Some Surprising Bee Pollen Benefits

bee pollen benefits
A worker bee collects pollen from a flower

What’s the buzz on bee pollen benefits? Studies have shown bee pollen can help ease inflammation or discomfort, particularly related to the prostate gland, it can alleviate symptoms of allergies or hay fever, it can improve fertility, and it has even been shown to protect against some of the harmful effects of x-ray radiation. The most commonly held belief is that consuming bee pollen by eating locally produced honey, which includes traces of pollen, will help with allergies. Although there is little scientific evidence to support this claim, there is some anecdotal research that suggests a beneficial connection. Plus, honey is delicious on everything and it’s always good to support local farms! So no matter what, it’s a good idea!

Even its its not a cure-all, bee pollen is a healthy addition to any diet (except for babies, that is. According to the Mayo Clinic, children under the age of 1 should not be given honey). Medicinal uses of bee pollen can be dated back to the middle ages. Bee pollen benefits derive from the fact that it contains measurable amounts of B12 and other vitamins, as well as 22 amino acids, 27 minerals, and over 5,000 enzymes that are beneficial to the human reproductive system. Bee pollen is often called a “superfood” because, compared to other foods, it contains a higher percentage of all necessary nutrients.

What is Bee Pollen?

Pollen is a powdery yellow substance made up on of microscopic genetic material from the male part of a flower. Each grain contains a male gamete that can fertilize the female ovule, to which pollen is transported by the wind, by bees, or by other animals

bee pollen
Pollen of the Amaryllis flower. Original photo by Thomas Bresson.

Pollen can be difficult to analyze because its different every year. Its makeup changes no only from flower to flower but from season to season. But all pollen is known to contain large amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc.