Because of how salt is such an essential ingredient in most of our dishes, that has meant that black pepper has taken a backseat even though they are commonly found in our kitchen pantry. So many books and articles have been written about how our consumption of salt affects our health and it seems like black pepper has gotten away with little attention in comparison but maybe we ought to start taking a closer look at black pepper. I say this because of how plenty of research has surfaced showing how black pepper is found to be great for our health. Black pepper actually comes from the fruit of the piper nigrum and when it is dried, it is used as spice and seasoning in the form that we usually encounter. To get the pepper that we usually encounter, you can easily grind the peppercorn up with a grinder.
The History Behind Black Pepper
There is actually a really rich history to black pepper and the first time it was noted in literature was somewhere around 2000 BC (now, how is that for a cool fact?). Native to South India and parts of South Asia, peppercorns were actually utilised as a form of currency because of how valuable they are. When the world came to know of the many health benefits that pepper brings, they were then utilised for culinary purposes to spice up our lives while enriching our meals with nutrients and its many beneficial properties.
Benefits Of Black Pepper
More than just a way to add spice to our culinary dishes and give it a little razzle-dazzle, black pepper is great since it has many beneficial properties that would improve our health in a number of ways. Read on to find out how you can make the most out of this underrated spice.
Improves Digestive Health
Scientists have discovered that black pepper has been found to stimulate digestive juices and enzymes in our stomach and that is what helps with digestion. When you add a dash of black pepper to your meal, it enhances our body’s ability to break down and digest food. Research has been done on black pepper’s effect on pancreatic enzymes as well and the results are overwhelming after they have been found to be beneficial for our overall digestive process. Besides improving your digestive health, black pepper also has the carminative properties that would help you relieve stomach gas, flatulence and colicky pain.
Helps With Weight Loss
The reason why black pepper makes you sneeze is because of the piperine compound in it. But at the same time, that piperine compound is what would help you with weight loss. That is why black pepper is now seen as an alternative given how they have been found to fight the formation of fat cells. This eventually sets off a chain reaction that would ensure fat formation is kept at a down low at the other biological levels. Not to mention, a teaspoon of black pepper only contains around 8 calories and that is no wonder why black pepper is well-liked by most in diets. To make their protein-heavy meals like chicken breasts or grilled vegetables taste so much better, a dash of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon would make it so much more palatable for you to stay on course on your weight-loss journey.
Wards Away Cancer
Piperine is a compound that has many benefits to it. As mentioned earlier, it is what would help with weight loss. Another huge positive is its ability to protect your body against many forms of cancer. How piperine does that is by increasing the absorption of the nutrients like selenium, curcumin, beta-carotene and vitamin B in our intestines that would be good for our gut health and prevent cancer as well. A study was recently done on the anti-cancer properties of black pepper and it has been shown to help reduce the stress on our rectum and prevent colon and prostate cancer from happening.
Chock Full Of Antioxidants
If you were paying attention, you would have noticed how black pepper has tons of antioxidants that would help boost our health in many ways. Why antioxidants are important for us is the fact that they help combat the free radicals that could bring about diseases in our body. This fact is made all the better when considering how black pepper has one of the highest concentration of antioxidants in a wide variety of food analysed. In that study, it was also discovered that pepper had the highest phenolic content. Because of this high antioxidant content, that is what keeps us protected from serious diseases like cancer.
As black pepper is a spice, it is important not to make the same mistake that I made by introducing them in excess to your meals. Just a dash or two of this interesting spice would be enough to get your meal going as it could easily overpower the flavour of your meal. As one of the most common spices in the world, share with a friend or two about these interesting facts about black pepper!