Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
September 6, 2020 [printfriendly]
Don’t get confused! Bee Bread is not a gluten-rich, grain-processed, high-carb product. Not by a long shot. Bee bread is powerful nutrition. It is made by honeybees from pollen, and it’s the primary source of protein and many other nutrients for bees.
As you know, I follow an animal-based diet. My research uncovered compelling evidence that eating a nose-to-tail, carnivore diet could benefit cancer patients., My Better Belly Blueprint is animal-based with the occasional inclusion of plants that are low in phytates, oxalates, and lectins – the best of both worlds.
I include raw honey in my way of eating. And I eat Manuka Honey on a daily basis. Honey is an animal product which has documented health benefits. In previous Blogs on my website, I have written about the virtues of honey. But a few weeks ago, one of my patients suggested that I try bee bread, which I had never heard of until then. But I was game because I love honey and have eaten bee pollen in the past. My patient had access to a producer of bee bread, and she placed an order for me. Wow!
So, I began researching the benefits of bee bread. And I was blown away.
A recent medical paper published in Antioxidants in 2019 described the merits of bee pollen and bee bread. I found another paper published in Trends in Food Science & Technology in 2020 that extolled the benefits bee bread. And a study in 2020 explained in detail the vast number of nutrients contained in bee bread. In total, these reviews cited over 300 medical papers describing the potential nutritional qualities of bee pollen and bee bread. These comprehensive articles offered some compelling science that bee bread may be one of the perfect foods available to us. So, how do bees make bee bread?
Honeybees are busy. They make honey, bee bread, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly. Their two primary foods are honey and bee bread.
Bees make honey from nectar and bee bread from pollen. Both of these foods are enzymatically-activated and fermented. Honey is the primary carbohydrate source for bees, and bee bread is their primary protein source.
Pollen in its raw form is not easily digestible or nourishing for bees because it is enclosed in a layer of cellulose and sometimes a layer of wax. The pollen grains that you can purchase from beekeepers have not been processed by bees. These are just the compacted pollen that bees have gathered from flowers before it is transformed into bee bread.
Here is an entertaining, 4-minute video showing how bees make bee bread in their hives.
Bees pack the freshly collected pollen from plants into the comb-cells in their hive. Then the bees begin the biochemical transformation of the pollen into bee bread, which takes a few weeks.
Bees combine honey (which they have made) with the pollen (which they have collected) and add their saliva. Bacteria, yeast, and enzymes in the bee saliva begin a fermentation and digestion process in the pollen. The result is bee bread, which is also known as Ambrosia (food of the gods) or Perga.
During the metamorphosis from pollen into perga, protein is broken down into its basic amino acids. Other biochemicals are manufactured and released in the process, making all these nutrients highly bioavailable.
Bees as well as humans are the beneficiaries of this powerfully nutritious food. But if a person were allergic to bee stings or any bee products, he or she must avoid consuming bee bread.
In addition, the conversion of pollen into bee bread extends its biologically active life. Ambrosia should be stored in a glass jar with airtight lids in a dry, cool and dark place. The refrigerator is a perfect place where perga should stay fresh for at least 1-2 years.
Potential Health Benefits
All bee bread is not the same. It varies in nutritional composition depending on the local and seasonal value of the pollen and the variety of flowers accessed by honeybees. However, in general, the numerous bioactive compounds in ambrosia have been reported to have a positive effect on human health. For this reason, perga is regarded as a “functional food”.
Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition to the extent that they promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of disease. As a matter of fact, The German Federal Board of Health officially recognized bee pollen as a medicine.
Since ancient times in different cultures, bee bread has been used as a healing substance. The basic chemical components of ambrosia include carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. It also includes enzymes, natural antibiotics, antioxidants and hormones. In recent years, there has been significant interest in the use of bee bread to treat many illnesses. Perga is biocompatible, biodegradable, and non-toxic.
Most of the reported therapeutic benefits have not been proven. However, the potential benefits are impressive., Here are some of the therapeutic benefits that have been reported for a diverse variety of conditions:
- Helps restore intestinal flora
- Improves digestion and detoxification
- Enhances immune system functioning
- Supports and stimulates brain activity
- Decreases risk of heart attack and helps prevent atherosclerosis
- Stimulates fertility and libido
- Slows down tumor growth
- Helps treat chronic prostatitis
- Boosts liver functioning
- Reduces triglycerides and cholesterol levels
- Acts as a detoxifying agent and stimulates digestion
- Lessens stress and fatigue
- Augments overall energy
- Relieves headaches and reduces frequency of migraines
- Lowers the risk of cancer
- Increases longevity
- Improves effectiveness of chemotherapy
- Assists in treating anemia
- Increases endurance
- Provides antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects
Bottom Line for Me
My goal is to enhance my immune system. To reach my objective, I created my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. One of my protocols is to consume nutrient-dense foods that are not over-processed by humans. Bee bread appears to me to be one of those functional foods that has the potential to be a powerhouse of nutrition.
From all the research I have uncovered, I am convinced. However, there is no standardization of ambrosia, which is available from all over the world. In addition, there has not been an abundance of human studies to prove the efficacy of eating perga. But there are numerous anecdotal stories claiming its healing properties.
I am now eating approximately 1 tablespoon of bee bread a day. By the way, I know this is good because my wife is eating it too!
If you are new to bee bread, don’t try it if you are allergic to bee stings or other bee products. However, if not allergic, start by eating 2-3 granules a day. Then increase the amount daily. Some researchers have suggested that there are benefits from eating as much as 2-3 tablespoons every day.
Check out my new training on the Better Belly Blueprint! You can watch it HERE.