5 reasons you need bee pollen in your freezer
posted: May 16, 2014
Bee pollen contains all the nutrients necessary for human survival. Often referred to as nature’s most complete food, it tastes like flowers, smooths wrinkles and increases sexuality–no wonder Victoria Beckham is into it (and so are we).
It’s loaded with protein (20-30 per cent), antioxidants, all 22 amino acids, vitamins (including B-complex), enzymes, calcium, zinc, iron and folic acid. Each granule contains 2,000,000 flower pollen grains.
We aren’t afraid of bees now that we’ve discovered just how awe-inspiring these little critters are. Honeybees pollinate over 30 per cent of the produce we eat daily, including staples like apples, almonds and avocados. Without bees, we’d be living in a world without guacamole.
It’s the food bees create to feed their young: a combination of nectar, pollen and saliva. It takes one bee the equivalent of an entire working month to produce a daily dose of pollen (1 tsp). Interesting fact: bee pollen can’t be reproduced in a laboratory–when researchers tried to feed bees man-made pollen, the bees died even though all the known nutrients were present.
Obviously, we had to try some for ourselves.
Some nutritionists say that you could live adequately on bee pollen alone–we won’t go quite that far but we are adding a teaspoon a day to our breakfast.
To reap the benefits, find a local beekeeper that you trust to ensure your pollen is free from pesticides, and chemicals (you can also find it at your local whole foods market). The best bee pollen has a variety of colors because the bees have been foraging on many different types of flowers and trees. (You’ll be pleased to know that bee keepers are able to remove pollen from hives without harming the bees or disturbing their routine).
NOTE: Bee pollen can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. If you are allergic to bees, it’s not the super food for you. Before you start taking it place one or two granules of pollen on the tip of your tongue. If you’re allergic you’ll have a reaction within minutes. A runny nose, itchy eyes, nose or throat, shortness of breath, hives or swelling will indicate an allergy to bee pollen. Talk to your doctor before introducing any new foods into your diet.
Here’s why we’re adding it to our smoothies and salads every day:
1. Rid yourself of seasonal allergies. Don’t want to look like you’ve been crying all summer long? Get rid of your itchy, watery eyes, by adding some locally harvested bee pollen to your diet. Yes, the very thing that causes allergies, can also prevent them, by building up a tolerance to the pollens in the air (for the best results, buy your pollen locally).
Bee pollen contains quercetin, a flavanoid which is known for its ability to minimize or neutralize histamine responses. It also contains lots of antioxidants that may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the tissues of lungs, preventing asthma attacks. As a long-time victim of seasonal allergies and hay-fever (I’m usually pretty itchy, teary-eyed and all around miserable this time of year) after a month of adding 1 tsp to my morning smoothie there’s a definite improvement–I’ve tossed the Reactin and Aerius aside.
2. Clear up skin imperfections. Not heading to the Blue Lagoon anytime soon? We’ve got a cure for psoriasis and eczema that’s much closer to home. The amino acids and vitamins in bee pollen protect the skin and help regenerate cells–topical products containing bee pollen have also proven effective in slowing down the aging process. Mix 1 tbsp of pollen with 1 tbsp of pure shea butter. Apply the mixture to your skin, leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water–watch your skin go from dull and lifeless to glowing and vibrant!
3. Set that protein powder aside. Bee pollen is arguably one of nature’s most nourishing foods, and is a natural source of protein. One teaspoon contains more amino acids than eggs or cheese of equal weight and is more rich in protein than any animal product (an ideal supplement for all you vegetarians!)
4. Give your immune system a boost. By ridding your body of dangerous toxins and chemicals, bee pollen boosts your immune system. Add 1 tsp each of bee pollen, raw honey, turmeric, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, grated ginger, to 1 cup of water and blend. Note: Bee pollen also stimulates the metabolism which promotes weight loss.
5. Beat that mid-day slump. We all get that mid-afternoon energy drop, which is usually when we grab a coffee or reach for a sweet treat to perk us up. Pull out your jar of bee pollen instead. By warding off fatigue and enhancing stamina, the carbs, protein and vitamin B in bee pollen make it a natural energizer (it tastes great in a green smoothie or in a glass of orange juice).
Know some more reasons to include bee pollen in your diet? Share em’ with us!
Alicia-Rae is a writer, adventurer and our international blog coordinator. You’ll never catch her without her pen, notepad and camera in tow. She’s a DIY aficionado, and believes the best, and most beautiful, things in life are homemade. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.