Bee pollen (a.k.a. bee bread) is best defined as a miracle of nature. It has trace amounts of many different minerals and vitamins, it is relatively low calorie, high fiber, and high protein. We recently learned about it from our acupuncturist Pailin Winotaka and picked some up from Tremblay Apiaries’ stand in Union Square Green Market (also available on their web site). We’re glad we now know about this super food and you should too.

Bee pollen is used in many cultures for medicinal purposes, both preventative and reactive. Some of the uses include improving energy, endurance, vitality, fertility, longevity, and recovery (including in cancer care); it is also used to correct imbalances such as weight issues and hormone regulation); and it is a natural antibiotic.

It includes dozens of chemicals including melittin, adolapin, apmin, compound x, hyaluronidase, phospholipase A2, histamine, and mast cell degranulating protein (MSDP), dopamine, norepinephrine, seratonin, B-complex, folic acid, rutin, and lecithin (15% by volume). It is high in fiber (as cellulose), low-calorie (15 calories per teaspoon), high in protein (1.6 grams per teaspoon) and has natural fats. At the bottom of this post, I’ve listed many of the trace vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other elements found in bee pollen. Learn a lot more about bee pollen on Shirley’s Wellness Cafe.

What It Is
So, by now you may be wondering how this super food looks, smells, and tastes. It smells wonderfully aromatic. The scent has a slight sweetness and is extremely floral. I definitely enjoyed the smell. The look is slightly less exciting, most closely resembling bird food pellets. Bee pollen comes in many colors typically ranging from deep orange to yellow to deep green. In a much less exciting arena is the taste… oy.

The fellow who sold the product to Jessica said that people describe the taste in so many ways. My way is: dirt, lightly-honey accented dirt with an aftertaste of dust. Having no allergies, I shoved a big ole teaspoon in my mouth and chewed it up. The texture is something like dry egg yolk particulate that quickly melts into the pure flavor of ground up dirt, grass, and dust. Enjoyable is not a word I would associate with the experience (at least that’s what I was thinking as I drank a huge glass of water afterwards to clear the bitter-ish aftertaste from my mouth).

Jessica agrees that the texture is like a dry, crumbled egg yolk; but felt the flavor is something more of a bitter, citrus honey, which speaks volumes, since she has much more tolerance for bitter flavors than I do.

Tips

  • Do not cook bee pollen. You will lose many natural benefits.
  • Start with small dosages. Bee pollen is an anaphylactic allergen! If you are even slightly at risk, speak to a doctor before trying it. Also, always start in small amounts (even one pellet) per day. Then, over a week, work your way up to a teaspoon per day. Some sites say that up to a tablespoon per day could be beneficial, but more than that is wasteful.
  • Combine with strongly flavored foods. Just about everyone seems to think that bee pollen is not an enjoyable flavor, but it is really not terrible. So, to make consuming it more enjoyable, simply add it to a strongly flavored and uncooked recipe. Tomorrow I’m going to sprinkly some into my cheerios. Some recommend adding it to vinaigrette, which sounds great since it is aromatic and will enhance the oil. But the best recommendation I’ve read was to sprinkle it into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Yum! The slight-honey flavor will add the perfect hint to the strongly flavored sandwich.

Nutritional Contents
For full information about Bee Pollen I highly recommend you check out the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ page on bee pollen.

Vitamins:
Provitamin A (carotenoids), Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (panothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B12 (cyamoco balamin), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin H (biotin), Vitamin K, Choline, Inositol, Folic Acid, Pantothenic acid, Rutin, and Vitamin PP (nicotinicamide).

Minerals:
Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Silica, Sulphur, Sodium, Titanium-Zinc, Iodine-Chlorine, Boron-Molydbenum, Fatty Acids (Conifer Pollen)

Enzymes & Co-enzymes:
Disstase, Phosphatase, Amylase, Cataiase, Saccharase, Diaphorase, Pectase, Cozymase, Cytochrome systems, Lactic dehydrogenase, Succinic dehydrogenase

Others:
Caproic (C-6) – Caprylic (C-8), Capric (C-10) – Lauric (C-12), Myristic (C-14) – Palmitic (C-16), Palmitoleic (C-15), Uncowa – Stearic (C-18), Oleic (C-18), Linoleic (C-18), Arachidic (C-20) – Stearic (C-22), Limolenic (C-18), Eicosanoic (C-20), Brucic (C-22)

posted by Lon at 10:10 PM Filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.