Pollen and its benefits
With over 250 nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins and fatty acids in the composition, bee pollen is a super food with an energizing, anti-inflammatory and invigorating effect on the body. It can be consumed daily, with very few contraindications, and the list of health benefits is long.
Bee pollen is the result of a mixture of entomophilus pollen (the fine powder that forms on the stamens of flowers) over which bees secrete nectar and enzymes. This mixture is transported in the pollen baskets on the hind legs of the bees to the hive and represents their food. Nutritionists believe that bee pollen is one of the most balanced foods, which provides the human body with an excellent intake of vitamins, nutrients, proteins and antioxidants, thus helping to strengthen immunity.
The composition of pollen includes the complex of B vitamins, vitamins C, E and A, as well as folic acid. It is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and iodine. Bee pollen can be a suitable source of protein for vegetarians, due to its high content of protein and amino acids (it contains twice as much protein as red meat).
Bee pollen is commercially available in the dry version, in the form of micro granules obtained by heating the raw pollen to temperatures of about 380-40 degrees and drying it. The advantage of dry pollen is that it can be stored and consumed in 6-12 months. Its disadvantage is that by heat processing some of the nutrients in its composition are lost.
Unlike dry pollen, raw pollen is frozen immediately after harvest. By freezing, the nutrients are kept intact, so that raw pollen has significantly higher nutritional value than dry pollen. In addition, it contains lactofermen, essential enzymes, beneficial bacteria for the body and antioxydants that fight free radicals.
Raw pollen – an impressive nutritional profile
With over 250 active nutriments, including protein, carbohydrates, fats, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants, bee pollen has an impressive nutritional profile. It contains:
- Carbohydrates – 40%
- Protein – 35%
- Water – 4-10%
- Fats – 5%
- Other substances (vitamins, minerals, natural antibiotics and antioxidants) – 5-15%.
The nutritional profile of pollen may differ depending on the source of collection and the season. There are studies that have shown that pollen collected from pine plantations contains a lower amount of protein (about 7-10%). At the same time, pollen collected in spring has a slightly different composition than that collected during summer.
The benefits of fresh pollen
Due to its nutritional value, pollen is a recommended product for strengthening immunity, fighting anemia or reducing the risk of developing certain diseases. Here are the main benefits of pollen:
Pollen is a natural energizer
Its rich content in iron, calcium, magnesium but also protein, makes pollen effectively support the physical and cerebral activity of the day. Fights psysical weakness, anemia and strengthens the body through remineralization and revitaminization. It is suitable for administration to both children during growing up and adults, especially in times of stress or recovery from an illness.
Pollen strengthens the immune system
Its content of antioxidants strengthens the body’s immune response to contact with viruses or bacteria. In addition, pollen contains natural antibiotics that help fight colds or flu infections: bronchitis, cough etc.
Pollen reduces the risk of chronic diseases
Antioxidants contained by pollen include flavonoids, carotenoids, quercetin or glutathione. These powerful antioxidants protect the body from the action of free radicals, responsible for the appearance of chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer. In addition, pollen reduces the inflammatory process in the body, which is responsible for the appearance and development of tumors.
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Regular consumption of pollen lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood. This is one of the main factors that lead to the formation of atheroma plaques on the walls of blood vessels and the occurrence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Pollen supports the digestive system
Its composition contains probiotics that come from the stomach of bees and help normalize digestion by restoring the intestinal flora. Pollen protects bowels from fungal infections and prevents inflammation of the colon, thus supporting a healthy digestion.
Pollen treats allergies
Many people confuse bee pollen with wind-borne pollen, which is responsible for many seasonal allergies. Bee pollen not only does not create allergies, but helps to treat them. There are numerous studies that show that up to 40% of allergic people who consume raw pollen manage to get rid od allergies.
Supports liver activity and protects against toxins
Pollen has detoxifying properties and supports the liver in this natural process of eliminating toxins.
Pollen is a natural anti-inflammatory
Traditionally, pollen has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties both internally and externally. Used in cosmetics, pollen can reduce swelling or inflammation of the skin. In addition, pollen is an adjunct in the treatment of wounds, speeding up the healing and the recovery of cuts or burns.
Maintain the beauty and youth of the skin and hair
Antioxidants in pollen, especially flavonoids, slow down the aging process and delay the appearance of signs of aging on the body, such as wrinkles, pigment spots or excessive dryness of the skin. Pollen also has an invigorating effect on the hair, which restores its shine and healthy appearance.
Increases female fertility and potency
The high concentration of folic acid (vitamin B9) supports the female reproductive system, protecting the embryo in case of pregnancy. At the same time, pollen increases potency and libido.
Calms menopausal symptoms
Pollen can relieve some of the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats or sleep problems. Other beneficial effects of pollen during menopause can be to reduce irritability, eliminate joint pain and improve general condition.
Pollen supports metabolism
Due to the high content of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, pollen helps the absorption of iron in the body. It also supports the assimilation of calcium and phosphorus, due to proteins and amino acids that help absorb these minerals. Pollen accelerates metabolism, increases the body’s endurance and supports longevity.
Contraindications to pollen
Pollen is a safe and easy to use product for most people, with extraordinary benefits. However, there are some situations where you need to talk to your doctor before consuming pollen:
- When there are allergies to bee stings or other substances, pollen consumption should be done under the supervision of a specialist.
- Allergy to bee pollen can be manifested by hives, difficulty in breathing, inflammation of the tongue and even anaphylactic shock.
- Because pollen may contain traces of fungi, bacteria or pesticides, pregnant women should not consume pollen either during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- People taking wafarin, an anticoagulant medicine, should consult their doctor before consuming pollen.
How pollen is being consumed
Whether you use dry pollen or fresh pollen, specialists recommend two cures of 7 weeks a year, in spring and autumn. Pollen can be consumed daily, as such or in various preparations. You can add it to fruit juices or salads. The recommended daily dose is:
- 15g (one tablespoon) for adults
- 5g (one teaspoon) for children
- Pollen is therefore a super food, full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, with beneficial effects for the whole body and its systems. It is a healthy addition to any diet, especially for children, during the growing period and for people in convalescence.
- Allergy to bees, pollen
- Treatment with wafarin.