Bee Pollen: Worth All The Buzz?
Bee Pollen has been a staple in health food stores for awhile but it is slowly but surely popping up in more juice bars as a smoothie addition or dietary supplement. Have you ever spent $13 on a smoothie adding supplements and powders but really had no idea what they were supposed to do for you? Yep, we’ve all been there (Right? Or is that just me?) It’s time for us all to become empowered consumers! I am here to explain the benefits of different superfoods and provide ideas for use so that next time you parooze the supplements list at your juice bar, you will be able to make an informed decision about which to add!
Bee pollen is rich in nutrients and actually has more protein per ounce than any animal source. For all my vegetarians out there, bee pollen is source of B12! It has a variety of medicinal uses due to its antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral agents. It also boosts the immune system and can help fight against seasonal allergies by reducing the presence of histamines in the body (only if you buy bee pollen from local bees!)
Another amazing benefit is that it can help relieve stress. Bee pollen improves blood supply to the nervous tissue which consequently boosts mental capacity and strengthens the nervous system that may be weakened by stress.
Any claim that bee pollen (or any dietary supplement for that matter) will help you lose weight fast is total BS. However, bee pollen does contain a phospholipid called Lecithin, which helps dissolve and flush fat from the body.
So how to use this nutritional superstar? I add 1-2 teaspoons into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or into my tea. If you are trying to beat allergies or high levels of stress, it is recommended to take 1 teaspoon 3 times a day.
Other bee products creating some buzz (hehe) are royal jelly, propolis, and raw honey. While each has a different nutrient make up and function in the bee colony, all of these products share the antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral agents and can help fight allergies. Many of the benefits span across all of the bee products, but each has stronger associations with specific benefits. Royal Jelly has been linked with improving collagen products for younger looking skin as well as fertility. Propolis may help kill cancer cells, specifically colon cancer. It has also been linked with helping to beat candida, the overgrowth of yeast in the body. All in all, bee products are all nutrient powerhouses and great additions to your diet!
Besides adding to smoothies and yogurt, adding bee pollen to your air-popped popcorn is a creative way to get your fix!
1 cup air popped popcorn
1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground bee pollen
After air-popping the kernels, pour the coconut oil evenly over the popcorn
Sprinkle the bee pollen and mix to coat
If you want to get even more nutrient bang for your buck, add a boost of antioxidants by adding herbs and spices of your choice. I like to sprinkle cinnamon, or if you are in a more savory mood, add turmeric and rosemary! This has become one of my favorite high fiber, superfood snacks.