How bees gather pollen is a fantastic process when they move from flower to flower or pollinate. Pollen collects on their bodies as they waggle while collecting nectar. Then, the bees return to their hive, where the pollen is mixed with honey to make nutritious food for the colony called bee bread. Equally amazing is pollen’s health benefits for humans.
Bee products have been used for centuries for nutritional and medicinal pursuits. According to Registered Dietitian Ryan Raman, these amazing sweet-tasting granules recently gained support in the health sector because it is packed with over 250 active substances. These include vitamins, proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, and fatty acids. Additionally, pollen contains minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Despite decades of the medical industry’s denial of bee products’ health benefits, many studies have examined the amazing properties of pollen. They discovered what beekeepers and alternative medicine practitioners have known for centuries.
According to Healthline, the Federal Ministry of Health in Germany recognizes bee pollen as medicine.
Sentry News’s in-house beekeeper agrees that pollen is amazing. He said pollen is packed with protein.
In fact, these golden granules are approximately 40% carbs, 35% protein, 4 to 10% water, 5% fats, and 5 to 15% other substances such as vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, and antioxidants. However, pollen’s amazing nutritional content varies, depending on the plant source and season collected.
“For instance, studies have shown that bee pollen collected from pine plants has approximately 7% protein, while pollen collected from a date palm packs closer to 35% protein,” explains Raman. “In addition, bee pollen harvested during springtime has a significantly different amino acid composition than pollen collected in the summer.”
Bee Pollen’s Amazing Medicinal Elements
Since pollen’s health benefits vary depending on the plant source, the information in this section is generalized to demonstrate the honeybee’s amazing preventative properties.
The National Library of Medicine explains: Bee pollen contains various antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, quercetin, kaempferol, and glutathione.
Antioxidants are amazing; they protect the body against free radicals, which are potentially harmful molecules. Free radical damage is linked to chronic inflammation, which can cause cancers and accelerate aging processes. According to PubMed, “many studies suggest that chronic inflammation could have a serious role in a wide variety of age-related diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
Bee pollen may lower blood lipids and cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease. In animal studies, researchers report that pollen extracts decrease blood cholesterol, especially LDL levels. Another study showed that these amazing granules may enhance the liver’s detoxifying abilities. In older animals, pollen antioxidants fend off liver damage from toxic substances, including drug overdoses. Pollen helps the body heal the liver.
Finally, traditionally people have used bee pollen to decrease inflammation and swelling. A study revealed that rats’ paws experienced a reduction of 75% after consuming pollen extract. Scientists compare its anti-inflammatory effects to nonsteroidal drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen (Aleve).
Check out the sources listed below for more information about bee pollen’s amazing benefits.
General Information: Allergies and More
Bee pollen should not be confused with apitherapy, bee venom, or royal jelly.
These golden granules are often sold as an herbal supplement: There is no regulation for manufacturing herbal compounds, so make certain to buy from a trusted source.
A person who is allergic to the venom in bee stings should keep an epinephrine auto-injector on hand. EpiPen is a well-known brand, but less expensive generic auto-injectors are also available.
For example, a low-cost generic sold at CVS Pharmacy locations is Amedra Pharmaceuticals’ Adrenaclick auto-injector. According to the Center for Allergy & Asthma, Adrenaclick contains the same active ingredients and dosage as EpiPen.
If a person experiences venom hypersensitivity from bee stings, consuming other amazing honeybee products like pollen, royal jelly, and honeycomb is safe. Dr. Andrea Burke, a board-certified allergist and immunologist in New York City, says, “While a bee allergy is not correlated with honey, a separate honey allergy is possible — although it is quite rare and unrelated to the venom itself.”
Finally, health experts warn against giving children honey and other honeybee products until they are over 1 year old. Additionally, honey is a sugar that can promote tooth decay.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Eating Well: I’m Allergic to Bees—Can I Eat Honey? By Keirsten Hickman
WebMD: Bee Pollen Benefits and Side Effects; Written by Debra Fulghum Bruse, Ph.D., and Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev, MD
National Library of Medicine: Bee Pollen: Current Status and Therapeutic Potential; By Khalifa SAM, Elashal MH, Yosri N, Du M, Musharraf SG, et al.
National Library of Medicine (PubMed): Biological and therapeutic properties of bee pollen: a review; By Bożena Denisow and Marta Denisow-Pietrzyk
Healthline: Top 11 Health Benefits of Bee Pollen; By Ryan Raman, MS, RD
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