Superfood Bee Pollen: Your natural wholefood multi-vitamin
Supplementation in context
A single supplement will never be a magic bullet for our health as the human body requires a synergy of multiple nutriments (50 Essential bioavailable nutrients). These nutrients are required in individually quantities determined by our genetics and our lifestyle conditions. Supplements should always play a secondary supportive role in optimising health. A wholefoods diet, regular exercise, appropriate rest & optimal sleep should be our main focuses. Certain supplements are recommended for probable modern day nutrient deficiencies (a blood test will testify this) and increased nutrient demands when training. Typical modern lifestyles of high stress, high environmental pollution and processed nutrient deprived foods increase our needs for supplementation. Supplements are not compensators for an enduring poor diet.
Pollen is from the male seed of flowers; Bee’s collect this and mix it with nectar. The colour, size, weight and shape of bee pollen granules can vary depending on the plant species it’s collected from. 1 teaspoon of bee pollen contains 2.5 billion flower pollen grains and takes 8 hours work for one bee to harvest (a round of applause please). Bee pollen is nature’s most complete food, nutrient dense and calorie light (1 oz of bee pollen is 90 cals). It composes of some 250 known substances with medicinal properties that are too complex to be synthesised in labs.
Bee Pollen Composition:
- 30% Carbohydrates
- Up to 26% sugar (mainly fructose and glucose)
- 23% to 40% protein (more protein than animal sources), of which 40-50% are free amino acids form. It holds at least 18 non-essential amino acids (NEAA) and all 8 essential (EAA)
- 5% good fats. 14 beneficial fatty acids including omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids (EFA’s)
- 2% anti-cancer phenolic compounds: phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, stilbenes, curcuminoids, coumarins, lignans & quinones etc
- 6% Minerals. Contains all 28 minerals found in the body including calcium, magnesium and selenium
- 12+ vitamins including B-complex vitamins, folate, C, D, E, & beta-carotene
- 6% water soluble vitamins.
- 1% fat soluble vitamins
- Also has 11 enzymes, hormones/phytosterols & nucleic acids (DNA &RNA)
‘Honeybee pollen is the richest source of vitamins found in nature in a single food’
Institute of Apiculture, Taranov, Russia
Bee pollen benefits:
1) Reduces inflammation – the pain, heat & redness caused by excessive free radicle tissue damage. Helps post-exercise recovery of DOMS (delay of muscle soreness). Relief’s inflammatory-related illness & also protects against radiation
2) Antioxidant-rich – scavenges age & cancer promoting free radicals
3) Improves liver functioning and therefore detoxification (essential for the maintenance of health)
4) Assists immune function reducing infection susceptibility – having antibacterial, antifungal & antiviral properties (supports your gut probiotic populations). It also increases immune cells lymphocytes and gamma globulins
5) Being naturally nutrient-dense it helps prevent/reverse malnutrition or nutrient deficiencies. Reduces food cravings/addictions, increase fertility and life longevity.
6) Builds blood increasing white and red blood cells (helpful for anaemic sufferers). High in Rutin that strengthens blood capillaries. Increase blood supply to nerves with a stress adaptogenic effect (stabilises physiological processes & the promotion of homeostasis).
7) Normalises cholesterol ratio’s, increase HDL and reducing LDL Cholesterol as well as blood triglyceride levels. Contains 15% lecithin, a source of choline that dissolves fat.
8) Assists fat loss/body composition change – supports muscle synthesise, and ignites metabolism. Phenylalanine is an appetite suppressant found in relatively large amounts in bee pollen.
9) Helps recovery of chronic illness and acute infection e.g. colds and flu
10) Anti-allergic action/prevents hay fever – causes the body to produce antibodies that reduce allergy reactions. Take 6 weeks before hay fever season and throughout (March to October in the UK)
11) Increases sports performance, an ergogenic aid. Controlled studies show increased strength and reduced pulse rate in regular consumers.
12) Reduces menopause symptoms
Practical Supplement guidelines
Ideally acquire from a local bee keeper and ensure the product is pesticide free,
Initially take 1/4 teaspoon once per day and test for any allergic response. Allergy symptoms manifest as itchiness, swelling, shortness of breath and light headache. If these symptoms are triggered then immediately discontinue use (switch to a wholefoods multivitamin).
The dosage can then be gradually increased to 1-2 teaspoons, one to three times per day.
A short term, therapeutic amount of bee pollen to relieve stress, nutrition deficiencies, allergies, inflammations or illness is to take 3 teaspoons per day.
A fat-loss strategy is to take a teaspoon of bee pollen before every meal
Add granules to yogurt, cereals, fruit or veg smoothies, fruit salads or in a Post exercise shake etc.
Avoid if pregnant as bee pollen can stimulate the uterus.