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A so-called superfood, I just love to have every single day – although I don’t like the taste of bee products like honey at all – is bee pollen. For those of you who are wondering what bee pollen is: basically, bees gather it while they visit flowers collecting nectar.
Some is brushed off their legs and collected when they enter the hive (not vegan). It comes in tiny golden-coloured granules that are sweet to taste.
As I love to add a teaspoon to my oatmeal every morning, I was wondering what health benefits it has and did some research on bee pollen.
Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, antioxidants, fats and protein. There are plenty of claimed benefits I will talk about below, but always keep in mind that none have been proven.
To begin with, Russian researchers have found that it is the richest source of vitamins occurring in nature in a single food. Bee pollen is extremely rich in rutin which is an antioxidant that helps the body use vitamin C and produce collagen. Often rutin is asociated with treating haemorrhoids, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Moreover, researchers discovered that a substance in bee pollen kills some harmful bacteria like salmonella.
For those of you who suffer from allergies: histamine production may be reduced by taking bee pollen, helping allergies and hay fever (take it some time prior and during the season).
It also reduces inflammation and is suggested to be used in acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, initial degenerative conditions and liver disease or toxicity. It can be useful as a home remedy for burn relief as it includes kaempferol which inhibits the activity of enzymes after a burn and it decreases inflammatory reactions and swelling.
Another benefit is that bee pollen acts as an antioxidant. Researchers found that the inhibitory activities of bee pollen were similar to those found in fermented foods.
Whether bee pollen really improves one’s health, everyone has to decide on his or her own. In my opinion, if you believe in it, it will (as it is with so many things). Personally, I use it because I love that little sweetness it adds to my porridge – any health benefits I consider a bonus.
If I got you curious and you want to try bee pollen yourself now, consume it raw to get all its nutritional value and purchase local pollen. What I’ve found over time is that the flavour can vary depending on where it comes from. I personally don’t like very sweet bee pollen which the Bavarian ones I tried were. Hence, I like to buy local bee pollen at home in Austria – I love their taste.
Although bee pollen is considered safe, it is recommended to not consume it if you have serious pollen allergies, are pregnant or breastfeeding or taking medications (always check with your doctor before!).
Do you have any superfood you love not caring whether it really works or not?
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