Most of us, seem to be quite familiar with honey (Nectar of the Gods) and this wonderful bee products many uses; yet few, in comparison, are familiar with the honey bee's other natural health promoting gifts to humanity.
One of these not widely known substances, produced by the humble, honey bee is 'Bee Pollen'. Although the busy little bee miraculously formulates at least three other substances, prized by health aficionados, for this article, I'll be focusing upon supplementing the diet with bee pollen (Something of which I'm quite familiar with)🤗
Though I've been personally using this highly nutritious substance for over forty years, I'd be hard-pressed trying to recall, how I first heard of it. It probably was within a book or the many health articles I read in magazines years ago.
Fortunately, there were two old-time health food stores in my New York City neighborhood at the time and they both carried every single natural bee product available upon their shelves. So, finding it to try out at the time was easy and believe me... I've been a fan of those golden little nuggets, ever since.
As a matter of fact, I carried it for sale, at my Gym and attached, little Health Food Store that I opened a few years later. My members and customers loved it, as much as I did for the athletic and health benefits.
Bee pollen supplementation has helped me stay strong and healthy to this very day, at the age of 71. I'm free of any negative chronic health conditions or diseases, which seem to plaque most in their senior years.
It is a food sometimes referred to as a miracle food in 'days of old' long before the more modern term for such wonders became "Super Foods" and rightfully so...
For Instance:These little gems contain a higher nutritional value, by weight, than any other common food we eat. It is particularly abundant with the building blocks of protein, containing all the essential amino acids our bodies require for optimum health.
Here are some of the interesting facts I learned about bee pollen of which I'm happy to pass along to you...
A 1946 study of Russian centenarians, by a professor V. Tsitsin uncovered that most of the long-lived citizens he interviewed were Bee Keepers of sorts and had consumed honey and bee pollen throughout their lives.
Bee pollen contains considerably more protein, than does meat, cheese or eggs - by weight. Particularly high in the amino acid leucine (A Branch-Chain Amino Acid) which is great for muscle building, recovery and repair of damaged tissue. It also aids in the production of growth hormone (HGH)
There are 6.7 grams of this amino acid within 100grams of dried bee pollen by weight. Along with 5.7 grams of Valine and 4.5 grams of Isoleucine - two of the other three BCAA's.
"No other food 'known' contains as many life sustaining (cell replicating) factors as bee pollen" - Remy Chauvin (France)
It has been referred to as "Natures most complete food"
Some common uses for bee pollen by enthusiasts (Like me) are:
- To help Boost the Immune System
- A Longevity Aid
- To Normalize Cholesterol and Triglycerides within the Blood
- For Treatment of Allergies
- To Increase Physical Strength (Athletes)
- Increase Brain Function
- Energy and Stamina
The pollen collected by the bee and carried back to the hive, is NOT the same type of which causes common allergy symptoms - like Anemophilous pollens. The honey bee, avoids collecting these.
Instead, the bee chooses only Entomophile (Friend of Insects) pollens from select flowering plants to form into tiny pellets with the help of a little nectar. She then sticks one pellet into each of the two baskets attached to her legs and carries them back to the hive.
Bee pollen is found to contain an antibiotic which quickly destroys certain microorganisms like salmonella and has been found to have additional substances which protect against a variety of bacteria, viral, fungi and mold agents - much like honey does...
My habit, is to use bee pollen in a variety of ways. It tastes like a flower to me; kind of sweet, yet bitter at the same time. A teaspoon full shoved into your mouth, alone, may not be very pleasing, but fear not... there are many ways to add it to your diet quite comfortably.
I have known people who pop it into their mouths, then down it with some water or other beverage. Most add the nourishing little pellets to cereals, salads, yogurt, smoothies, protein drinks, soup, stews and a variety of other food concoctions. That's the way I usually consume it.
Since the pollen contains a lot of vitamins, which may not tolerate high heat well enough to retain potency, when I add it to soup, broth, tea or stew, I wait until after it's finished cooking and cooled enough to comfortably eat.
Sprinkling it on ice-cream, frozen yogurt, pies and stuff like that is also an interesting option. I've added it to some of my cookie, bread or muffin dough and batter too, especially my secret oatmeal cookie recipe...!!! I just hope that the high heat of the oven doesn't render the pollen completely useless; I don't think so, because the heat won't destroy the mineral content.
Bees have plenty of energy and I suspect they maintain that energy level by eating the pollen they collect, turning it into food. That was the number one reason I first became interested in experimenting with bee pollen, and it sure worked... As a matter of fact, I had so much energy from about a tablespoon full of the stuff, early on, that I had to reduce the amount consumed.
Most people find that the commonly recommended amount to use of 10 grams (About a teaspoonful) is ample enough. That's about all I use daily on a regular basis. I've heard of people who use a lot more though, daily. Experiment with the volume on your own when first adding it to your health regimen; start with a small amount, then progress upward from there.
If you're a sluggish ole soul... with bee pollen, you'll soon be up and about, "Busy as a bee" in no time at all.
I encourage you to research bee pollen further online... there exists a wealth of good scientific studies available of interest to be found.
As a last note, although allergic reaction to bee pollen is rare - according to the Mayo Clinic a world renowned medical research and care facility, I've listed their allergy alert warnings below for easy reference:
- Wheezing and other asthmatic symptoms
- Excessive perspiration
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
- Stinging after topical application
So, if you're prone to having allergic reactions to a variety of things in nature, take a bit of care, even though bee pollen has actually been successfully used to treat certain allergic conditions. It might not be *right* for you... you might be one of those rare ones for whatever reason.
A good test to see how well you are with bee pollen, is to perhaps do that well known trial for plant toxicity in which you place a tiny bit in your mouth to taste, then spit it out before swallowing. If you don't fall over dead, then you're good to go :>)
I hope you enjoyed reading this... I certainly enjoyed writing it for you.
As always, stay healthy, happy and full of smiles.
Images: My Own