Bee Pollen: Discover Uses, Diet Tips, Side Effects And More!

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Published on: 27-Feb-2024

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Anvesha Chowdhury

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Bee Pollen: Discover Uses, Diet Tips, Side Effects And More!

Bee Pollen: Discover Uses, Diet Tips, Side Effects And More!

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For centuries, bees have been lauded for their honey, a golden nectar cherished for its sweetness and potential health benefits. But did you know that these industrious insects also produce another intriguing treasure – bee pollen?


Bee pollen, sometimes called "ambrosia" or loosely known as "bee bread", is the sphere-shaped food bees generally use to feed their hive. It accommodates pollen from many plants, nectar, and honey bee enzymes secreted by salivary glands. However, bee pollen isn't just for bees. It has become a bit of a health star, finding its way onto breakfast tables and into health food stores.


It is rich in nutrients, including biologically active micronutrients like polyphenols, minerals, and vitamins, making it valuable as a nutritional source for attaining wealthy nutrients for an individual. Humans have consumed bee pollen as a dietary supplement, food, and folk medicine for many years now, and for this reason, it is given the designation of a functional food.


In this blog, you will discover what bee pollen is and how it is made. Further, you will understand its dietary uses, and side effects and discover why people are dubbing bee pollen as a next superfood! Read on to know more. 

Table Of Contents

1. How Is Bee Pollen Made?

2. What Is Bee Pollen Good For?

3. How To Eat Bee Pollen?

4. What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Bee Pollen?

5. The Final Say

6. FAQs

7. References

How Is Bee Pollen Made?

Giving a nod to the popular belief, the process of pollen creation starts with flowers. The bee pollen occurs in the anthers of seed plants in the form of grains. Bees collect pollen on their bodies as they flit from bloom to bloom. This pollen is mixed with bee saliva and nectar, creating a tiny ball packed with nutrients. These pollen balls are then stored in the hive and become the primary food source for the entire bee colony, from baby bees to busy adults.


  • The field bees accumulate and transport the bee pollen to the hive. In the hive, the collected pollen, humidified with saliva and imploded by flightless bees, is packed in honeycomb cells. 

  • The surface of the collected pollen is sheltered with a thin layer of wax and honey. The substance created hereafter is bee bread, which goes through anaerobic fermentation and is preserved by rising lactic acid. Bee bread constitutes the fundamental protein source for the bee colony. Additionally, it is also the origin of mineral and nutritional substances for royal jelly produced by worker bees.

  • Moreover, there are numerous pores and furrows and a layer of balsam on its surface, which all facilitate stacking pollen to bees' abdomen. The pollen basket, which is brought to the hive, mostly comprises one plant's pollen. However, there are also chances that the bees collect pollen from many distinct plant species. The group of plants from which only pollen is collected includes poppy, corn, and lupine, while from other melliferous plants, bees collect both pollen and nectar. 

It is believed that bees do not collect pollen from grass. However, they may occasionally collect fungal spores from mouldy plants. 


Also Read: Top 7 Health Benefits Of Mushrooms And Recipes For Main Course 

What Is Bee Pollen Good For?


Bee pollen depends firmly on the plant source and its geographical origin, in addition to other factors such as climatic conditions, soil type, and bee race and activities. Recently, bee pollen has drawn attention in the health community due to its nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, and lipids and over 250 active substance-rich properties. The chemical composition of one of the popular apitherapy is distinct. Here is some information about how bee pollen is good for various health needs: 

1. Combating Depressions

Depression these days tends to be caused by decreased life energy, especially in older people. Long-term use of natural bee pollen, even in small doses, enables gradual mood improvement, restores the desire to live, and strengthens physically.

2. Reducing Medicinal Dosages

Pollen, when consumed alongside antidepressants, results in their reduced dosage and improves the overall condition of your body in a very short period. Due to this reason, there are comparatively less number of cases of drug addictions or occurrences of side effects. Due to its multiple nutritional and tonic properties along with the improvement of blood supply to nervous tissue, pollen boosts mental capacity and strengthens your nervous system weakened by stress or overworking.


Also Read: Explore 13 Best Happy Hormones Foods To Combat Stress 

3. Tackling Inflammation

The beneficial effect of honey bee pollen in inflammatory conditions of the prostate gland has been known for a long time. In non-bacterial prostate inflammation, pollen improves the condition of patients, effectively removing the pain. In the initial stage of prostate cancer, it was observed that it improved the conditions of people suffering from prostate cancer. However, when bee pollen was taken along with chemotherapeutic agents, the number of people who observed significant therapeutic effects were significantly more.

4. Treating Chronic Alcoholic Diseases

Bee pollen is a vital element in treating chronic alcoholic diseases such as ARLD. Small doses of pollen when taken along with fluid administration, enabled both the alleviation of the abstinence symptoms and the reduction of their duration significantly. Deficiencies of many essential nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, and elements like magnesium particularly, that occur in chronic alcoholism, are increased to a great extent by bee pollen.

5. Acts As A Superfood 

Bee pollen is considered a superfood, meaning it has multiple key benefits that you need in today's day. The key properties that make it highly beneficial for human consumption include-

  • Anti-allergenic properties: improves seasonal and other allergies

  • Anti-atherosclerotic properties: reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases

  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties: reduces bacteria and fungi's capability of reproduction

  • Anti-carcinogenic properties: reduces the risk of cancer

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: plays a key role in reducing inflammation 

  • Anti-oxidative properties: slow damage to cells caused by free radicals 


Also Read: 9 Nutrient-Rich Superfood Smoothies For Post-Workout Nutrition 

How To Eat Bee Pollen?

