Bee Pollen Supplements
The health benefits of bee pollen have been known for centuries. This amazing natural product, collected by bees from flowers and deposited in their hives, contains a wide assortment of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, beneficial fatty acids, and other nutrients that we require on a daily basis for good health. And, in bee pollen, these nutrients are concentrated, so eating only a small amount of bee pollen on a regular basis can have enormous benefits.
Because of bee pollen’s high concentration of essential nutrients, it has been recommended by health practitioners for treatment of various ailments, including insomnia, nausea, infections, low blood pressure, heart disease, and more. Some studies suggest that bee pollen may used as a supplement in the treatment of cancer; other studies attribute longevity to regular consumption of bee pollen. Chinese medicine recommends bee pollen as an energy boost, improving vitality and endurance, or to help in recovering from a chronic illness. Others use bee pollen to reduce cravings, thereby helping to manage addictions.
Many of these studies are incomplete or inconclusive, but the results are certainly positive, and adverse reactions to bee pollen have been mostly limited to those who are allergic to bee stings. If you are indeed allergic to bee stings, consuming bee pollen may trigger an anaphylactic reaction, so proceed with caution, or take another health supplement instead.
There are many ways to consume bee pollen; in its rawest form, bee pollen can be purchased as granules at a health food store or directly from a beekeeper. These granules can then be eaten raw by the spoonful, mixed with yogurt or cereal, or blended in with a health drink. However, many find that the chalky taste of raw granules takes some getting used to.
|Bee Pollen Supplements|
These days, more and more bee pollen supplements are available on the market, offering a range of attractive options for the consumer. These supplements are generally available in either capsule or tablet form.
There are pros and cons to bee pollen capsules. In the process of converting the raw granules into a form that can be encapsulated, the hard shells of the granules are usually broken or removed. This certainly aids digestion, and can be a good solution for those with sensitive gastro-intestinal systems. Also, producers of capsules often claim that, by removing these hard shells, the nutrients that are found within bee pollen can be more easily digested. However, our bodies are able on their own to break down the hard shells, thus releasing the nutrients directly into our systems. Cracking the shells beforehand may actually expose these nutrients to heat and light, thus oxidizing the nutrients and rendering them less effective.
If you decide that a capsule, tablet, or other supplement the best way for you to benefit from bee pollen, begin by sourcing your capsules from a local manufacturer — at least, one from your own country. Not only will your supplement be required to conform to health and pharmaceutical regulations imposed by your country, but by “buying local,” your purchase will have to travel a shorter distance to get to your health food store, thus reducing the environmental impact of transporting products over long distances.
Ensure that the supplement you purchase is pharmaceutical grade. Generally, a supplement that you can rely on must be GMP-compliant (“Good Manufacturing Practice”) — this indicates an international standard of quality control for various food supplements and pharmaceuticals, enforced through national agencies in countries throughout the world, as well as through the World Health Organization. Consult with a salesperson at your health food store to help you pick out the best brand of capsule.
Likewise, there are a wide variety of bee pollen tablets available at health food stores and on the Internet. As with capsules, consuming tablets may be helpful for those with sensitive digestive tracts. Plus, it’s just easier! However, in processing the tablets, some of the effectiveness of the nutrients may be lost. Consult with an expert your health food store, or with a medical practitioner, for advice.
Other bee pollen supplements may actually be a combination of various bee products, including royal jelly (a secretion that honey bees feed to their larvae), bee propolis (a resinous substance that bees collect from various plants and use in the construction of their hives), and simple honey. These by-products all have potential health benefits.