You are stuck on a desert island. You can only take one type of food. What do you take? I would take a fruit and cheese tray…and a glass of wine if allowed. What we should have said is BEE POLLEN! Bee pollen? YES, bee pollen is the most nutritionally complete food there is.
What is Bee Pollen?
Quite basically, bee pollen is food for bees. Bees collect pollen from plants. They mix it with nectar or a secretion from their salivary glands and store it in little pouches on their back legs. They take it back to the hive where it is packed into honeycomb and stored to use as food for the colony. Beekeepers collect pollen by attaching little pollen traps to the entrance to the hive. When the bee re-enters the hive the pollen trap scrapes some of the pollen off the bee’s legs. It then falls into a tray for easy harvest.
Historical Use of Bee Pollen
Humans have recognized the benefits of bee pollen for centuries. Over 2000 years ago the Chinese described pollen as sweet tasting and neutral. In ancient Egypt, the bee was considered sacred. Ancient Egyptians were avid beekeepers. They moved their hives up and down the Nile on boats to pollinate crops. They buried pharaohs with jars of honey, and they recognized the nutritional value of the bee’s pollen calling it “life giving dust”. In ancient Greece, Hypocrites and Pythagoras both prescribed bee pollen for its healing properties. Early Native Americans wore bee pollen in pouches around their neck during long journeys. They would eat it to sustain a high level of energy.
Bee Pollen Nutrition
As a nutritional resource, bee pollen is quite impressive…almost perfect, really. Technically it contains all the nutritional elements that the human body needs to survive. It contains 18 vitamins, including B complex, making it one of the single richest foods for vitamin contents. It has all the essential amino acids, fatty acids, and RNA/DNA nucleic acids. Bee pollen is a good source of antioxidants which protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains enzymes, minerals, carbs, antibiotics, and can bee a good source of protein depending on which plant the bees collected the pollen from. While you probably would not want to live on just bee pollen alone, it is an excellent supplement to add to your health routine.
How to Take Bee Pollen
You can take one to two teaspoons of bee pollen a day. You can eat it straight, although some people feel that it has a slightly bitter taste. You can mix it into water or fruit juice. Many people like to add it to their breakfast by sprinkling in onto their cereal, mixing it into yogurt, topping their oatmeal with it, or blending it into a smoothie. You can mix it into honey or into applesauce. It is an excellent salad garnish or addition to a salad dressing such as honey mustard, poppy seed, or a slightly sweet vinaigrette. Avoid heating pollen as that destroys some of the beneficial nutrients found in it. If you have never tried bee pollen before start small. As with any food there is a small possibility of an allergic reaction. Put a few granules under your tongue and wait for about 5 minutes. You may proceed to a higher dose if you don’t notice a reaction. Bee pollen granules can be stored for up to two years in your refrigerator. If you don’t like the idea of adding it to your food bee pollen also comes in capsule form.