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What Do Bee Pollen Dietary Supplement Products Really Contain?
Bee pollen has been advertised as a natural energy booster and health food for decades, and was considered an important medical supplement for centuries before it entered modern consciousness. This substance is harvested directly from the hives of bees, who store it as a long term food supply. Bee pollen is notable for its unique nutritional profile, which provides more nutrients and a more diverse range of vitamins than almost any other food.
Of course, no single source of bee pollen is exactly the same as any other. Different flowers and different hives produce a nutritional profile that can vary significantly. Plus, supplement manufacturers often include additional vitamins and other energy boosting materials to make their products more complete. There are some basics that occur in most bee pollen and secondary ingredients, however. Here is a look at what your bee pollen dietary supplement might contain.
On average, bee pollen contains about 55 percent carbohydrates, 35 percent protein and 2 percent fat. These percentages can vary significantly, however. Some pollen has carbohydrate levels as high as 60 percent, protein levels as high as 40 percent, or up to 5 percent fat, while other examples have as little as 25 percent protein and lower amounts of other nutrients.
The fats in bee pollen may seem undesirable at first. After all, of the very small amount of fat in bee pollen, about 75 percent is saturated fat. The remainder is split approximately evenly between polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. The essential fatty acids provided by this supplement are very important, however.
Bee pollen contains omega-3 fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid, which has been connected with healthy emotional states. It also contains some of the omega-6 version, gamma-linolenic acid, which may have ant-inflammatory properties.
Nutrition Per Serving
On average, a one teaspoon serving of this naturally supplement contains about 10 calories, one gram of protein and 2 grams of carbohydrates. The fat content is negligible from a dietary standpoint and mostly provides essential fatty acids. Percentage-wise, this amounts to 50 percent more protein than beef, but most people consume far more beef than they do pollen.
Vitamins, Minerals and Trace Nutrients
Bee pollen is more than just macro nutrients like protein and carbohydrates, of course. This substance contains nearly all the B complex vitamins, as well as vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Bee pollen is composed of about 3 percent vitamins and minerals, as well as trace nutrients like amino acids and enzymes. This substance also contains about 2 percent dietary fiber and tiny amounts of iron, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Unfortunately, a good nutritional profile is not all that you might find in a bee pollen supplement. Depending on the source of the pollen, you may also be ingesting pesticides, environmental contaminants and other undesirable substances. These come from flowers that the insects come into contact with and can be dangerous over time.
The good news is that not all bee pollen products will contain these harmful substances. Many companies choose pollen sources that are far away from potentially polluting substances. These supplements may be more costly, but they are also much more likely to be a healthy choice.
Not every bee pollen dietary supplement is composed entirely of pollen. Many manufacturers add extra ingredients, such as additional vitamins, extracts of energy-supporting herbs, important enzymes and vitamin-boosting ingredients. These are designed to help support the possible energy-improving action of bee pollen. It is important to read the packaging information for any supplement you are thinking about buying, in order to make sure you are getting the kind of product you prefer.