New Delhi: In recent years, an influx of health and fitness trends, especially when it comes to diet, has made its way into our social media news feeds and into our daily lives. . More often than not, these trends simply include superfoods that have been around for years or even decades. These superfoods have a myriad of benefits and in many cases are simply incorporated into innovative recipes. Among these, there is one that has been around for several decades and whose benefits are widely recognized around the world: bee pollen.
What is bee pollen?
A mixture of flowers, pollen, nectar, enzymes, honey wax and bee secretions, bee pollen is collected by bees from plants and transported to their hives. Most of us would have come across these yellowish lozenges stored in jars at local organic / health food stores or sprinkled over smoothie or acai bowls on social media as a finishing touch and garnish, or even included as salad ingredient.
Ascension to Glory
Today, although bee pollen is considered a nutrient-dense superfood in several cultures, including Chinese medicine, it has gained popularity in the health community in recent years. Realizing that it is packed with nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, lipids and over 250 other active substances, bee pollen is now increasingly included by many consumers in their regular diets. While the nutritional level and content of pollen vary depending on the plant source and the season in which it was harvested, on average bee pollen contains around 40 percent carbohydrate, 35 percent protein. , 4 to 10 percent water and 5 percent fat. Here are some of the main health benefits that can be derived from bee pollen.
The abundant benefits
Although it is very different from bee venom and honey, bee pollen is also a form of apitherapy. In fact, just one teaspoon of bee pollen can contain over 2.5 billion nutrient-rich flower pollen granules, making it one of the richest sources of vitamins and other nutrients. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and has high antioxidant properties, similar to fermented foods, and fights oxidants from external factors such as air pollution which can damage our internal organs. By helping to keep our liver healthy, bee pollen even aids the healing process if a person has suffered liver damage.
Another crucial benefit offered by bee pollen is the strengthening of our immune system. With its antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties, bee pollen helps the body fight bacteria and viruses and builds immunity, which is currently essential. Containing bioflavonoids and vitamin C, bee pollen not only promotes muscle growth, but also helps speed up metabolism and contributes to longevity. These small, yellow, ball-shaped lozenges are also helpful in relieving symptoms of menopause in middle-aged women, such as hot flashes, and help reduce irritability and joint pain while facilitating better sleep. , better mood and energy levels. Containing anti-estrogen properties, this superfood even reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer. In addition, it also improves blood flow to our nervous system thus reducing stress levels while relieving fatigue.
A word of warning
While bee pollen certainly contains abundant health benefits, it is best consumed in limited amounts. Additionally, bee pollen may not be recommended for people with pollen allergies or for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It would also be best for those taking long-term medications to consult their doctor before including bee pollen in their diet, as it can interfere with certain medications.
Although not a miracle cure, bee pollen, if consumed in moderate amounts, can help improve your long-term health. For your daily dose of nutrients and a flavor boost, add it to your yogurt, oatmeal or cereal, drizzle honey on top and enjoy!
(Contributions from Bee My Boo, A New Era of Affordable and Sustainable Health and Lifestyle)
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe