By Leah Porche, RD

Bee pollen has been touted to enhance endurance, foster fertility, and alleviate allergy symptoms across the web.  While these claims have not been proven by human studies, they are founded on the high-nutrient composition of the bee pollen, which is comprised of simple sugars, amino acids (protein), minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and other nutrients.  It’s no surprise that bee pollen is an excellent source of protein, as it functions as a high-protein food source for the hive.

     Exact composition of the bee pollen varies depending upon the plants visited by the worker bees.  These hard-working insects fly to and fro, plant-to-plant, collect nectar, and return to the hive.  While the nectar is used to make honey, the pollen is made by combining pollen with bee saliva and the nectar to create the generally golden granules of bee pollen.  These protein-packed little pellets are sweet with an edge of bitterness.  While you may find a bee pollen supplement in your local health food store (which may contain questionable additives), the actual granules (a whole food) can be added to a multitude of recipes to add texture, flavor, and nutrition.  Some of the easiest ways to incorporate bee pollen into your diet are at breakfast time.Add it to your smoothie, sprinkle it on your oatmeal, or add it to your muffin batter.  While there may not be startling studies about the positive effects of bee pollen, adding this tasty tidbit to your pantry stock will give you something new and interesting to enhance your culinary repertoire!

*Those with bee allergies, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid consumption.

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