Bee Pollen is one of nature’s richest and most power-packed foods. Sweet and colourful bee pollen granules have long been prized around the world for supporting strength, stamina, longevity and youthful beauty.
The Bible, the Talmud and the Koran all praise the powers of bee pollen, and pollen was a staple for the athletes of Ancient Greece and Rome. In Ancient Egypt, Kings worshipped the bees and believed in the wondrous healing powers of bee pollen.
Longevity experts studying the people of the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, who often lived beyond 100 years, found that many centenarians were beekeepers incorporating pollen in their daily diet. To this day, pollen is a super-food fuelling athletes and Olympic champions around the globe. Former heavy weight boxing champion Muhammad Ali apparently took bee pollen during all the years he was defending his world title. Athletes (and mere mortals!) report improved performance and reduced fatigue when taking bee pollen.
And bee pollen is not just for pros. Pollen is one of the most nutritionally complete natural foods available. It is a highly bio-available source of B vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants and plant phytonutrients. It contains 7.5 times as much iron as beef and more protein than beef, eggs or cheese. Beyond strength and endurance, pollen boasts a huge number of reported health and beauty benefits, including immune support, skin elasticity, stress reduction, sound sleep, hay fever relief, coronary health, cell regeneration, digestive health, sexual function and prostate health. It is also said to support memory function, aid recovery from toxicity and radiation, and support a healthy metabolism.
So what exactly is this miracle food and where does it come from?
Pollen is essential to the reproduction of plants, and honey bees are largely responsible for the cross pollination that ensures a plant’s survival. Pollen collects on bees’ hairy bodies as they fly from flower to flower, packing tiny pollen grains in the “baskets” on their back legs. Beekeepers then collect the pollen that falls from the bees’ legs as they climb through a fine mesh at the hive entrance. The bees are not harmed in this process and enough pollen is left for the bees’ own needs (bees consume pollen in massive quantities and without it a hive will die). Pollen is naturally varied depending on the plant species in a given locality, and it is important to use pollen collected in a clean natural environment free of pesticides and contaminants. Bee pollen is generally very safe, but it should be taken with caution as it can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you wish to test your sensitivity to bee pollen, place one grain on your tongue and let it dissolve fully. If you experience no sensitivity then keep increasing the amount until you are sure that you can happily incorporate bee pollen in your diet.
Bee pollen can be taken by the teaspoonful, at 1-2 teaspoons per day. It can also be added to fruit juice or smoothies, mixed with honey or nuts, or sprinkled on cereals and salads. Don’t heat pollen, however, as this will destroy many of its precious nutrients.
In these busy times, you don’t have to be a top athlete to appreciate pollen’s rejuvenating, energising and nourishing properties. Sprinkle a few of these gorgeous golden granules through your day and get in touch with your inner champion!
By Dr Lucy Butler
Director, HealthPost Ltd
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