Although the change of season brings lots of wonderful things including warm weather, sunshine, and beautiful blooming flowers, it also attracts those frightening bumblebees. But don’t let their stingers fool you, bees are good for a lot of things including the creation of superfoods! Bee-made products such as bee pollen and manuka honey are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins and have countless health benefits, making them the perfect addition to your diet and smoothies!
Health and wellness may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear bee pollen, but it should be. Bee pollen is made by honeybees and is the food of the young honey bee. This superfood contains almost every nutrient required by humans and is abundant in protein, in fact, bee pollen is more rich in proteins and amino acids than most other animal sources.
Thanks to its carbohydrate, protein, and B-vitamin content, bee pollen has been shown to naturally enhance energy. No wonder bees are such busy-bodies! In addition to being a energy-enhancer, bee pollen is rich in antioxidants and, therefore, works as an anti-inflammatory in the respiratory system, helping to prevent asthma symptoms.
You may think of pollen negatively when it comes to allergies, but bee pollen has been used to treat those pesky, seasonal symptoms. Pollen reduces the presences of histamine and can be used to clear allergies and sinus problems.
In addition to vitamins, minerals and protein, what separates bee pollen from other superfoods is its abundance of enzymes. Bee pollen provides at least 11 major and over 5000 minor enzymes and coenzymes, all of which are necessary for digestion. By strengthening the stomach lining and muscles, bee pollen helps ease problems associated with indigestion, ulcers, colitis, and constipation. Bee pollen is also high in antibacterial ingredients, providing a boost to your immune system, keeping you healthy, strong, and proving that bee pollen is more than just a buzz word!
Another bee-product superfood is Manuka honey, which is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush. This honey has been used for its incredible antibacterial and healing properties for centuries.
Although regular honey has antibacterial powers and makes an excellent way to sweeten your smoothies, Manuka honey’s properties are believed to be superior. In fact, each tub of Manuka honey has its own Unique Manuka Factor, known as the UMF scale. This scale displays the level of antibacterial potency for that particular honey. Optiminum levels of UMF are 10+ to 15+. Manuka honey boasts an abundance of methylglyoxal, a compound with antibacterial power and is also known as MG. MG is found in small quantities in most honey, but in Manuka honey, MG is much more concentrated and thus, has an even stronger effect.
Manuka honey can be used as a topical treatment for healing minor wounds and burns. It has also been shown to aid in the treatment of cancer, high cholesterol and inflammation, diabetes, sinus infections and digestion issues. Manuka honey is also rich in antioxidants, protecting your body from harmful free radicals. WIth such an abundance of health benefits, we think that this product is pretty sweet!
Armed with these two bee-made superfood products, bee pollen and Manuka honey, we hope that the first bee you see this Spring will be looked at with appreciation rather than fear.