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What is pollen and what is it for?

Pollen is a key natural product in the reproductive process of flowering plants, in which bees and other animals and pollinators play a key role. There is, however, another use for this product, one that humans have been taking advantage of since ancient Egypt and ancient Greece: as a dietary supplement.

Already then they called it bee bread and it was an exclusive product highly recommended for its great attributed beneficial properties, and today it is back in the spotlight. If you want to learn more about what it is and what are the benefits of pollen and how to take it, join us in this AgroCorrn article in which we clarify what pollen is and what it is for , among more aspects.

What is pollen and where is it found?

Flower pollen is a fine yellow or orange dust that occurs on flowers and is transported by bees , other pollinating insects , other animals, and abiotic agents. The product that is currently marketed as pollen is almost always bee pollen , collected by beekeepers who place pollen collecting traps in their hives.

This process is not simple and has a variable collection percentage but usually quite low, below 25%. The traps must be emptied of pollen daily so that the product does not deteriorate and the weather conditions can have a great negative impact on production, since the bees will collect much less pollen in very dry springs or in those that are too cold or rainy. Thus, pollen for human consumption is an excellent nutritional supplement , but also a laboriously obtained product.

What is flower pollen for?

In botanical terms, pollen is nothing more than the collection of male reproductive cells in plants. It is formed in the stamens of the flowers , where it waits for external agents, such as wind, gravity or pollinating insects, to carry it to the pistil of female flowers, where it can fertilize the ovules and thus conclude the process of pollination that is part of plant reproduction . To learn more about this process, go ahead and read this other article about What is pollination and its types .

Thus, the function of pollen is none other than to serve as a method of sexual reproduction in flowering plants or angiosperms. Sexual reproduction thus allows the appearance of small changes and mutations, which give rise to greater genetic variability and, therefore, to a greater capacity for adaptation.

Neither should bee pollen be confused with pollen extract, the latter being obtained directly from some plants by human hands.

What are the benefits of consuming bee pollen

The main benefit of bee pollen is the high concentration of micronutrients it contains, turning out to be a food supplement to consider, even when consumed in small quantities, and which is also totally natural. It thus has a high content of carbohydrates and vegetable proteins, in addition to between 5 and 10% of essential fatty acids, vitamins B and C, a large amount of minerals and bioactive substances with proven antioxidant effect.

Beyond its nutritional properties, bee pollen is also attributed some medicinal effects, although these have not been proven by definitive scientific studies yet. However, like all food it has effects on our body. Until now, it is considered to have the ability to help improve concentration and stimulate memory , in both young and old people, and it is also credited with digestive, anti-inflammatory and energizing effects .

How to take bee pollen

The bee pollen should be consumed as a food supplement , a balanced diet by adding extra nutrients that can help us overcome situations of fatigue, overexertion or lack of appetite.

This natural supplement is marketed in the form of granules that, although they can be taken directly, it is recommended to grind before taking to facilitate their absorption and assimilation by the body. It is common to take it in infusions, with milk, with yogurt, jam or with any other liquid or semi-liquid food that serves as a base: since its flavor is sweet and pleasant, it allows you to experience it to the taste of each palate. There are those who affirm, yes, that its properties are better used if it is diluted in water and left to rest for about two hours before drinking it, without adding it to any other food.

How much pollen can you take a day ? A dose of no more than 3 teaspoons per day is recommended , which for children is reduced to between 1 and 2, depending on age.

In any case, when in doubt about whether or not you can take it and how much pollen to consume, it is important to consult a doctor before starting to take bee pollen. The professional will know more accurately whether in our case it suits us or not and in what quantity we can take it, as well as if we should take any special precautions.

Contraindications of taking bee pollen

Bee pollen has hardly any known contraindications. However, the following contraindications to taking bee pollen are clear. If you are in one of these groups do not consume it.

  • Its consumption is not recommended for those who have a clear allergy to flower pollen, if they take it they may suffer a more or less serious allergic reaction, which can lead to anaphylactic shock. If it is consumed in this case, you must go immediately to a health or emergency center.
  • It is also not advised for those with an allergy to bee venom. Pollen allergy can occur in them. At the first sign of a pollen allergy or anaphylactic reaction, consumption should be stopped immediately and go to a primary care center.
  • In a few cases it has produced asthmatic reactions, stomach pain or diarrhea. Therefore, if you try it a few times and experience any of these side effects, stop consuming it immediately and consult your doctor, perhaps you have a mild intolerance or allergy and it is not convenient for you to take it.
  • Since there are no studies in this regard, it is not recommended for pregnant women, lactating women, or very young children to avoid problems.
Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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