Bee pollen is often buzzed about because it looks oh-so-pretty atop perfectly styled acai bowls on Instagram, but its good looks only scratch the surface on the powers of this superfood. Jam-packed with nutrition and healing properties, bee pollen is *way* more than decoration--it's your new pantry must-have. (We take our superfoods seriously around here. And our puns.)
Meet Bee Pollen: Valedictorian of the Superfood Class
In the world of superfoods, bee pollen’s resume is impressive. Bee pollen is one of nature’s most complete foods, as it contains nearly all nutrients necessary to sustain life. How’s that for the first line of a LinkedIn profile?
Bee pollen is a complete protein source (read: it has all the essential amino acids) and can pack up to 2g of protein per tablespoon--that’s more than the amount found in chicken, beef, or eggs of equal weight. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A (an important immune-booster) with B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, enzymes, and fatty acids. Its fiber content isn’t too shabby, either, coming in at 1.5g per tablespoon. Like we said...killer. resume.
Thanks to health-conscious celebs, ala Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, bee pollen has been in headlines in recent years. But its powers were understood long before lifestyle brands and swipe-ups. Hippocrates and Pythagoras both prescribed bee pollen for its healing properties. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Chinese considered pollen a panacea. Native Americans wore pouches containing bee pollen around their necks on long journeys to help sustain their energy. (So...maybe it could be the tired mom cure-all? Here’s to hoping.)
Bee Pollen Is...What, Exactly?
As honeybees bounce from flower to flower collecting nectar, pollen collects into little clumps on their hind legs. These clumps are sealed with a mix of saliva and honey or nectar, and brought back to the hive and packed into combs as a food source, creating the small granules we know as bee pollen. And now for the secret sauce: those bee secretions create a fermentation process that makes the nutrients of the flower pollen more readily available and gives bee pollen the nutritional density it’s known for.
Bee pollen is collected as bees enter the hive and pass through a screen that gently scrapes their hind legs. Think of it as a welcome mat at the hive for the bees to wipe their pollen-filled feet.
Here’s How it Helps
Bee pollen’s potential benefit list is ample, from lowering cholesterol to relieving allergies and symptoms of menopause. As the superfood is further studied, the more exciting the potential becomes. Here’s what we know so far:
Anti-inflammatory: According to the National Institute of Health, research has shown bee pollen to have anti-inflammatory properties comparable to over-the-counter medications.
Immune Boosting: Vitamin A is an important part of the immune system firing on all cylinders, and a single serving of bee pollen can provide 51% of the recommended percent daily value. It’s also been found antimicrobial, antifungal, and a potent antioxidant, so much that it is considered a functional food.
Energy Giving: Not only does bee pollen contain all the essential amino acids, but those amino acids are free-form, meaning they are easily absorbed by the body and ready to be put to work--your work.
Ok, I’m Sold. Where Can I Find Bee Pollen?
Bee pollen is available in granular form at most health food stores, but we’ve saved you the trouble of a “what should I do with this bee pollen” Google search and added it to one of our most nutrient-dense blends: Tropical Zing.