Nutrition Market

Bee Pollen

What is Bee Pollen?

Bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most nourishing foods. It is the food of the young bee and is approximately 40% protein. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids.

Bee pollen is collected by honey bees from the pollen they collect from plants and brought back to their hives. The pollen is mixed with nectar and bee secretions to create “bee bread” which feeds baby bees. Beekeepers place a special trap at the entrance of beehives to catch some of this pollen as the bees enter. This ensures the bees still have enough food for themselves and their young.

Nutritional Content

Bee pollen contains over 250 active substances including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids. It is also rich in enzymes and coenzymes. Some of the key nutrients include:

  • Protein - around 40% including all 22 amino acids including the 8 essential amino acids the human body cannot produce itself
  • Carbohydrates - around 30% mostly as the sugar sucrose
  • Lipids & Fatty Acids - around 5% including linolenic, palmitic and linoleic acids
  • Vitamins - including B vitamins 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 12, vitamin C, E and beta carotene (converted to vitamin A in the body)
  • Minerals - including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, sulfur, manganese, copper, zinc and silica
  • Enzymes & Coenzymes - including amylase, pectase and catalase
  • Antioxidants - including bioflavonoids, carotenoids and phytosterols
  • Rutin - helps strengthen blood vessels
  • DNA & RNA - important building blocks
  • Sterols - support hormone production

With this unique combination of nutrients, even a small dose of bee pollen provides a boost to health.

Health Benefits of Bee Pollen

With its comprehensive nutritional profile, bee pollen has a wide range of evidenced-based health benefits:

1. Supports the Immune System

Bee pollen contains almost all nutrients required by the human body. This nutrient density makes it a natural immune system booster. It helps build white blood cells which defend against infection.

It also has high levels of antioxidants. These combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals and inflammation. This protects immune cells from damage.

2. Boosts Energy Levels

The nutrients in bee pollen, including B vitamins and protein, support the body’s energy production pathways. The carbohydrates provide a slow releasing energy source.

Many people report feeling an increase in stamina and endurance when taking bee pollen regularly. Less fatigue means you can take on more physical and mental exertion day-to-day.

3. Aids Digestion & Nutrient Absorption

Bee pollen is rich in enzymes which help the body break down and utilise nutrients. This improves digestion and ensures you properly absorb vitamins and minerals rather than excreting them. Better nutrient status supports all bodily functions.

The high protein content may also promote regularity and improve gut motility. This gets things moving along the digestive tract as they should.

4. Supports Brain Health & Function

The wide array of antioxidants protect brain cells and pathways involved in memory, learning and cognitive processing. By keeping your brain biologically ‘younger’, bee pollen may help you stay mentally sharp well into old age.

Bee pollen also promotes nerve tissue growth and communication. This allows you to make connections more easily. Over time, improved brain plasticity translates into better recall, focus, clarity and mood.

5. Assists Hormonal Balance

Bee pollen contains plant-derived phytoestrogens which mimic human estrogen. This helps regulate female reproductive health and hormonal flux. Conditions like PMS and menopause may be improved by including bee pollen as it normalises hormone levels.

For men, the sterols in bee pollen support testosterone and male sex hormone production. Keeping these hormones optimal promotes vitality, virility, strength gains and a healthy prostate.

6. Provides Antioxidants & Anti-Inflammatory Action

The wide range of antioxidants in bee pollen mop up free radicals and reduce chronic inflammation levels throughout the body. Lower systemic inflammation translates into decreased oxidative damage over time.

This anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action benefits skin health, joint health, cardiovascular health, metabolic function and supports healthy aging overall.

Bee Pollen Benefits Summary:

  • Boosts energy levels
  • Enhances exercise endurance
  • Strengthens immune defences
  • Improves digestion & nutrient absorption
  • Supports brain health & function
  • Assists hormonal balance & fertility
  • Provides antioxidants & reduces inflammation
  • Slows signs of aging
  • Promotes healing & tissue repair

With this diverse range of benefits, adding bee pollen into your regular routine is a great way to support overall wellbeing long-term.

Is Bee Pollen Safe?

For most people, bee pollen is very safe to consume especially in the small doses used in supplements or mixes. However, some individuals may experience minor side effects or need to take precautions:

  • Bee pollen may cause allergic reactions in those with pollen allergies or bee venom allergies. Discontinue use if any hypersensitivity reaction occurs.
  • Side effects like nausea, headaches or dizziness are rare but stop taking bee pollen if they do occur.
  • Due to its high nutritive value, bee pollen should be introduced slowly in small amounts at first before increasing dose. This minimises any detox reactions.
  • Bee pollen is not recommended for children under 2 years old except under medical supervision.
  • Check with your doctor before taking bee pollen supplements if you have any medical conditions or take any medications in case of interactions.
  • Bee pollen should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women unless cleared by their obstetrician first.
  • Make sure any bee pollen is sourced from reputable suppliers to ensure purity, quality and safety standards.

As with any new supplement introduced into your health regime, start slowly then build up as tolerated to get the best results with minimal risk of intolerance.

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