Even in the concrete jungle of New York City, signs of Spring are everywhere. It’s in the bird’s song, the slow warming of the temperature, and, most importantly, the symphony of buzzing bees! The world’s hardest workers, bees, make up the backbone of our ecosystem. They are more than just that; they are vital to human survival! Let’s talk about a commonly asked question: is bee pollen vegan? If not, what are some other alternatives for your health?
Because they are derived from animals, bee pollen, honey, and royal jelly are all considered not vegan. Consumption of bee pollen can be particularly disruptive to both the environment and the health of those eating it. Thankfully, there are several safe, easy alternatives to gain all the benefits without any of the risks.
As always, trust the experts at Beyond Sushi to explain the often complicated truth behind a healthy vegan lifestyle! Our expert chefs take pride in bringing a fresh element of fun and creativity to vegans all over New York City and beyond.
Is Bee Pollen Vegan?
Because bee pollen is harvested from honeybees, this product is not considered part of a vegan lifestyle. Though every dietary decision is highly personal, most vegans avoid consuming bee pollen due to the ecological implications.
To collect bee pollen, beekeepers typically place a “pollen trap” over the entryway to the hive. As each bee passes through, this device traps a portion of the pollen clinging to the outside of the bee, storing it away for human use. In taking this important substance, beekeepers put a strain on both the environment and the bee population, harming their ability to feed their larvae!
As if this were not problematic enough, the FDA warns of possible health problems associated with that spoonful of bee pollen you may have otherwise sprinkled over your breakfast.
In recent years, the FDA has reported a spike in the number of unregulated bee pollen products spiked with harmful drugs. Though manufacturers claim their products are safe for use, this tainted bee pollen contains substances leading to complaints of diarrhea, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, and even heart problems. Even in its purest form, bee pollen is considered unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Luckily, there are other options!
Bee Pollen Alternatives
Though honey is reputably sweet, bee pollen packs a bitter punch. Despite its somewhat unappetizing flavor, people all over the world use this powdered product as a health supplement, sprinkling it into cereal, blending into smoothies, or even adding it to their evening tea in exchange for the health benefits it promises: higher immunity, lower inflammation, and reduced stress.
Skip the bitter flavor and keep all the health benefits with these alternatives:
Similar in their bright, golden color, turmeric and bee pollen actually carry many of the same health benefits!
Like bee pollen, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, making it extra helpful during cold and flu season. A staple among those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, this delicious medicinal herb has also proven beneficial in the fight against cancers, stomach ailments, and liver difficulties.
With its mild, earthly flavor, this seasoning mixes perfectly with your smoothie, soup, or tea, enhancing the flavor without altering it. Just be aware that, like bee pollen, turmeric can easily stain; handle with caution!
This alternative is so nutritionally indistinguishable, that beekeepers often use it as a supplement when feeding larvae.
Often called brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast flakes are a powerhouse among nutritional supplements. Containing the full spectrum of essential amino acids, these yeast flakes pack a lot of protein in a small package. The savory, mildly nutty flavor makes this alternative an easy addition to your next lunch or dinner. Try sprinkling it over your popcorn to add to the nutritional value of your favorite movie-time snack.
For many bee pollen advocates, the greatest benefit of this product is in its reputation for alleviating anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms. Next time you need a break, reach instead for one of the most popular bee pollen alternatives for your health: chamomile.
According to a 2016 study, chamomile has been scientifically proven to relieve the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. What’s more, this trusted alternative has been used for centuries to treat cold symptoms, sleep issues, menstrual pain, and achy joints.
Though chamomile is most commonly taken in tea, it is also completely safe to consume raw. Just be sure that your chamomile flowers were not grown using pesticides before grinding this alternative up in your next smoothie.
Healthy Options at Beyond Sushi
Picking your next meal isn’t just a matter of flavor; it’s a matter of health. Because mental and physical health are so closely linked, the chefs at Beyond Sushi understand the importance of creating delicious meals that leave you feeling your best.
Stop by any of our conveniently located restaurants for your next meal, and sample vegan food designed to leave you happy, healthy, and satisfied! For a cozy night in, take advantage of our convenient pickup and delivery options, and allow us to bring the flavor to you.
No matter how you choose to dine, Beyond Sushi has the variety you’re looking for!