There’s something about ingesting the saliva of another organism that can induce seasickness in the hardiest of humans. When it comes to bees and their saliva, though, you may be shocked to hear that these tiny black and yellow (“Black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow.” – Wiz Khalifa) critters even have spit. Well, guess what: Bees have saliva, and it’s often included in one of the healthiest superfoods available.
This superfood, bee pollen, has been the subject of much healthy eating buzz for a few years now. Bee pollen is the food of a young bee and comes directly from the male seed of flowers. The Mother Nature Network talks about how bee pollen is harvested:
“Beekeepers sometimes attach a small box fitted with a screen in the doorway of a hive to allow the bee to enter but harmlessly remove the pollen granules from their legs. Beekeepers are careful to collect only a small amount from any given hive, so as not to deprive the bees of this food source. The collected granules are then either sold fresh, or frozen or dehydrated for commercial bee pollen.”
Much like honey, there are claims that consuming bee pollen from locally sourced insects can help us fight off seasonal allergies. In addition to this, though, there are a few reasons why consuming bee pollen can help you lead a healthy eating lifestyle.
It’s said that bee pollen contains all of the essential components of life. At approximately 40 percent protein, bee pollen is a great add-in for vegan or vegetarian smoothies (assuming that you’re not a vegan or vegetarian who avoids honey, which is an entirely different conversation). In addition to being protein-rich and a weapon to be used in the good fight against seasonal allergies, bee pollen is also an energy-enhancing food. It contains B vitamins (which can also improve your memory) and carbohydrates that will help enhance anyone’s mood and energy levels.
If you feel like you keep coming up short, bee pollen may be a good solution: The British Royal Society has reported that regular bee pollen use may increase the height of adults. While it helps your body grow, it can also function as a way to lessen cravings and even addictions (which is probably healthier than eating solely potatoes to curb addictions) and it can aid with digestive health and fighting inflammation.
With so many health benefits, we feel like bee pollen needs a popularity revival. There are many ways to eat it, but some of our favorites are this healthy Bee Pollen Raspberry Orange Smoothie and a delightfully indulgent (in other words, unhealthy) East Village Tasting Room Cheesecake. If those recipes are a little too involved for you, consider sprinkling some granules over your Greek yogurt, popcorn, or granola.
The accompanying slideshow is provided by The Daily Meal special contributor Hayden Field.