Touted as the ‘Nature’s fountain of youth’, bee pollen is now described as one of the most nutritious super food available on Earth. It is believed to lend enormous health benefits and even cure certain human diseases. Its usage can be traced to Egyptian and Chinese civilizations. Records state that even Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used it about 2500 years ago to treat his patients. Let’s understand what exactly it is and its various benefits.
What is Bee Pollen?
Pollen is a dust-sized seed which is found on the male reproductive organ or stamen of every flower. When bees hop on the flower to collect nectar, these yellow, orange, tan or brown colored seeds stick to the legs of the bees to create bee pollen. These often get mixed with some nectar and bee saliva. Different from bee venom, royal jelly or honey; the nutrition content of bee pollen varies significantly as the pollen come from different flowers.
Bee Pollen Nutrition Facts
Bee pollen is supposed to be as beneficial for humans as it is for bees. About 55 percent of its content is carbohydrates, 35-40 percent proteins, 2 percent fats and rest are various other antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and numerous other beneficial ingredients which are yet to be identified. Even though these have been artificially manufactured by humans, they do not render the same benefits as the natural bee pollen. It has numerous enzymes like catalase, pectase, pepsin, saccharase, amines, xanthophylls, amines and many others which lend its nutritive and health benefits. It is believed to be made of 250 substances. Its nutrition breakdown is done on 1 teaspoon of bee pollen, which gives 16 calories. 55 percent of it is from carbohydrates, 14 percent fats and 31 percent from proteins. Its detailed nutrition facts for 1 teaspoon are:-
Here is the List of Bee Pollen Benefits for Health and Skin:
Bee pollen has amazing health benefits. Few of the noteworthy ones are listed below.
A storehouse of vitamins and minerals, the bee pollen can easily nourish any body with poor dietary consumption. It can regulate hormones as well as rectify and boost the metabolic activity. This is impacted by the lecithin component of the bee pollen which is known to promote the burning of subcutaneous fat and facilitate better absorption of nutrients with efficient excretion of body wastes. The diuretic capabilities of bee pollen as well as its natural amino acid, phenylalanine helps in arresting food cravings and hunger pangs. Thus, cumulatively, you experience weight loss.
How to use
- For optimum results, one teaspoon of ground bee pollen should be taken preferably with fruits during meals, three times a day. The natural fruit fibres enhance its activity.
- Else it can also be ground and mixed with honey in the ratio of 1:1 or with yogurt/cottage cheese in the ratio 1:4 and then consumed throughout the day.
- If one feels excess hunger, bee pollen should be consumed an hour before meals. It then acts as a hunger suppressant.
2. Immune system booster
In 2014, the Food and Chemical Toxicology published a study of biological activities of eight different types of commercial bee pollen. The study established the antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties of bee pollen. This helps the body fight against infections. By being good to the intestinal flora, it further strengthens the immunity system. Its high antioxidant content further protects the cells from the damaging action of free radicals in the body. The pollen can easily kill any bacteria and virus and helps prevent cold, cough, food poisoning etc. Bee pollen is also known to be a natural allergy fighter. Studies has shown it as the best remedy against hay fever, cough, cold, acute bronchitis, colitis, migraine etc.
How to use
- Consume one teaspoon of bee pollen during breakfast every day.
3. Energy enhancer
Most likely, due to the high concentration of proteins, amino acids and B vitamins; bee pollen is known to increase your energy levels right after consuming it. Its regular consumption improves the body’s stamina and endurance while increasing its power to fight off fatigue as well.
How to use
- A teaspoon on bee pollen can be mixed with your health drink and consumed daily in the morning.
4. Respiratory system
The high quantity of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of the bee pollen helps in decreasing all allergy symptoms and heals and strengthens the tissues of the lungs to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. It also reduces the histamine level of the body which further ebbs all allergies. Due to smoking and drinking, one may develop bad breath, parched mouth, throat discomfort, scotched tongue and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Bee pollen has constituents which have been proved to be effective in blocking arteriosclerosis, removing bad breath, bringing relief in intoxication as well as detoxifying the body.
How to use
- Consume one teaspoon of bee pollen by mixing it with foods and drinks throughout the day.
5. Digestive system
Bee pollen has several beneficial impacts on the digestive system which results in it getting stabilized and robust. Its natural acidic antibiotics manifest powerful antibacterial properties in the stomach and intestines to balance out the bacterial flora in the gastrointestinal system and kill harmful bacteria like salmonella which can cause food poisoning as well. Bee pollen has proved effective in healing gastric ulcers and gastroptosis. It increases the bile flow which makes the entire digestion of food and absorption of nutrients much better. Its enzymes normalize the digestive function and bring relief from stomach discomfort and abnormal digestive functions in people with poor as well as over appetite. It can heal both constipation and diarrhea and regularize the bowel movement.
