If you’ve tried enough acai bowls, at least in the Southern California area, at some point you’ve probably interacted with bee pollen. To be frank, the first time I saw the stuff I was a little freaked out and thought I had accidentally pissed off the person behind the counter. Well, truth be told, the yellow crumbly stuff is really, really good for you, and it doesn’t taste bad either.
So what exactly is bee pollen? Bee pollen is a pollen ball that was originally collected on the body of a bee as it buzzed from flower to flower. Once the bee returned to the hive, other worker bees packed that pollen into a pellets using saliva and other enzymes. Although it may sound odd, the resulting product is incredibly nutritious, and protein makes up almost 40% of its content.
Bee pollen has long been touted as a nutritious food, but science hasn’t always back this up. The scientific studies demonstrating the benefits of bee pollen are limited, but there definitely are a few out there. That being said, listed below are a few reasons why you should consider embracing the health benefits of bee pollen.
Rich in Vitamins
Bee pollen is chock full of the good stuff. We’re talking vitamins A, B1, B2. B6, C, D, and E. But that’s only scratching the surface. Bee pollen is also a good source of amino acids, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and other minerals.
Bee pollen helps address two things: inflammation and oxidative stress. Chronic inflammation keeps your body, and particularly your digestive system, in a constant state of irritation. No bueno. Oxidative stress is caused by the accumulation of free radicals throughout the body when your body is unable to effectively neutralize them. The short version: these two things are bad for your health, and bee pollen can help keep them in check. See?
No matter whether you’re on a surfboard, snowboard, or one of Kai Lenny’s foil standups, bee pollen can be helpful in maximizing performance and endurance. After all, look at that B vitamin content.
Bee pollen has been known to help curb appetite. Some believe that this property is due to the pollen’s phenylalanine content, which is a natural appetite suppressant. One study has even demonstrated that bee pollen could potentially boost metabolism.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, bee pollen can help clear up and soothe agitated skin. Benefits have been shown from consuming bee pollen and by topically applying skincare products that incorporate bee pollen.
All those vitamins plus antimicrobial content as well? In combination, this makes for a powerful immunity boost.
Treat and Prevent Cancer
Bee pollen is no cure for cancer, to be sure, but some patients have reported that it can help alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy. Additionally, because of its antioxidant content, bee pollen could potentially be helpful in preventing cancer altogether.
Since bee pollen is packed with B vitamins and magnesium, it can be helpful in helping the body and mind cope with and manage stress.
Some argue that bee pollen can help improve ovarian function. This can translate into improving fertility and accelerating pregnancy.
Please note: Even though bee pollen is healthy for many people, it can have negative side effects. Please avoid bee pollen if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Those with severe pollen allergies should also avoid the food as well. If you are prone to severe allergies, or if you have a serious health condition of any kind, you also may want to contact a doctor before consuming. Always better safe than sorry.