well as enzymes and coenzymes contained in bee pollen.
Bee pollen also has very high antioxidant properties, similar to those of fermented foods. Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals found in plant foods, usually red or dark-coloured, as well as fermented foods.
Some common antioxidants include:
flavanols (found in chocolate)
resveratrol (found in wine)
lycopene (found in tomatoes)
In addition, bee pollen contains 10.4% of essential amino acids such as methionine, lysine, threonine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan. These protein elements are essential for life and the body cannot synthesise them on its own.
It is important to note the chemical composition of one of the best-known therapeutic remedies, bee pollen, is highly dependent on the plant source and geographical origin as well as other factors such as climatic conditions, soil type, race, and bee activity.
8Helps wound healing
Bee pollen has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can also help your body heal wounds. For example, animal studies have shown that bee pollen extract is as effective in treating burn wounds as silver sulfadiazine – a pharmaceutical product and a gold standard in treating burns. It also causes far fewer side effects than the medication.
The anti-microbial properties of bee pollen can also prevent infections – the main risk factor that can impair the healing of scratches, cuts, abrasions and burns.
Bee pollen – Not-so-bad news
Although bee pollen is a healthy natural product, some people may experience side effects from it.
The only real danger in consuming bee pollen can be an allergy to bee bites. Bee pollen granules can cause the same allergic reaction as a bee sting.
Also, people who cannot tolerate honey or are allergic to ragweed and chrysanthemum should avoid bee pollen.
Fun & curious facts about bee pollen
Bee pollen comes from the pollen that is collected on the body of bees as they fly from one flower to another. Bee pollen may also contain bee saliva. It is important not to confuse bee pollen with natural honey, honeycomb, bee venom or royal jelly.
The taste of bee pollen can vary depending on what type of plant it comes from. It can be bitter or can have a sweet, nutty flavour.
Let’s sum bee pollen up
Pollen is one of the most unique products bees provide for humans, containing vitamins and antioxidants in a wide variety of compositions. If you include bee pollen in your diet, it will help protect you from cancer, keep your liver healthy, improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and help wounds and burns heal quicker. People who are allergic to bee stings, honey, ragweed, and chrysanthemum should not consume bee pollen.
Not enough? Here is more!
Here is a video of Dr. Eric Berg who specialises in Healthy Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting. He is the director of Dr. Berg’s Nutritionals and a best-selling amazon.com author. In this video, Dr. Berg will tell you about the amazing benefits of bee pollen and how it can benefit your health.
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