Although royal jelly is intended as a source of nutrition for queen bees, it can be eaten by humans, and it may be particularly beneficial for men. Royal jelly is a thick, white liquid that nurse bees secrete to nurture queen bees. Royal jelly is purportedly the reason why queen bees live longer and grow larger than other bees. Be sure to consult product labels, as nutritional values may vary by brand.
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Royal jelly is calorie-dense, as a 1 tsp.-serving contains 36 calories. While this may seem small, it is actually higher than other foods considered high-calorie; given equal portions of 2 tbsp., royal jelly would provide 216 calories, compared to 190 calories in peanut butter. Calorie-dense foods can be preferable for men, as men typically have higher calorie needs than women, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For example, an active 20-year-old man has a suggested calorie intake of 3,000 per day, while an active 20-year-old woman should consume 2,400 calories daily, according to the USDA.
Royal jelly may not be ideal for men because, despite being calorie-dense, it does not provide any dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is essential for healthy digestion, so it can be particularly beneficial for those who have high calorie needs. In fact, the Institute of Medicine suggests that men consume higher levels of fiber than women; an adult male needs 38 g of fiber daily, while an adult woman needs 25 g, according to the Institute.
Testosterone is the primary male hormone, and not having enough of it can lead to fatigue and a reduced ratio of muscle to fat, among other problems. While you should consult a doctor before attempting to address low testosterone or any medical condition, some research suggests royal jelly may aid in improving testosterone levels. A study from the August 2010 issue of "Animal Reproduction Science" found that royal jelly feeding increased testosterone levels up to 143 percent. However, this research was conducted in rabbits, so the jelly may not have the same effect on humans.
One drawback of royal jelly for men is that it contains no protein. Protein is a vital nutrient that promotes the growth and repair of tissues such as muscle. Because men tend to weigh more and have more body tissue than women, low-protein foods are not ideal. The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming at least 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight each day to maintain proper health.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Pure Royal Jelly: What is Royal Jelly?
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Alive Bee Power Royal Jelly
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Peanut Butter (Jif)
- FamilyDoctor.org; Nutrition: Determine Your Calorie Needs; February 2011
- Mayo Clinic; Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet; November 2009
- "Animal Reproduction Science"; Royal Jelly Counteracts Bucks; "Summer Infertility"; S.A. Elnagar; August 2010
- Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source: Protein