How to use
- Take about one tea spoon of bee pollen with fruit or yogurt twice after meals.
6. Treats addictions
People, who are addicted to substances, smoking, drinking or any other types of addictions, end up with neurotransmitter deficiencies in their brain. The deficiency prompts further addictive behavior which leads to further imbalances. These neurotransmitter deficiencies manifest as both psychological as well as physiological problems. The natural formula of bee pollen has numerous ‘neuro-nutrients’ which form the perfect raw material for the brain to help it restore back the neurotransmitters production and eliminate its deficiency. Bee pollen’s host of essential amino acids further rebalances and restores brain chemistry. Cumulatively, they help in inhibiting cravings and addictions.
How to use
- One to two teaspoons of bee honey can be consumed with curd or with food throughout the day.
7. Supports the cardiovascular system
Bee pollen is awesome for the cardiovascular system. It contains abundant rutin which is an antioxidant bioflavonoid that can strengthen blood vessels, rectify the cholesterol levels as well as rectify all circulatory problems. It can lower the blood pressure, prevent bleeding as well as increase resistance of blood capillaries. Its potent anti-clotting powers are effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes.
How to use
- One teaspoon of bee honey can be consumed anytime during the day.
8. Prostate aid
Prostate conditions are quite common in men as they grow older. It can cause frequent urge to urinate, difficulty in urination, decrease urine volume, chalky urine, constant fatigue, decrease in sperm count and even impotence. Bee pollen has been found as highly effective remedy for this condition. A 1960 research and then a research by the Nagasaki Medical University of Japan reported of 80 percent success rate in the treatment of the disease via bee pollen. Its natural beta-sitosterol content reduces prostrate inflammation and soothes and brings relief.
How to use
- One to two teaspoons of bee honey can be consumed in shakes, with food etc.
9. Infertility problems
Bee pollen functions as a great hormonal booster to stimulate and restore ovarian balance and function in women to help them increase their chances of getting pregnant. It also gives spectacular results in women suffering from irregular as well as abnormal menstrual period. In males, it can increase both the quality and quantity of sperm count. The government of Norway has given an official recognition to the efficacy of pollen in improving sperm count. Bee pollen is also known for its aphrodisiac and libido boosting properties. All these prove effective in treating infertility problems.
How to use
- Depending on severity, one to three teaspoons of bee pollen should be consumed daily for a minimum of three to six weeks period.
10. Rich source of proteins, vitamins and antioxidants
Bee pollen is considered a great dietary supplement. Containing all essential components of life, its rejuvenating elements percentage exceeds the percentage present in brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. An overflowing source of antioxidants, proteins, vitamins and minerals, it can rectify just about any unbalanced nutrition content in the body. In Chinese medicine, it is considered as an energy and nutritive tonic.
How to use
- One teaspoon of bee honey to be consumed after meals.
11. Antibiotic properties
Various studies have revealed bee pollen has numerous enzymatic hydrolysates as well as numerous antioxidants like trans-cinnamic acid, rutin, myricetin and quercertin. These antioxidants are known to effectively fight cell damaging free radicals in the body which leads to cancer and heart diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension etc. During a test conducted, it demonstrated extremely high scavenging activities against active oxidative stress. This keeps numerous diseases at bay.
How to use
- One teaspoon daily or as prescribed by the doctor.
12. Heart and blood health
Bee pollen is terrific for heart and blood health. It positively impacts the composition of the blood with significant increase in the count of both red and white blood cells. In anemic patients, it has been known to increase the hemoglobin levels considerably. It also normalizes the cholesterol and triglycerides level in the blood. It also helps normalize the blood cholesterol levels. This, along with the cardiovascular benefits, keeps the heart and blood health in optimum condition.
How to use
- Consume one to two teaspoons of bee pollen on a daily basis.
13. Physical performance
Bee pollen is not only a terrific energy booster but also improves the physical strength and stamina of an individual. A test conducted by the British Sports Council showed an increase in strength and stamina by as much as 40 to 50 percent in athletes who consumed bee pollen on a daily basis. Astonishingly, they even recorded an increase in height, even in adults. Bee pollen is considered the ‘greatest bodybuilder on earth’ as it contains all 22 amino acids with over half of it in free form. It can also effectively decrease recovery time after workouts.
How to use– Add one to two teaspoons of bee pollen in the health drink and consume it.
