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Bee Pollen: Not Just for Bees

This is for all the vegetarians out there! Since it’s springtime and the fields are a flurry with bees, let’s embrace the season and talk about bees and their pollen!

Before we begin, always make sure to get your pollen from reputable and conscientious beekeepers. Good beekeepers love their bees and would never do anything that would damage the brood or the hives.

I believe what you put into your body should be as natural as possible. When it comes to vitamins, I strive towards getting most of my nutrients from the foods and drinks that I consume, but I also turn to some natural remedies for an extra boost. Bee pollen is one of my secret weapons because it contains almost all nutrients required by humans and is a protein rich (about 40%), energy-enhancing food.

Research has shown through many in-depth experiments that bee pollen prevents certain types of harmful bacteria from growing inside your body. An article from the U.S. Department of Agriculture concluded that after weeks of studied tests, a higher concentration of cancer-fighting cells became present in the immune system when consuming bee pollen daily. Another report from the Agronomic Institute in Romania determined that bee pollen is packed with antioxidants and promotes an increase in lymphocytes, the white blood cells that are known to rid the body of mutated, diseased, and cancerous cells. There is enough evidence to suggest that bee pollen is crucial in helping your immune system maintain the best fighting shape possible.

Bee pollen is also loaded with fat-burning amino acids, helping you curb your sugar cravings throughout the day. It aids in healthy digestion, targeting the foods that sit in your stomach with enzymes that break them down in a faster way. It is also a natural energy enhancer (loaded with B vitamins), giving your body the boost it needs when feeling lethargic (I like to throw a teaspoon in my protein shake before I exercise to feel fully awakened)!

Bee pollen even has anti-aging and beauty benefits! Free radicals cause fine lines and wrinkles, but the healthy antioxidants and fatty acids found in bee pollen help you maintain a smooth and glowing complexion. It fights puffiness because of the natural anti-inflammation properties found in the pollen, which is crucial to maintaining a smooth under eye area. Potassium, zinc, and vitamins C and E are also found in this superfood and are important collagen and skin repairing vitamins. The pollen helps your hair maintain a healthy shine and prevents your skin from blemishing.

When buying bee pollen, it is important you find a farmers market or store that sells it from an organic and local source. The pollen should always be refrigerated because heat and UV radiation will greatly diminish the nutritional value of this superfood (as heat often does with vitamins). Never buy bee pollen that isn’t refrigerated in a supermarket because it can be highly polluted with the nutrients stripped out of the product. Some companies heat-dry their pollen because it allows for preservatives that give it a longer shelf life – you want to avoid this!

There are a few different ways to eat bee pollen. If you want the immediate energy and vitamin boost when you wake up, take a teaspoon of bee pollen with half a teaspoon of honey on top. Fair warning – this does have a bold taste so just be prepared! You can throw the bee pollen in your protein shakes, granola bowl, yogurt, or consume it in any other non-heated way you choose. Experts recommend 1–2 teaspoons per day and also advise ensuring you are not allergic to pollen. If you are allergic to regular pollen, then it is quite likely you will be allergic to bee pollen so to be sure, consult with your doctor any questions you may have.

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