We bet you never knew you could eat bee pollen. If so, get ready to meet your new favorite energy booster!
Bee Pollen Basics
If you've been searching for a non-stimulant way to increase your energy, either for training, work or other tasks, bee pollen may be your answer. The energy-boosting effect of bee pollen comes from the fact it's a complete food -- that means bee pollen is almost half protein and also provides vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. The protein, carbohydrates and nutrients in bee pollen help the body naturally up its energy production, so you can feel more alert and with greater stamina without the side effects of a stimulant (racing heart, shakiness, etc.). But where does it come from?
Bee pollen is a fine powder found in flowers. Bees collect it because it sticks to their bodies. Bee pollen can be sold in capsule form, but the most popular way to try it is in the form of granules, which can be eaten on their own or added foods or beverages.
How to Enjoy Bee Pollen
Be pollen tastes slightly sweet and the granules can add a crunchy texture to foods if left whole. No worries though, you can also blend them up easily with other ingredients. So, what can you mix with it? If you're interested in adding bee pollen to your daily routine, here are 10 of our favorite ways to enjoy it:
1. Stir some bee pollen granules into your yogurt along with a bit of raw honey for additional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
2. Blend bee pollen into a protein shake before your workout -- we like it with vanilla protein powder and a ripe banana.
3. Add bee pollen to hot or cold cereal along with fresh berries for vitamins and flax seeds for omega-3 essential fatty acids.
4. Make a smoothie with beets, apples, ginger, orange and bee pollen. This ruby drink can support joint health and reduce inflammation -- great for protecting the body if you train regularly.
5. Top a piece of whole grain or Ezekiel sprouted toast with almond butter and bee pollen as an energizing pre-workout snack that provides fiber, fat, protein and carbohydrates. A winning combo.
6. Add bee pollen as a crunchy topping to your acai bowl for breakfast. We like it with some slivered almonds and blueberries.
7. Combine sweet and savory by dipping apple slices in hummus and then topping with bee pollen granules. You'll be getting tons of protein and fiber in this simple snack.
8. Sprinkle bee pollen on top of a salad of baby spinach, walnuts and fresh pears. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a fast lunch full of vitamins.
9. Make your own granola bars with steel cut oats, nuts, dried fruit and bee pollen granules for a nutritious, portable snack.
10. Cut up chilled melon like honeydew and cantaloupe and dip in bee pollen. Melons are incredibly hydrating due to their high water content.
Because of how it's harvested, bee pollen may contain bee saliva, which is why individuals with a bee allergy or pollen allergy should avoid it. There have been cases of bee pollen being used as a natural allergy remedy, meant to build up tolerance, but you shouldn't try it without the direction and supervision of your primary or naturopathic physician. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid bee pollen, due to the possibility of allergies in their children.
Like all natural products, make sure to follow instructions and pay attention to how bee pollen affects you. If you notice adverse symptoms, you may be allergic and should consult your physician if you have a diagnosed medical condition.
About The AuthorDr. Matt Marturano, ND is a licensed naturopathic physician and received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and also has a dual Bachelor of Science in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. In addition, Dr. Marturano currently is a member of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is the Director of Recruitment - Integrative Medicine for Orchid Holistic Search.
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