14. Reducing stress
Providing instant energy, the bee pollen with its high nutritive and tonic contents including B complex vitamins increases the blood circulation and flow to the body’s nervous system. This helps reduce mental fatigue, boost mental capacity, and reduce elements like anxiety and depression. Consequently, the nervous system gets strengthened and stress is reduced. Bee pollen is considered one of the most effective natural stress busters. It also serves as a local analgesic and relieves pain due to stress or injury.
How to use
- One teaspoon daily for prolonged period can improve both mental and physical endurance.
Bee pollen has amazing benefits on skin both by internal consumption as well external application. Few of them are:-
15. Skin allergies
Packed with antioxidants and nutrients, bee pollen not only reduces the internal body histamine levels to reduce allergies of any kind but also prevents any skin allergies externally. It can easily battle free radicals arising from stress, environmental toxins, pollutants etc. Consumed daily, it transforms unhealthy and aging skin dramatically for a rejuvenated and younger looking smooth and healthy skin. It can effectively fight against all skin allergies including pimples, acne, rashes etc.
How to use
- Mix it in smoothies and consume it as well as apply topically by mixing it in face and body packs.
- It can also be applied topically on allergies and cuts for speedy healing.
16. Skin soother
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, bee pollen can be applied topically as well as soothe irritated skin and treat inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and even diaper rash. Its high nucleic acid content not only blocks premature aging of the skin but also stimulates growth of new skin cells to leave them rejuvenated and healthy.
How to use
- It can be consumed internally as well as applied topically.
How to Choose the Best Bee Pollen
To reap any of the benefits of bee pollen, it is crucial that it must be pure, unpolluted and of high quality. It must have no traces of contaminants, the possibility of which is quite high here. The purest forms are often available in granules or capsule form. Sometimes, due to industrialization, bee pollen can have some toxic substances like insecticides or heavy metals like mercury. Thus extra care needs to be taken that one chooses bee pollen from a pure and reliable source. It is always better to purchase them from the actual manufacturer instead of via a middleman.
Bee Pollen Dosage
Bee pollen is available as granules, capsules and tablets form. Granule is its most natural form which can be crushed, added to food and consumed. It can also be just munched away. Its capsule and tablet form can just be ingested with water. Often their recommended dosage is given on the bottle in which it is packed and must be strictly adhered to. Their dosage can vary from 1000 mg to 2000 mg per day. Ideally one teaspoon of granules is recommended for any adult and half teaspoon for a child. Adults can take a maximum of three teaspoons per day depending on their condition.
How Should Bee Pollen be Consumed and Stored
You must always try a small dosage first and then gradually increase to the recommended dosage. If bee pollen granules are first soaked in water, they crack and release their nutritive value to yield faster results. For children, the dose should start at 3 gm and gradually increased to half teaspoon. The capsules and tablets can be broken and small amount consumed initially. This is because you might show some allergic reaction to it.
Bee pollen capsules
Bee pollen is today widely ingested in the capsule form along with some water. This is because the granules are slightly bitter in taste which may not suit your tongue. They can be taken anytime with some water. While its recommended dosage should never be recommended, you must also remember that the capsules effectivity is increased if special ingredients are added to improve the absorption of nutrients.
Bee Pollen Side Effects
Buying pure bee pollen is extremely important as contaminated ones can cause serious side effects which can lead to heart attacks and even death. People who are allergic to bee stings and wasps are also advised to avoid intake of bee pollen. Even pregnant women should not consume it as it may interfere with the pregnancy. Sometimes, when you take the bee pollen supplement, you might experience some side effects like:
- Trouble in breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
If any of these symptoms are noticed, the intake should be stopped and doctor should be consulted first.
Precautions While Consuming Bee Pollen
- While bee pollen is generally safe to use, its best to consult a doctor before starting it especially if you are already on some medications, over the counter products, allergies or if you have other medical conditions present at that moment. This is because bee pollen can react with certain medications and cause adverse reaction and risks.
- Pregnant as well as nursing mothers should not take it as it may do more harm than good.
- In case a person is suffering from a kidney or a liver disease, he/she must absolutely not consume it unless under strict doctor supervision.
Final Words and Some Interesting Facts About Bee Pollen
- Bee pollen is a complete food whose amino acid concentration exceeds even that of beef, milk, eggs or cheese.
- Bee pollen has some of the most powerful antioxidants like lycopene, flavonoids, beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins E and C and even B-complex.
- It can substantially boost the body’s natural immunity levels.
- It can significantly slow down the aging process and aid in cell regeneration.
- It can safely be applied topically to improve various skin conditions.
- It is highly effective in fighting many diseases like cancer, arthritis, diabetes, depression and many others.
Bee pollen is indeed a natural super food that can yield unbelievable and amazing benefits to your body. Have you tried it? Do share your experiences with us.