Bee Pollen Superfood? When I think of the wide variety of products sold as ‘nutritional supplements’ these days, none are more perplexing than bee pollen. The thing that surprises me the most is how this substance has transitioned from being a food, which is what it is, to being a vitamin supplement. It seems that we can talk openly and freely about the benefits of oranges, spinach, tomatoes and grapes (all high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) but when we label something a ‘supplement’ we are now limited in our choice of vocabulary by the FDA. It’s important that the FDA regulate these claims made about certain products designed to promote health, but what happened to bee pollen, why is is suddenly under the same scrutiny as say “HGH” or “Melatonin”? It is a food and therefore should be labeled and treated as such.
So as a food, what is so special about Bee Pollen?
There’s a lot to discuss about the nutritional composition of bee pollen much of which can be used to draw conclusions about its potential for benefiting human health. Take for example its proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acid content. And what about its vitamins, minerals and amino-acids?
For its vitamin content is boasts a healthy dose of vitamin A, B-1 Thiamin, B-2 Riboflavin, B-3 Nancin, B-5, B-6 Pyridoxine, B-12, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, F, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin H, Vitamin K, Vitamin PP, Folic Acid, Choline and Rutin. Incidentally, Rutin is a vitamin shown to have some benefits to weight loss and weight regulation, which it is widely acknowledged to have.The minerals in bee pollen are – Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Iodine, Zinc, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Boron, Silica, and Titanium. Bee Pollen contains 22 amino acids, 18 vitamins, 25 minerals, 59 trace elements, 11 enzymes or co-enzymes, 14 fatty acids, 11 carbohydrates and approximately 25 % protein. Clearly when you look at something like a standard multi-vitamin, you do not see anywhere near this kind of nutritional profile.
Bee pollen contains over 50 percent more protein than beef yet has a very low fat content. It is also an excellent and high source of proteins, more nutritionally potent than dairy products like milk and eggs.
It also has a very low Glycemic Index, and important consideration when looking at blood sugar levels, assimilation of carbs to sugar, body mass index and ultimately weight loss. Now there are few other ‘foods’ with this kind of profile, in fact there are none, other than bee pollen.
So why would there be such a move to restrict our access to these types of products? It makes little or no sense. Perhaps the problem arises with those who would seek to profit from the sale of bee pollen as a vitamin supplement. They see an opportunity to wrap it up into some kind of ‘superfood’ cape and pass it off as the secret cure to all ailments. That’s really a shame since it limits our access to it and we suffer as a consequence of the cost of the products and the poor availability. There’s absolutely no reason why bee pollen couldn’t be sold fresh at the grocery store, alongside other items perhaps on the produce counter. It can certainly be enjoyed fresh, as an additive to cereals and drinks etc. Which brings me to my last point – bee pollen processing. Since its wider use as a nutritional supplement it has become necessary to package it for fast and convenient consumption. It isn’t good enough to semi-dehydrate it and sell it by the pound as bee pollen granules, we now need to completely dry it, grind it into a fine powder and create bee caps from it.
This isn’t necessarily all bad, since so long as it is processed while it is still fresh, and so long as heat in not applied in the dehydration process, and so long as it remains free from chemical additives and preservatives, it can still retain its potency as a nutritional product. This requires however that you shop very carefully when you buy bee pollen and look for established and reputable suppliers. Sure you can buy this from Walmart for .00 / bottle, but really, what do you think is in those bee caps?
So tread carefully, research, shop around and make informed buying decisions when you invest in this potent gift from Mother Nature – bee pollen.
About the Author
Carlos Hruzamann the author of health books featuring products from the hive. Researching and writing on royal jelly, hot chiles and the benefits of capsaicin, the author has sold his health books and products into over 120 countries around the world. Learn more about the many and varied benefits of bee pollen here and learn about hot peppers and capsaicin here Hot Sauce Corner