Monday, April 22, 2013

The golden holy trinity that comes from bees: Bee pollen, raw honey and manuka!

(Photo: Shutterstock)

I love all that bees produce. Bee pollen and honeys are among my favourite superfoods!(Accompanied by coconut oil and wheatgrass but more on those on a later note).

Bee pollen, a nutritional bomb if you know how to prepare it!

Bee pollen aka bee bread is a compound consisting of pollen has been packed by worker honeybees into granules. During the packing, the pollen is mixed with nectar, enzymes, fungi and bacteria- organisms that transform the pollen into the bee pollen we buy. All the hard work of the honeybees result in a bee pollen that’s much higher in nutrition than untreated pollen. 

This extreme richness of the nutrition can do many goods. Athletes use bee pollen to increase stamina and energy levels. It has also been linked to clearing skin, working wonders for your digestion, inhibiting infections and can even be used as a remedy for allergies. It’s a great superfood to give to young kids, since it contains a lot of vitamin B, lecithin and other vitamins and proteins that help the brain develop. But beware: You need to know how to prepare the bee pollen for you to access all of the nutritions. It is Rich in phytic acid, which means that unless they’re neutralized, it’s difficult for our bodies to soak up all the goodness. This means that you’re gonna want to do something about this before feasting on the bee pollen. You can do this in different ways; soaking the pollen overnight in water mixed with an acid such as vinegar or lemon works just as fine for grains as it does for bee pollen. My favorite method though, is to blend raw honey with the pollen. Raw honey is loaded with enzymes which will tear down those cell anti-nutrients. I mix a couple of spoonfuls of bee pollen with a dash of honey and mix it well together. Store it in a glass jar on your kitchen worktop for 3-5 days before putting it in the fridge and you’re good to go!

This potent elixir is great for mixing into smoothies or even just grazing at now and then. A little tip to those of you who are allergic: Some experience a mild irritation when they start taking bee pollen. That’s completely normal, just start with small doses and feel free to increase the doses slowly. I promise that over time, bee pollen will be your friend and a helper which will fight your allergies and especially the allergies that are linked to ears/nose/throat. I’m allergic to lots of things myself and I always experience a clearer nose shortly after I’ve enjoyed a bee pollen and honey mix!

Raw honey is so much butter than regular honey!

Raw honey is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extractor, it is the only unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. Most of the “commercial” regular honey has been pasteurized (heated at 70 celsius or more, followed by a rapid cooling) which means that the yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed. Raw honey is therefore assumed to be more nutritious than honey that has undergone heat treatment. It also contains an enzyme which helps predigest starchy foods like bread. A yummy snack suggestion for you to try is some good sourdough bread topped with extra virgin coconut oil and raw honey. So so good!! 

Oh, and for those of you with young kids: Children under the age of 1 are advised not to have any honey at all, since it may contain a bacteria named Clostridium Botulinum which potentially may lead to botulism.

Manuka keeps your colds away it sais, but propolis works even better for me.

Mānuka is a honey produced in New Zealand and Australia from the nectar of the mānuka tree. Many consider it the finest of all honeys because of its exceptional antibacterial properties. It keeps bacterias from flourishing in our nose/throat/stomachs. Whether someone is brewing on a cold, sucker punched by an aggressive cold, or simply having a coughing fit - I always reach for my manuka jar. In fact, I’ve converted many of my friends and family too! Let me tell you about my brother-in-law. He’s blessed with good health but let’s just say he’s not as particular about his foods nor obsessed by about eating healthily as I am. He swears to mānuka and by the slightest symptom of a cold, he gulps down a spoonful. Since there’s only so much mānuka honey around, it’s expensive and I use it sparingly, more as a remedy than an ingredient for cooking. Bee-products stem up for one single but very powerful argument for why I don’t want to adhere to a strict low-carb diet. I mean - I’m generally for a diet that’s low in carbs and keeps the blood sugar levels stable. But not even a charismatic and convincing low-card guru can convince me to give up the gold of the bees!

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