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What's the BUZZ?

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2018-07-22

There’s been lots of BUZZ this summer. The busy bee kind of buzz—with lots of summer plans, summer visitors and summer travel, the buzz of our Summer Cleanse, starting today, and, for me, the buzz of delving a bit more into the power of bees. Several years ago there was a slew of documentaries about bees. One, More than Honey, chronicled why bees are facing extinction. It’s an issue we can’t really afford to ignore.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, about one of every three mouthfuls of food you eat is reliant on pollination by honeybees.

And while I’m a fan of most fresh and raw bee products, from raw honey to propolis to pollen, I rarely eat the sweeter stuff (the honey), myself. Even though it’s lower glycemic than pasteurized honey, it’s still quite sweet for my taste-buds and my delicate inner ecosystem, which requires targeted immune and adrenal support. That said, I do love my pollen. I could eat local pollen by the spoonfuls. And it’s a good thing too!

Read more about the medicinal uses of pollen below and be sure to try the Peach Royal Smoothie Recipe we’ve dreamed up for you.

By the way, even though the season is loaded with lots of fruity sweet goodness, during the Summer Cleanse, we’ll be sure to support you in taking the seasonal road that best suits your dietary parameters, including the elimination of honey, the addition of bee pollen, and the perfect proportions of fat, fiber and protein to keep you sated, satisfied and supported in your cleansing endeavors.

Registration for the Summer Cleanse closes TONIGHT! If your mind is buzzing with the idea of committing to the cleanse, the time is now.

Peach Royal Smoothie

The consumption of straight bee pollen while old to bees is newer to us humans. That said raw honey has always contained a bit of pollen. So it may be safe to consider that our ancestors, who never processed their honey, ate a fair amount more pollen than we consume today, especially since honey was the most common form of sweetener prior to industrialization. Adding pollen to smoothies, atop salads, and into raw chocolate confections is a great way to boost their nutrient density. I advise sticking with pollen from bees that are local to you.

Peach Royal Smoothie | Functional Nutrition Alliance

Recommended: Try a few granules first to make sure your body does not have any adverse reaction, then work your way up.


  • 2 cups nut, seed, or coconut milk

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peaches

  • 7 drops liquid vanilla liquid stevia

  • 1 tsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger root

  • 1 Tbsp bee pollen

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil

  • Pinch sea salt

  • 3–4 ice cubes


Place all ingredients except ice cubes in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes and blend again until cold and creamy. Serves 2
recipe created by Andrea Livingston for the Functional Nutrition Alliance


Bee pollen typically consists of a blend of grains collected by honeybees from myriad plants. This is one thing that contributes to its high nutrient density.

Worker bees, that differ from those that collect honey, gather the pollen in special little pockets or baskets in their legs. They typically collect more grains than needed and the excess is carefully removed from their legs by the beekeeper as they re-enter the hive.

The pollen consists of the plant’s male reproductive parts, giving it a great nutritional profile as it contains all that is needed to actually grow a plant! This includes a wide array of phytochemicals including carotenoids, flavonoids and phytosterols (think beta-carotene, lycopene, quercetin and more).

Pollen is a complete protein, containing all amino acids, and can range up to 40% protein by dry weight. Pollen also contains the complex of B vitamins, vitamins necessary for supporting natural detoxification and brain health. And let’s not forget the enzymes. Bee pollen contains a number of enzymes that help your food break down and get to the cells, where they can really do their work to nourish you.

Because of this high nutrient profile, pollen, if well tolerated, is a fantastic way for those that have difficulties digesting a lot of fibrous vegetables to still benefit from the nutrients that those veggies might provide. Up to one teaspoon of pollen a day will provide a dramatic improvement to your nutritional status. But remember to try a few grains and work your way up if you tend to be sensitive or overly allergic.

When it comes to pollen allergies, please note that there are different kinds of pollen. The wind-borne pollen is mostly responsible for hayfever and allergies. The sticky pollens, like bee pollen, can actually reverse those symptoms. Start small, work your way up to see if this tactic benefits you.

Let’s look at some of the other medicinal and healing benefits of dietary intake of bee pollen:

  • several Chinese studies have documented the use of bee pollen to combat altitude sickness and the adaption to lower oxygen levels

  • pollen has been effectively used for treating prostatitis in a couple of clinical trials

  • n 1971 a study was conducted using bee pollen twice a day to support those with bleeding gastric ulcers, with some success

  • bee pollen allows for those that are sick, injured or experiencing malabsorption to easily ingest a wide array of essential nutrients that not only invite deeper healing, but deliver much-needed nutrition far better than any one supplement could

Be sure to buy your pollen fresh and local. See if you can find a local beekeeper to keep your cupboard stocked!

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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