Bee Pollen: We’ve Struck Gold

Bee-PollenSome of you may have heard the “buzz” going around about bee pollen (pun intended) and thought, “did you say bee pollen?” Yes, you heard right. Bee pollen, as in the pollen nectar from flowers, that yellow dusty stuff you see on flowers in the spring, after it has been harvested by honey bees. I know the idea of eating such a thing may sound weird at first, especially if you have pollen allergies, but trust me when I say you’re going to want to include bee pollen in your daily regimen.

I think bee pollen is truly one of the most amazing foods known to mankind. I would even call it the most complete food found in nature. The use of bee pollen in various societies dates back thousands of years. Even Hippocrates was a big fan, understandably so. I could write endlessly about its benefits, but for your sake I’m going to pick just a few of those benefits out, which is no easy feat considering there are so many.

Bee pollen is so amazing and complete that some say it is possible for a person to live on bee pollen alone and be healthy. I recently read about a scientific study where mice were fed only bee pollen and water and compared to a control group of mice fed a normal diet. The control mice only survived an average of 477 days and all had kidney issues typical of their breed. The other mice were fed only bee pollen and water were still healthy with no kidney issues after 600 days, at which point they were killed for scientific testing. I’m really curious to know how much longer they would’ve lived healthfully!

So, in short, bee pollen has been shown to greatly improve healthy lifespan. Bee pollen is also good for the brain, thanks to its high amino acid content. The amino acids, along with its high level of B vitamins gives you a great amount of natural energy (with none of the crash like caffeine) and helps with both physical and mental fatigue. I can personally vouch for this. Nothing compares to the wonderful energy bee pollen gives me. It makes me feel like I’ve actually gotten a full night’s sleep! Bee pollen also increases memory and concentration.

The nutritional profile of bee pollen is truly amazing. It has more protein per serving than meat, eggs, and cheese and contains all the essential amino acids (plus more!). Bee pollen is extremely rich in vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals, and enzymes. Bee pollen is truly a goldmine of nutrients.

As I mentioned before, bee pollen is also great for treating seasonal allergies, as counter-intuitive as that may seem. When you incorporate bee pollen into your daily diet, your immune system builds up immunities to pollen in the air. It is best to start introducing bee pollen into your system a couple to a few months before allergy season begins so your system will already be prepared for the onslaught of pollen it’s about to endure.

If your system has already built up immunities to pollen, it will not be affected (or will be much less affected) by seasonal pollens. If you are taking it for seasonal allergies, it is very important to buy local bee pollen so your system will be immunized against local pollens. It only makes sense. Bee pollen truly is amazing to say the least.

Now let’s address a couple of important points. Those of you who are allergic to bee stings may be worried about having an allergic reaction to bee pollen. Although I can’t promise you that you won’t, evidence seems to suggest that you won’t. If you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense that you would have an allergic reaction considering that bee pollen is just pollen harvested by bees. It doesn’t contain any bee venom.

If you want to give bee pollen a try and are allergic to bee stings it is recommended to start with a very small amount and see what happens. Just make sure you are somewhere that you can get help if you do end up needing it.

Now let’s talk dosage. For an adult it is recommended to take one to two tablespoons per day for optimal results. Because some people are more sensitive to bee pollen than others, however, it is recommended to start with a small amount and work your way up to full dosage. Start with a fourth of a tablespoon for a few days, then go to a half a tablespoon and so on. So don’t hesitate any longer. Start incorporating bee pollen into your diet asap. At the Urban Juicer we sell local bee pollen sourced from The Ed Johnson Honey Farm in Goodlettsville TN. We can always add a serving to your juice or smoothie, the perfect way to get your start in the world of bee pollen!

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Ginger: The Wonder Root

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.27.04 PMWhen you hear ginger, what do you think? It being Christmas season and all, images of gingerbread men and gingerbread houses just might come to mind, but there’s a lot more to ginger than just being a yummy spice to add to your Christmas treats. The ginger root is truly a miracle root that deserves a lot more appreciation than it gets.

Ginger is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation in your body only leads to diseases, including cancer. By removing inflammation in your body, ginger prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells that would result in cancerous tumors, but that’s not all. Not only does ginger prevent cancer from forming, it has also been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells, which means it causes cancer cells to kill themselves. Can you get any better than that?! Ginger both fights cancer and prevents it! Wow, that alone makes me a HUGE fan of ginger. But wait…there’s more!

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory abilities also make it a powerful natural pain reliever for both chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, and occasional aches and pains, such as headaches and colds, while also boosting your immunity. Why would you take some synthetic pain reliever with nasty side effects when you could just get some freshly juiced ginger at the juice bar and not only feel better, but promote your health in many other ways as well? It seems like a pretty obvious choice to me.

Ginger is even good for your heart and circulation. Its anti-inflammatory components keep your arteries from swelling, resulting in clear blood flow. Ginger even has aspects that prevent platelets from building up in your arteries and stimulates the release of adrenaline, which not only strengthens your heart, but gives you energy. The amazing clean feeling energy ginger gives me is why I started taking ginger shots to begin with, before I knew about its multitude of other benefits. There’s no need for caffeine when you have a superfood like ginger to give you energy, and it’s an energy that doesn’t include a crash like caffeine does. You see why ginger has become my new best friend.

Now for ginger’s most famous claim to fame as a health food: ginger is the king of digestion. Ginger contains special enzymes that improve digestion by easing the entire process. By doing this, ginger also helps you to better absorb the nutrients of the foods you’re eating. With ginger, your digestive system can function like never before!

Ginger is so soothing to the digestive system, that it is also great for any type of nausea from motion sickness to morning sickness to nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments. Even better, only a small amount is needed to get rid of nausea symptoms. With ginger a little goes a long way, but in this case there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. The more the better, I say.

Ginger is packed with very powerful free radical scavenging antioxidants that do amazing things for you. They do everything from preventing the growth of cancer cells, as I mentioned before, to preventing and even cleaning up plagues that build up in the brain causing horrible brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

And finally, if I haven’t listed enough reasons why you should be running (not walking) to the juice bar for some freshly juiced ginger, here’s one more for you: ginger has been shown to be an effective treatment for asthma. Ginger includes compounds that can help soothe asthma symptoms. Is there anything this root can’t do?

The best part is, it’s so easy to include ginger in your diet. I find fresh ginger to be the most potent, so I like to include it in my juices at the juice bar, as well as indulge in a straight ginger shot when I really need some quick energy or am feeling some digestive distress, although just including it in your drink should also do the trick. I have noticed an increase lately in people asking for ginger shots, and I applaud you for that. Sure, straight ginger is not exactly pleasing to the palette, but I think that a minute of a strong taste in my mouth is definitely worth how it makes me feel and the benefits it gives me.

Like I said earlier though, you can also get ginger’s health benefits simply by adding it to your juice. I love the zip it gives any juice you add it to. I’m sure right now some of you are saying “but I don’t like ginger”. Well maybe you should just give it another chance. When I first started working at the juice bar I thought I also wasn’t a big fan of ginger, but the more I drank it, the more I liked the taste of it. I was also so impressed by how great it made me feel that I think I would’ve continued to drink it no matter how it tasted. Luckily though, the taste really grew on me, and I am now a huge ginger fan.

Ginger is even already included in some of our juice blends such as the Well Being , the Mood Lifter, and the Cold Buster. So come and take a spin in the wild world of ginger. I promise you won’t regret it!