I recently came across a podcast episode featuring the co-founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals on the “Ben Greenfield Life '' podcast that was incredibly enlightening on the benefits of the various byproducts of bees.
I’m personally quite familiar with the various byproducts we harvest from bees, and am a fan of Beekeeper’s Naturals products specifically, as I use them myself, and despite this prior knowledge, I found this podcast episode to be extremely eye-opening as to just how powerful these bee byproducts can be for one’s health in many different ways.
I’m going to provide a relatively quick breakdown of the three main byproducts harvested from bees (aside from raw honey, which in and of itself is an immune boosting, nutritional powerhouse), and if you’re interested in learning more, I highly, highly recommend checking out the aforementioned podcast, which I’ll link to at the end of this segment.
Bee propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the beehive and to protect the colony from infection.
Propolis is a complex substance that contains over 300 different compounds, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, terpenes, and essential oils. These compounds have a variety of biological activities, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Propolis’ immune boosting and antiviral properties have been well documented, as it works to help boost immunity in the following ways:
Increasing the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are responsible for fighting infection, and propolis has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, and macrophages.
Activating phagocytes. Phagocytes are white blood cells that engulf and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. Propolis has been shown to activate phagocytes, making them more effective at fighting infection.
Increasing the production of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that bind to specific pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, and help to neutralize them. Propolis has been shown to increase the production of antibodies, which can help to protect the body from infection.
Furthermore, your gut and the health of its microbiome (the bacterial environment it houses) is at the core of your functional health, and propolis can be very beneficial in supporting gut health in the following ways:
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Propolis can help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi in the gut, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Candida. This can help to improve overall gut health and reduce the risk of digestive problems.
It supports the growth of beneficial bacteria. Propolis may also help to support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria play an important role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function.
It reduces inflammation. Propolis has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the gut. This can be beneficial for people with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and in general, for everyone, the more you can reduce gut and systemic inflammation, the better your body, including the immune system, will function as a whole.
It strengthens the gut barrier. Propolis can help to strengthen the gut barrier, which is the lining of the gut that protects the body from harmful substances. This can help to prevent leaky gut, a condition in which toxins and bacteria leak from the gut into the bloodstream.
Bee pollen is a mixture of flower pollen, nectar, enzymes, honey, wax, and bee secretions. Bees collect pollen from flowers and transport it to the beehive, where it is stored and used as food for the colony.
Bee pollen is a nutrient-rich food that contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and enzymes.
Bee pollen has also been shown to boost immunity, reduce the severity of allergies, and is probably best used as a food supplement that you can sprinkle on just about anything that will instantly add a complex breadth of essential micronutrients to your food.
Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by worker honeybees. It is fed to all larvae in the colony for the first three days of life, but the queen bee is fed royal jelly throughout her entire life. Royal jelly is responsible for the queen bee's larger size, longer lifespan, and ability to lay thousands of eggs per day.
Royal jelly is a complex substance that contains water, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. It is also one of the richest natural sources of 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Royal Jelly & The Brain
Royal Jelly also has tremendous brain-boosting benefits that include improving cognitive function in the short term, and also helping to reduce risk of neurodegenerative disease.
Improving cognitive function. Royal jelly has been shown to improve cognitive function in both animal and human studies.
Protecting against neurodegenerative diseases. Royal jelly contains antioxidants and other compounds that may help to protect the brain from damage caused by neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. For example, one study found that royal jelly reduced the formation of amyloid beta plaques, which are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
Promoting neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process of creating new neurons in the brain and royal jelly has been shown to promote neurogenesis in animal studies.
I personally use propolis throat spray, which is a great, proven, point of contact antiviral during cold & flu season, and eat a hefty teaspoon of Beekeeper’s Naturals Superfood Honey containing propolis, bee pollen, and royal jelly, either direct, or in a hot drink almost every day.
If you’d like to learn even more about the amazing byproducts we harvest from bees, be sure to give the podcast episode a listen.
CLICK HERE to listen on Apple.
CLICK HERE to listen on Spotify.
Of the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and protein, fats are the most important for survival.
We’ve discussed quite a bit about the importance of protein for living optimally, especially longer in life.
Fats however, are probably the most critical overall.
You can survive without carbohydrates.
You cannot survive without fats.
In fact, there is a very real thing called “rabbit starvation”, where individuals who’ve survived off hunting rabbits have actually starved to death, because the rabbits are so lean that they don’t get enough fat to survive, and they die from malnourishment.
There are, however, many kinds of fats, and too much of certain types can increase risk of disease, whereas other fats are very effective at reducing risk of disease, can help boost metabolism, improve brain function, and reduce systemic inflammation.
Ideally, you want to ensure you’re getting a good mix of all kinds of fats to ensure maximal benefits from the dietary fat you consume.
This is the third week of this segment where I’m breaking down each individual type of fat for you, discussing the benefits of it, and the best food sources for said fats.
Monounsaturated fats are a type of healthy fat that have anti-inflammatory properties, and can help reduce risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Focusing on incorporating more monounsaturated fats into your diet is probably a solid way to over time improve your overall longevity and reduce your risk of disease as you age.
Two foods that we know to be very healthy for us are rich in monounsaturated fats: olive oil and avocado.
Olive oil especially, also has a plethora of anti-aging health benefits beyond its high concentration of monounsaturated fats.
I will usually consume 2-3 tablespoons (a hefty shot of it) of olive oil nightly that I get from the Olive Oil Hunter to ensure I’m getting ample amounts of high-quality olive oil in my diet regularly.
Some nuts and seeds can be great sources of monounsaturated fats like green pumpkin seeds (make sure they’re sprouted), macadamias, and a lesser-known nut called a Pili nut. Pili nuts are insanely delicious, and are probably the richest plant sources of BOTH saturated fats (which are very necessary and beneficial) and monounsaturated fats, making them the richest plant source for healthy fats. (In stock now at NONA)
The final source of monounsaturated fats I’m going to mention is going to throw you for a loop…
Animal sourced foods are great sources of saturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids, however, are not typically known for having high concentrations of monounsaturated fats.
In fact, the most common type of fat found in pork is monounsaturated.
A whopping 50% of the fat found in bacon…yes bacon, is monounsaturated.
Now, even healthy fats, such as monounsaturated, should be eaten in relative moderation, and when eating a high fat food like bacon, ideally, avoid eating a high amount of carbs, especially processed with it.
For example, for most, a breakfast of some range fed whole eggs, and uncured bacon from a quality local source, can actually be a fat burning, brain boosting, anti-inflammatory meal to start your day.
Sourcing your pork, from range-fed, ideally local sources is ideal.
We create limitations.
Motivational speakers will often tell you that you need to create “abundance” in your life.
That you need to adopt an “abundance mindset”.
I think that’s silly.
Every single thing you use in your daily life is a byproduct of creation.
We are surrounded by abundance.
Our own potential.
We don’t create abundance, we create limitations.
Doubting your potential is part of being human.
So is fearing the unknown.
In fact, I believe fear, doubt, and anxiety are all part of the natural checks and balances of life, of being human.
And when you bust through the fear, doubt, and anxiety, you realize you are powerful.