7 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Take Bee Pollen Every Day
When we think of bee products, we think of honey and honeycomb, which are processed by the bees themselves. We may even think of royal jelly, which is the substance fed to young queens.
But bee pollen itself has become a subject of health studies, and there are many apparent benefits to taking bee pollen as a supplement or adding it to your diet. Some studies have even classified bee pollen as a superfood. But it’s not for everyone: bee pollen is not considered safe for pregnant or nursing women.
Still, if you are not pregnant or nursing, there are some remarkable nutritional benefits of bee pollen. Here are the health benefits of bee pollen that happen when you take it every day.
What is bee pollen?
Bee pollen is, in effect, the raw material for honey. When bees forage for pollen, they go from flower to flower and collect it on their legs. Then the bees transport the pollen back to the hive, where it becomes the basis for all things made by bees. Bee pollen is fermented in a honeycomb cell to become a substance called bee bread, which is a major source of nutrition for the bees.
Honey is a byproduct of pollen. But whereas honey is made from bee enzymes and other components, the bee pollen itself is untreated save for bee saliva which is added when the bees unpack their deliveries and put them into cells. Bee pollen is harvested from the bees before the pollen has a chance to ferment, which means it has a shorter shelf life than honey.
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How do you take bee pollen?
Generally speaking, bee pollen as a dietary supplement comes in granulated form. People who take bee pollen sprinkle it over cereal or in smoothies. Some people prefer to break down bee pollen in water. It is an acquired taste; bee pollen is bitter by itself.
Bee pollen is also available in capsules or compressed into tablets. You might want to start off with smaller doses to begin with, to build up your tolerance for both the taste and the effects.
Now’s lets discuss the various health and nutritional benefits of bee pollen.
Bee pollen may help prevent allergies
If you suffer from pollen allergies when you relocate to a new area, a common treatment is to eat local honey. This supposedly inures you to the allergic effects of pollen.
In much the same way, bee pollen can help prevent allergies or reduce their severity. A 2008 study found that bee pollen had anti-allergy effects by inhibiting the activation of mast cells, which play a role in triggering allergic reactions.
But keep in mind, if you are allergic to bees you should not take bee pollen, since bee saliva is a major component.
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Bee pollen may help lower cholesterol
Cholesterol, or more specifically LDL cholesterol, is considered one of the main culprits in heart attacks and strokes. These occur when the blood circulation is slowed or blocked by cholesterol in the arteries.
Animal studies have been promising in showing that bee pollen can lower LDL cholesterol. Another study in humans showed that bee pollen reduced the restrictions in blood vessels in the eyes, alleviating a type of nearsightedness caused by lower blood flow to the eyes.
More work needs to be done but anything that helps lower cholesterol is a welcome addition to science.
Bee pollen may help prevent cancer and diabetes
What is bee pollen made of? Bee pollen is made up of 250 active substances, including antioxidant compounds like carotenoids, flavonoids, and glutathione. In fact, antioxidants can make up anywhere from 5–15% of bee pollen granules.
Antioxidants are an important part of your health, in that they sweep up “free radical” molecules that can be factors in developing some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Bee pollen antioxidants have even been shown in studies to reduce chronic inflammation and fight the growth of tumors.
In addition to antioxidants, bee pollen consists of carbs, proteins, water, fat, and other substances. However, the composition of bee pollen varies based on the flowers the pollen was gathered from and even the season of the year it was harvested in.
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Bee pollen may help protect your liver
The liver is one of the most vital organs in your body. It is responsible for detoxing your system by processing and getting rid of harmful substances. Alcohol, drug use, and environmental damage like heavy metals in the air can seriously harm your liver and prevent it from working.
But animal studies have shown that bee pollen can have a healing effect on the liver, preventing damage caused by toxic substances or even reversing damage already done. Again, more studies need to be done, but science is just beginning to understand what bee pollen can do.
Bee pollen may help treat symptoms of menopause
Menopause is literally the end of the fertile cycle in women, when the body stops menstruating and there are no more eggs coming from the fallopian tubes. Unfortunately, menopause is often marked by symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats.
This is caused by the reduction in estrogen and progesterone being produced, as these hormones are no longer needed. Women who have given birth can also suffer these fluctuations in hormone balance.
Studies on women have showed a marked reduction in menopausal symptoms when treated with bee pollen. In fact, one 2015 study found 71% of women taking bee pollen felt a reduction in menopausal symptoms. Women who do not want to take artificial hormones to stop these symptoms might want to look into bee pollen instead.
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Bee pollen may help prevent vitamin deficiency
Another group of animal studies have shown that bee pollen can help your body stay healthy. It can help the body absorb more nutrients in food and prevent problems caused by vitamin deficiency. Bee pollen is composed of approximately 40% carbs and 35% protein, with the balance made up of fats and water. Generally speaking, there is no nutritional reason not to use bee pollen; the only risks involve persons with bee allergies and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as bee pollen has not been proved to be safe for infants.
Bee pollen may help prevent infections and heal wounds
Finally, bee pollen also has promise as a medical treatment for injuries and burns. Studies have shown that bee pollen as a topical treatment can help a burn wound heal faster and with fewer complications than some medications.
Bee pollen also is composed of antibacterial and antimicrobial substances, which can prevent infection. Its antioxidant properties also go a long way toward alleviating inflammation, which can be a result of arthritis or other conditions.
Clearly, there is a lot of health potential in bee pollen already discovered, and possibly more to be discovered along the way.