People have been consuming black pepper spice for centuries, because of its health benefits and nutritional value! According to some studies, it originated from either Greece or the Roman Empire, before the 15th century. However, black pepper became popular worldwide a little later, after a Portuguese explorer (Vasco da Gama) discovered it and its amazing nutritional value. Since then, black pepper is widely used in many ways and is actually known as the “King of spices”. Today we are going to tell you all about the incredible health benefits of this spice, backed up by science!
Health Benefits of Black Pepper Based on Science
Black pepper is obtained from the small dried berries (peppercorns) of a vine, called Piper nigrum. As we mentioned above, this spice has been used since ancient times, by many nations and for different purposes. For example, the Greeks used it to reverse the effects of hemlock (the poison that killed Socrates), as well as a cure for many ailments, such as hemorrhoids, diarrhea, and other digestive complications. Nowadays, black pepper is primarily grown in Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, India, and Malaysia.
High in Antioxidants
Black pepper contains a specific plant compound, called piperine. According to test-tube studies, this element gives the spice potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can help prevent or delay the damaging effects of free radicals (unstable molecules, which ultimately damage your cells).
Black Pepper is Excellent for Digestion
This spice can have a positive effect on digestion, if it is consumed raw. The reason is that, the stomach releases hydrochloric acid, which assists in breaking down proteins. Hydrochloric acid also helps in cleaning your intestines and keeping you protected from gastrointestinal diseases.
Reducing cholesterol levels
Researchers have used black pepper extract in some studies with animals, to analyze its potential to reduce cholesterol levels. According to these studies, black pepper (and its main compound piperine) can help boost the absorption of dietary supplements, which have potential cholesterol-lowering effects. Such include turmeric and red yeast rice.
Other health benefits of Black Pepper and Piperine
Antibacterial properties – According to some studies, piperine has potential antibacterial activities.
Black pepper has the ability to boost the absorption of essential nutrients, such as calcium and selenium, as well some beneficial plant compounds, like those found in turmeric and green tea.
This spice also has the potential to be beneficial for your skin and hair. Black pepper assists the body in flushing away toxins.
Black pepper can also improve your metabolism, because it contains an abundance of phytonutrients. These compounds help your body break down excess fat.
Tips for Using Black Pepper in Cooking
This spice can be added to almost every dish. Down below are a few simple tips for adding black pepper to your daily cooking.
- You can add black pepper to salads.
- Black pepper can be added to an omelette.
- You can add it to soups, sauces, fish, and meat.
- You can also add some black pepper to mashed potatoes.
Lastly, we are going to share with you a recipe for an amazing health-boosting beverage, during the cold season!
Golden tea (Ingredients)
- 330 ml coconut milk (heated, warm)
- one teaspoon of honey
- sprinkle of cardamon
- sprinkle of turmeric
- ginger (add as much as you like)
- sprinkle of black pepper
Read more interesting ways to boost your health here.