You might not be surprised to know that black pepper is one of the worlds most traded spices, not too mention one of the most common spices added to different cuisines around the world.
What you might be surprised to know however, are the associated health benefits that black pepper provides.
Believe it not, it is a flowering vine that is commonly cultivated for its fruit. Once the fruit is dried, it is know to you and I, as a peppercorn. Peppercorns aren’t used as often as that of ground pepper, likely because of their pungent taste that some may describe as spicy. Having said that, as little as a teaspoon of black pepper can go along way – in a multitude of different dishes.
One tablespoon (6 grams) of ground black pepper contains moderate amounts of vitamin K (13% of the daily value or DV), iron (10% DV) and manganese (18% DV), with trace amounts of other essential nutrients, protein and dietary fibre
Now, let’s dive into the good stuff, shall we?
The health benefits associated with black pepper include (but are not limited to);
Any of those surprise you? Now that we know what the health benefits are, lets’ consider, why they are.
Relief of the Common Cold
Black pepper is traditionally used (in some cases, with honey) to help respiratory congestion through its ability to dry up mucus membranes. Not necessarily an appetizing thought, I’m sure, however – a sure way to help you feeling better!
It’s possible that the reason black pepper is known to help the digestive tract is due to its ability to increase the hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, thereby facilitating proper digestion. This is essential to reduce ailments such as; diarrhea, constipation and colic. Adding black pepper to your diet can aid as well in removing toxins from your body as it promotes sweating (although minimal) and urination, this helps the process along.
Piperine, found in black pepper, protects against oxidative damage by inhibiting free radicals and reactive oxygen species, as well as positively influencing antioxidant enzymes (Vasanthi, 2010).
Found in the outer layer of the peppercorn, is a component that assists in the breakdown of fat cells. When fat cells are broken down into smaller parts, it enables you to manage them much simpler than when they are whole. During the breakdown process,it allows the components to process much easier by the body and apply to other, more healthy processes and enzymatic reactions.
Black pepper is said to help with skin conditions similar to that of Vitiligo, which is a skin disease that causes some areas of skin to lose its normal pigmentation and often appear much lighter (or white) than your normal skin tone. It is suggested that black pepper can work to stimulate the skin to produce pigment. More common treatment of this diseases is in fact the topical application of piperine.
A final note that it especially important to me, is that black pepper is responsible for the body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients from food. In addition, it helps the body to access as much of the bioavailability of our food as possible.
Safe to say, it’s kind of a big deal.
…and definitely a big deal is the eyes of Turmeric. Without the addition of black pepper, the curcumin benefit derived from Turmeric, simply isn’t happening the way we want it to.
Overall, black pepper is a wonderful addition to your diet, and remember that a little bit goes a very long way. The average culinary recommendation is in fact 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper.
Black pepper can be purchased whole, crushed or ground into powder. To ensure best flavour, consider buying whole peppercorns and grind them yourself in a mill just before adding to a recipe (pepper mills are widely available) Be sure to keep the pepper in an air tight container, this will help preserve the flavour and taste.
So, there you have it, Five (5) Health Benefits of Black Pepper!
Are you a black pepper fan? Any particular dish that you make (or eat) that can’t be without it? Love to hear from you in the comments below!
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
I look forward to connecting with you next time!
From my kitchen to yours,