Consumer demands in the field of food have shifted dramatically. Bee pollen's high-quality composition has been gaining prominence as a superfood, and studies have been conducted to show and establish its therapeutic potential for medical and food applications. Bee pollen contains fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins D, K, E, and A.


Natural bee pollen has also been suggested to be a valuable dietary supplement. It is a good source of magnesium and vitamin C content in the heart muscle, thymus and skeletal muscles as well as a higher haemoglobin content and a higher number of red blood cells notably. Here are some bee pollen nutrition facts (in 1 tsp of bee pollen):

  • 16 cal

  • 0.24 gm of fat

  • 1.2 gm of protein

  • 2.18 gm of carbohydrates

  • 250 types of nutrients, including flavonoids and vitamins


Here are some bee pollen uses and different ways you can eat bee pollen in your diet: 

Methods 

Diet Tips 

Breakfast

Add a touch of bee pollen to your morning yoghurt, oatmeal, or granola for a slightly sweet and nutty flavour that pairs well with these staples.

Salads

Give your salad a nutritional boost by sprinkling some bee pollen on top, adding a nice crunch to your greens.

Smoothies

Toss some bee pollen into your favorite smoothie recipe to enhance its nutritional profile with an extra dose of nutrients.

Energy Drinks

Mix a spoonful of bee pollen into your homemade energy drink for a natural pick-me-up, providing sustained energy and vitality throughout the day.

With Nut Butter

Incorporate bee pollen into nut butter for a delicious spread, offering a convenient way to enjoy its benefits on toast or as a dip for fruits and veggies.

Bee pollen, naturally, comes in small crunchy pellets. You can easily add it to some foods like oatmeal, smoothies or yoghurt, which makes it convenient as well. It can also be ground down as a supplement powder or into a capsule.

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Bee Pollen?

Your healthcare provider may advise against using bee pollen if any of the following applies to you:

1. Severe Allergic Reaction

 If you have had a severe allergic reaction to natural bee pollen or its components (ingredients), you shouldn't consume it. You should also avoid bee pollen if you have an allergy to pollen or a severe allergy to bee stings.

2. Pregnancy Precautions 

Bee pollen shouldn't be used during pregnancy. Seek assistance from your healthcare professional to discuss the benefits and risks of bee pollen while pregnant.

3. Breastfeeding Considerations

There is limited data on bee pollen safety while nursing. For this reason, it's not typically recommended to breastfeeding parents. Discuss the benefits and harms of bee pollen while nursing with your healthcare provider.

4. Children's Wellness 

Many bee pollen product labels target adults, not children. If you are considering bee pollen for your child, have a conversation with your child's paediatrician or other healthcare provider first.

5. Concerns For Adults Over 65 

Older adults have participated in some bee pollen–related clinical trials, such as for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), enlarged prostate, and menopausal symptoms, but many of these studies were small. Generally, older adults tend to be more sensitive to side effects from medications than younger people. For this reason, take bee pollen with caution.

6. Liver Problems

Liver problems might be possible with bee pollen. Therefore, your healthcare provider may recommend against bee pollen if you have a liver condition.

The Final Say

Bee pollen contains high concentrations of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it incredibly healthy. It may vary significantly in composition and nutrient content based on the region in which the bee pollen was collected, its ecological habitat, and the season. Studies have linked bee pollen and its compounds to health benefits like decreased inflammation,  improved immunity of an individual, menopausal symptoms and wound healing. 


All said, bee pollen is a great addition to your diet for all age groups with some exceptions such as pregnancy or if advised by a doctor due to other medications or health conditions. It can be easily purchased from health stores or your local beekeeper.


It is not just the physical health and well-being that suffices, it's the overall development of your mind and body and its constant alignment that you should focus on. And bee pollen helps you keep it all in check and healthy!

FAQs

1. Is bee pollen good for males?

Yes, bee pollen can be good for men and has the following benefits: 

  • Alleviate depression symptoms 

  • Has a beneficial effect on inflammatory conditions of the prostate gland

  • Can treat chronic alcohol disease

  • Can provide a natural energy boost, enhancing vitality and stamina in males


2. How much B12 is in bee pollen?

Bee pollen benefits are particularly high in B-complex (all of the B vitamins except for B12) but are especially high in B9, or what is commonly called folic acid.


3. How can bee pollen as functional food benefit our health?

Bee pollen is indeed recognised as a functional food as it offers many health benefits due to its rich composition of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It may enhance energy, support immune function, and contribute to overall well-being.


4. What is the difference between bee pollen and bee bread?

While both bee pollen and bee bread are bee-derived products, the key difference lies in their processing. Bee pollen is raw pollen collected by bees, while bee bread is fermented and stored pollen mixed with bee saliva and nectar, creating a nutrient-rich bee product.


5. Is bee pollen a super food? 

Yes, bee pollen is often regarded as a superfood due to its exceptional nutritional profile. Packed with essential nutrients like vitamins D, K, E, and A, it surpasses many conventional foods in its potential to support health and well-being.

References

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