Bee pollen is a ball or pellet of field-gathered flower pollen packed by worker honeybees, and used as the primary food source for the hive. Bee pollen is harvested as food for humans with various health claims.
Bee pollen in its natural form comes as small, crunchy pellets. One tablespoon of bee pollen contains:
- 16 calories
- 0.24 grams of fat
- 1.2 grams of protein
- 2.18 grams of carbohydrates
- 250 types of nutrients, including vitamins and flavonoids
Benefits of bee pollen
Bee pollen may work similarly to anti-inflammatory drugs, according to researchers. In one study on rats, scientists found that bee pollen extract reduced inflammation in rats with swollen paws.
Work as an antioxidant
Researchers have found that bee pollen has very high antioxidant properties similar to those of fermented foods. Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals that exist in plant-based foods, usually those that are red or dark in color, as well as fermented foods.
Some common antioxidants include:
- Flavenols (found in chocolate)
- Resveratrol (found in wine)
- Lycopene (found in tomatoes)
- Vitamins A, C, and E
Antioxidants keep people healthy by counteracting oxidants such as air pollution and cigarette smoke.
Boost liver health
The liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of the body. Researchers found that in rats, bee pollen helps keep the liver healthy and can even help the healing process after liver damage.
Strengthen the immune system
A strong immune system is necessary for fighting off disease and keeping you healthy. One study found that bee pollen naturally inhibits allergic reactions in mice. Another study suggests that bee pollen has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. These properties could help kill off bacteria and viruses, such as staphylococcus aureus, which causes food poisoning.
Work as a dietary supplement
Bee pollen could potentially work as a supplement that helps your diet and health. One study looked at rabbits that received a bee pollen supplement in addition to their regular diet. They had a longer lifespan and also greater reproductive success.
Ease symptoms of menopause
Many women who take antihormonal medications often experience symptoms of menopause. One study found that some women with breast cancer who took a bee pollen supplement experienced fewer, less intense menopause symptoms than those who didn’t.
Bee pollen can increase blood flow to the body’s nervous system, helping reduce stress.
Bee pollen can be used on the skin to speed healing, as it boosts blood circulation, kills bacteria, and moistens the skin.