To bee or not to bee???
Bee pollen, considered nature’s perfect food due to its high level of protein with all essential amino acids, anti-inflammatory/antibacterial properties, high level of vitamin B12 and abundance of folic acid.
It has been used for well over 2,000 years by the Chinese, Romans and Egyptians. It is said that Hippocrates and Pythagoras both prescribed bee pollen for its healing properties.
You may be asking yourself…What is bee pollen?
“Bee pollen comes from the male germ cell of flowering plants. As the honeybee travels from flower to flower, it fertilizes the female germ cells with some of the male germ cells it picks up. The remaining male pollen is collected and brought to the hive, where the bees add enzymes and nectar to the pollen.” (The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods)
Health claims include:
-Boosts immune system
-Improves fertility by stimulating ovarian function
-Gives complexion a radiant glow by preventing premature aging of cells and stimulating growth of new skin tissue
-Improves athletic performance
Unfortunately, not enough medical research has been preformed to verify these health claims. But, that has not stopped people from BEElieving in its healing qualities and including it into their diet.
Bee pollen is not to be used by those taking blood thinners or those who have allergic reactions to bee stings or pollen. Also, there is insufficient data to determine its safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. For those who have chronic medical conditions or take prescribed medications, check with your doctor first!
Start out slowly, taste a granule or two and watch for adverse side effects. If bee pollen and you get along well, try it in a smoothie or sprinkle it on peanut butter toast. You can even make a powder by blending it together with cinnamon…yum! Store bee pollen in the refrigerator to protect its active enzymes.
Carrot Banana Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup almond milk + 1 cup water (or 2 cups almond milk)
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 teaspoon bee pollen
a few almonds
1-2 handfuls of baby spinach
~Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix, blend and enjoy!~