Bee Pollen. Yeah, that is right, bee pollen made the list of the 150 of the Healthiest Foods on Earth. Have you ever even heard of ingesting bee pollen before? I hadn’t. The first time I read about the health benefits of bee pollen was in Tosca Reno’s “The Eat Clean Diet” book. Tosca said that she sprinkled her oatmeal with bee pollen and I thought she was crazy. I just disregarded that little tip and followed the rest of the diet without the crazy bee stuff. I mean, where in the world do you find bee pollen anyways?
Well, if you live here in Fort Mill, check out A&S Natural Health which is located on Gold Hill Road, right next to the Gold Hill YMCA. I love looking through the natural health store because they always have so many unique products! They have everything from all natural shampoo to amaranth grain to bee pollen! The bee pollen is hidden in the freezer section of the store and costs a staggering $17 per bag. I begrudgingly bought the small package of bee pollen and stared at it with disdain at home. It looks like little yellow pellets, something you may find on the petal of a flower. It did not look appetizing at all and I was very scared. I bought this stuff during the same week that my car is completely yellow from the pollen in the air. Should I just go outside and lick my car and save myself $17? I am also having allergies to the pollen in the air, what if I have an anaphylactic shock from ingesting the very substance that is causing me to cough and wheeze?
I was frightened to try this stuff and I didn’t even know why it’s supposed to be so darn good for me anyways. Well, I looked into it and apparently the hype on bee pollen is not new, as people have been touting the healing benefits of bee pollen for over 2,000 years. Bee pollen has been called nature’s perfect food because it is loaded with vitamins and contains almost all known minerals, trace elements, enzymes and amino acids. The reason why this small substance packs so much punch is because bee pollen captures the essence of every plant from which it collects pollen. Bee pollen contains 18 amino acids; DNA and RNA; vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and B12, niacin; pantothenic acid; folic acid; vitamins C, D, E and K; choline; inositol; rutin and other bioflavonoids; calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc; ten types of enzymes; coenzymnes; and many other nutritional factors. The flavonoids have significant antioxidant properties. Bee pollen also contains hard-to-get trace minerals such as silicon, molybdenum, boron, and sulfur. Some even believe that bee pollen can enhance athletic performance, improve recovery time and prevent illness.
In fact, the only real negative is that it turns out that I wasn’t so far off from my fear of an allergic reaction because there have been incidents of people having allergic reactions to bee pollen if they are hypersensitive to pollens.
When I read the package of bee pollen, it says to start off small with only a few granules of the pollen a day. So, I put about three to four pieces in my yogurt and stirred it extremely well. I was extremely nervous to take a bite, fearing that it would taste like I licked a piece of chalk or that I would immediately begin wheezing, but much to my surprise I did not feel or taste anything. So, the next day, I upped the ante and added a larger sprinkle of bee pollen to my protein shake, but still…..nothing. On the next day, I added an entire spoonful to my protein shake; I still did not taste anything, which is great!
If the health benefits that I read about are true, than that is great! But, like with many of these foods, we can’t tell an immediate difference in our health or well-being. It is something that we can add to our overall healthy diet and lifestyle and hope that the benefits will be felt overtime. At $17 a bag, I’m not sure if I will continue ingesting bee pollen forever, but I did learn that it didn’t kill me. If I can try bee pollen, I can try anything. Bring it on!