We all know that bees are known for producing honey. They live in domesticated hives producing their wonderful nectar for hive owners all over the world. And, of course, there are millions of wild bees that carry on their jobs on their own. The honey is a great product and useful for medicinal reasons as well as a delicious and healthy substitute for a sweetening agent.
Besides making honey, a bee's most important job is being a pollinator. They do us the service of pollinating around ninety crops, not to mention all the beautiful flowers. Fruit, nuts, berries, even avocados - if you enjoy these, thank the bees.
A product from the bees that is not as well known is bee pollen. They create this bee pollen from their regular pollinating activities. It ends up being a mixture of all the things they come into daily contact with - nectar, flower pollen, honey - and their own secretions and enzymes.
So what's so great about bee pollen? It doesn't sound like something I'd want to eat, like honey. But in fact, bee pollen has a plethora of protein - more than any other animal source by the ounce. And it's packed full of vitamins and fatty acid. The make up of bee pollen is forty percent carbohydrates and thirty-five percent protein, with the remaining being water, fat, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Sounds like the perfect food source!
There are several health benefits to bee pollen. Fighting allergies is a popular use because it helps to build resistance to allergens caused by pollen. The Journal of Medicinal Food published this study if you have allergies and would like to read more about their findings.
Another helpful characteristic of bee pollen is its high concentration of antioxidants. These antioxidants have desirable benefits in fighting the stress caused by some pretty common diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
If you have high cholesterol there is research that shows bee pollen can help you lower your LDL cholesterol - which is the "bad" one. Many of the cholesterol-reducing drugs on the market today have unwanted side effects. It behooves us to find natural remedies. Plus, I don't know about you, but I'd rather support a business selling natural products that keep putting my money in Big Pharma's pockets.
Have you ever had to take steroids for anti-inflammatory issues? I have and I do not like them. Again they can have almost as many side effects as benefits, especially if you are a diabetic. But bee pollen also has anti-inflammatory properties and their effects have led to it being branded as an alternative non-steroidal anti-inflammatory choice.
And for a final added bonus bee pollen has demonstrated an ability to decrease bone loss in those suffering from osteoporosis.
Bee pollen is often sold as natural granules and the best choice is bee pollen products that are freeze-dried. Processing and heat drying removes a lot of the nutrients and enzymes that you are buying the product for in the first place. You can buy bee pollen products from many stores and online shops. Your best bet is to buy bee pollen from the country you reside in if you are looking for help with your allergies.
In this wiki article, there is some good information about possible risks, what to buy, and how much to take if you decide to check further into giving this a try.
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