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The nutritional value of bee products

Honey or sugar in your tea?

One gram of refined sugar has about the same calories (4 calories) with a gram honey (3 calories) (USDA). But all calories are not the same for our health! (Lustig, 2015) One teaspoon of sugar (4,2 g) or honey (21 g) have very different nutritional value. The sugar consists of carbons and contains sodium, potassium and calcium. Honey is also comprised of carbons, but also contains minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc), vitamins (vitamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B 6, folic acid), and a small amount of protein and fiber. Furthermore, honey contains enzymes that helps in digestion, gastrointestinal diseases and infections, ulcers and liver disorders (FAO, 1996). The bee adds enzymes to the nectar (sucrose) so that in can be converted into glucose and fructose.

Of course, we must not forget that honey is consumed unrefined and raw, while during processing of sugar cane (plant from which come sugar) , vitamins and minerals are destroyed, leaving just “empty” food calories.

Pollen as a dietary supplement?

Pollen can be derived from different flowering and this means that two jars pollen can be very different. Thus, nutrients of each pollen are different. The protein content in pollen has range from 7,5 to 35 %. It contains usually less than 5% fat but also sugars, vitamins, starch and inorganic salts. In an excellent review / survey (Schmidt and Buchmann, 1992) in which pollen was compared with other foods (beef, fried chicken, baked beans, wholemeal bread, apples, raw vegetables and tomatoes) for the average protein, fat, vitamins and minerals content, pollen was richer in most ingredients (when you compare the content of by weight or calories of these foods). Pollen in comparison (protein and minerals) with beef and beans have more than ten times more thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. But do not forget that the pollen is usually consumed in such small quantities that the daily requirement of vitamins, proteins and minerals may not be obtained through the consumption of pollen only. However, pollen may be a significant source of essential nutrients as a dietary supplement when it is insufficient. (FAO, 1996)

The mystery of royal jelly

Similarly to pollen, royal jelly can be used as a dietary supplement because of their nutritious value. They have published many chemical analyzes of royal jelly in recent years. After the latest technological developments, we are able to provide detailed analyzes of the composition of this unusual and complex acid substances (pH 3,6 to 4,2). The main components of royal jelly are water, proteins, sugars, lipids and mineral salts. The composition of royal jelly is relatively stable when comparing different colonies of bee races and time. Water is about the 1/3 of fresh royal jelly. Moreover, proteins and sugars are by far the major components. Although small amounts, all amino acids necessary for humans are in the royal jelly. Furthermore a number of important enzymes are present therein. (FAO, 1996)

Therapeutic propolis

Propolis is composed of wax (30%), resins (55%), essential oils (10%) and pollen (5%). Logically, according the flora around the hive, propolis content is different. This is because each plant has different resins, essential oils and pollen! Each plant is unique and each propolis is also!


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