If you think about what bees do for us, it’s quite remarkable. Through pollination, they’re responsible for helping plants grow and contribute to our food supply. Honey might get all the buzz when it comes to bee by-products, however, what most people don’t know is that bee pollen could be an incredibly healthy supplement to your diet. “A holistic remedy, bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, protein, and a massive amount of amino acids,” says Candice Kumai, Men’s Fitness food editor-at-large and author of Clean Green Drinks. “It may help the digestive system, boost the immune system, support the cardiovascular system, and aid in prostate and infertility problems.”
It’s also said to boost energy levels and some even claim it aids in weight loss. According to celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, bee pollen contains an amino acid called phenylalanine, which helps to control hunger and appetite. It’s important to note that there have been no major studies on the alleged superfood to really support its health claims. Regardless, wellness enthusiasts sing its praises and celebrities swear by its anti-aging benefits. Did we mention Snyder takes bee pollen by the spoonful? For starters, she recommends consuming a very small amount and building up to about a tablespoon a day, straight or stirred into almond milk or a smoothie.
If you’re allergic to pollen, consult your doc before incorporating bee pollen into your diet. You can find bee pollen granules online or in most health food stores. Some mainstream markets are starting to carry it as well.
Try this smoothie from Candice Kumai for a tasty introduction to bee pollen:
THE VITAMIN C IMMUNITY BOOSTER
1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 oranges, peeled
1 cup Greek or coconut yogurt
1 tbsp bee pollen
1 tsp probiotics
1 cup ice
Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Per serving (serves 2):
120 calories, 0g fat, 9g protein, 22g carbohydrates