I have mentioned before that my father-in-law is a beekeeper, so my husband grew up helping him with the whole process of establishing hives to harvesting the honey. This is lucky for me, since I grew up on honey-sweetened food and an appreciation for honey, so we can be honey connoisseurs together (not to mention the benefit of occasional free jars of honey from my FIL). For as long as I can remember, my husband has wanted to have a hive of his own but circumstances have never been such that we could. This summer we're hoping will be different. Already my husband has located a friend with land who is willing to let him put up a bee box, since our neighborhood is not currently zoned to allow honeybees (much to our disappointment).
I have already praised the virtues of honey in various posts (see here and here, not to mention all my recipes that use it), but what about other bee products? Bee pollen is one of those thing I've heard of people buying to boost their health, but I've never taken it myself. After learning the below information, however, it is something I would someday like to try.
To quote from BeePollenBuzz.com:
- Bee pollen is a food with about a 25% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 4.5% fats and the rest is pigments, minerals, vitamins, water and other substances. Bee Pollen appears to be high in trace minerals such as copper as well.
- We know that Bee Pollen is extremely nutrient dense and contains all 8 Essentials Amino Acids and the 2 Non-Essentials Amino Acids that must be obtained from your diet. Dairy, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, all meats, hemp and fish are the other food sources that contain all of the amino acids. To view the complete amino acid profile of bee pollen, click here.
- At 25% protein, bee pollen is extremely low calorie with only 45 calories per tablespoon. There is no other protein source that has the nutrient content that bee pollen possesses. This would also be an excellent choice for vegetarians who find it hard to get protein, all of the essential amino acids , vitamin B12, and iron.
- In addition to its high protein content, bee pollen contains over a dozen vitamins, 28 minerals, 11 enzymes and co-enzymes, and 14 fatty acids. It truly is Mother Nature's multi-vitamin!
- It is very rare to find a profile like this in a single food. When vitamins come in a food base such as bee pollen then they are MUCH EASIER to absorb and digest.
- Scientists simply are not able to replicate all of the healthy compounds found in nature. There are those that claim we haven't even identified all of the substances in bee pollen yet!
- Compliment your multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with a tablespoon or two a day of bee pollen to make sure you are getting many of the amazing nutrients that nature made for us. In fact, you'll [probably] get better absorption and assimilation of your vitamins and minerals by doing so! That means more vitamins in your system and less in the toilet!