We use salt in almost all of our day-to-day dishes, sometimes just leaving black pepper in the corner. What some people don’t know is that this black pepper is oozing with more benefits than salt. Yes, you read that right, this flavour enhancer is an amazing ingredient with the added benefit of improving your health.
The health benefits of black pepper include promoting weight loss, improving digestion, providing relief from a cough and cold, boosting metabolism and treating various skin conditions. Truly, this condiment doesn’t just enhance dishes, it also enhances your health.
What is Black Pepper?
Black pepper, or peppercorn, is a dried derivative of a plant which comes from the Piperaceae family. Used as both a medicine and a spice, its piperine is what makes it taste spicy. Black pepper is native to Kerala, a southern state of India.
Since in the ancient times, black pepper has been one of the most widely produced spices in the world. Because it is not a seasonal plant, it is available year round. Its antibacterial properties make it useful for preserving foods and getting rid of inflammation.
Nutritional Value of Black Pepper
Back pepper has high levels of potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese, as well as vitamins like vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C and riboflavin. Moreover, it contains a high amount of dietary fiber and a relative amount of protein and carbohydrates.
Black pepper should be consumed in moderation, due to its status as a spice and not a food. One tablespoon, or about 6 grams, of black pepper contains 0 grams of cholesterol and fat, 4.1 grams of carbohydrates, 3 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 0.7 grams of protein and 15.9 calories. It is composed of 2 percent Vitamin C, 3 percent calcium and 10 percent iron.
Is Black Pepper Good for You?
Some say that black pepper is not good for your health, but we are here to argue the opposite. Just a single ounce of black pepper contains nutrients such as fiber, iron, vitamin K and magnesium. Its essential oil, piperine, is also useful for aromatherapy, helping ease swollen muscles, digestive issues and arthritis.
Black pepper is also helpful for boosting immunity and reducing fevers, boasting a range of antioxidant and antibacterial properties. According to studies, it is even used as a smoking deterrent for those trying to quit!
Health Benefits of Black Pepper
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of black pepper:
Helps improve cognitive function. The piperine content of black pepper helps reduce the risk of cognitive malfunction and memory impairment.
Antioxidant properties. This property helps repair and prevent the damage that may be caused by free radicals in the body. It also helps prevent the onset of liver problems, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Antibacterial properties. This mainly helps get rid of infections and insect bites. When added to the diet, it helps clean the arteries, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
Provide relief to the respiratory system. Black pepper is a good addition to the tonics used to treat a cough or cold, as it helps treat nasal congestion and sinusitis. Its expectorant property also helps break up mucus and phlegm deposits in the respiratory system.
Helps take care of your skin. Black pepper’s piperine content makes it beneficial in treating vitiligo, or abnormal pigmentation of the skin.
Helps with losing weight. Black pepper’s outer layer may help with the breakdown of body’s fat cells.
Helps improve digestion. Black pepper increases the secretion of hydraulic acid in the stomach, facilitating proper digestion to avoid colic, constipation and diarrhea. Furthermore, it also helps prevent intestinal gas.