Black pepper is one of the most common spices that many households across the world almost always have around. But did you know that black pepper has a comprehensive list of health properties? Also known as black peppercorn, the spice is rich in beneficial nutrients. Eager to learn the benefits of black pepper for your body? Keep reading to know further!
Is Black Pepper Good for You?
Black pepper is produced from a plant scientifically called Piper nigrum or pepper plant. It’s a flowering vine that produces berries which we know as pepper or peppercorn. Black pepper is made from green, unripe berries.
The berries are then cooked in hot water to cleanse and prepare for drying. The heat from the water will break down the pepper’s shells, speeding up the browning process during drying. As a result, there is an undeniable and unique earthiness to the black pepper taste, which is also piney, woody, and sharp.
Of course, this spice is more than just a flavoring agent. Perhaps you are wondering if it is good for the body and what does black pepper do for the body? According to various studies, black pepper is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and numerous beneficial properties. Keep reading to further learn the scientific studies on black pepper.
10 Proven Benefits of Eating Black Pepper
Aside from being a kitchen staple, black pepper offers a lot of benefits for health. It even has been used in ancient Indian medicine for thousands of years. Here are ten proven benefits of black pepper.
1. Provide anti-inflammatory properties
Chronic inflammation may cause severe health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Many studies have shown that piperine content in black pepper is an efficient anti-inflammatory.
For example, piperine treatment reduced blood levels of inflammatory markers and joint swelling, as reported in arthritis-affected mice studies. However, this health property has yet to be extensively researched in humans.
2. Boost digestive health
One of the health benefits of black pepper is a healthier digestive system. This is due to the black pepper’s ability to activate the digestive enzymes and fluids, increasing the body’s speed in digesting food.
The carminative properties in black pepper also help in relieving stomach gas. Additionally, it can ease colicky pain and indigestion, often caused by consuming too many chiles. Therefore, black pepper can be used in place of chiles to alleviate such digestive conditions.
3. Has antioxidant properties
Black pepper is rich in piperine, a compound with high antioxidant properties. According to studies, a balanced diet rich in antioxidants may help in preventing or delaying free radicals effects.
Rodent and test-tube studies have shown that ground black pepper may reduce the damage caused by free radicals. For ten weeks, rats fed the black pepper-based diet had fewer free radicals damage markers in their cells.
4. Control blood pressure
Animal studies have shown that piperine in black pepper can control blood pressure, and comparable effects are expected in people. A study published in the National Library of Medicine reported that orally consuming piperine can lower high blood pressure.
This spice’s benefits will double when consumed with turmeric because piperine can increase the curcumin absorption found in turmeric. To enjoy the benefits of black pepper and turmeric, you can add them to your tea recipe.
5. May benefit your brain health
It seems most of the benefits of black pepper come from the spice piperine. Several studies have demonstrated benefits for alleviating brain condition symptoms like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
In one rodent study, piperine could improve the memory of Alzheimer’s affected rats. While it sounds promising, studies on people must be extensively conducted to confirm these effects outside rodent studies.
6. May help in fighting cancer
A hypothesis has demonstrated that black pepper piperine may help prevent cancer. Human studies have yet to be conducted in this case. However, several test-tube studies reported that piperine could slow the growth of colon, prostate, and breast cancer cells.
In lab tests, the active compound in black pepper has shown promising results of which to reverse multidrug resistance. Still, more studies must be performed to fully understand these potential cancer-fighting benefits.
7. Fight wrinkles
Regularly consuming black pepper can help in slowing the signs of aging. This is all due to the antioxidant properties are known to be capable of fighting free radicals that often cause skin conditions, including dark spots and wrinkles.
The skin-improving effects will double when you consume black pepper with honey. To get the most of the benefits of black pepper and honey, you can simply add a teaspoon of honey and black pepper to the water and use it as a regular face mask.
8. Relieve respiratory problems
Ancient Chinese medicine has been years using black pepper for relieving respiratory problems, such as colds and coughs. It’s well known that pepper stimulates mucous flow and circulation.
You will get an enhanced effect when you combine black pepper with honey. Simply mix a proper amount of honey and powdered black pepper in a cup of warm water. Steep it for around 15 minutes before drinking it.
9. May help lowering cholesterol levels
High cholesterol levels can lead to severe heart conditions. This is where the benefits of black pepper come into play. Regularly consuming this spice is believed to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Again, this is due to the rich amount of piperine in the pepper.
In one rodent study, rats with a high-fat and black pepper-based diet showed lower cholesterol levels. Of course, more studies are required to confirm if black pepper offers similar effects in people.
10. Promote weight loss
Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of black pepper’s active compound in inhibiting the growth of fat cells. This may help you get a little closer to your weight reduction goals.
A teaspoon of black pepper is not more than eight calories, making the spice a great addition to your weight loss diet. So, rather than drizzling your grilled veggies with calorie-heavy dressing, simply squeeze a lemon and a dash of this pepper to limit your calorie intake.
Black pepper is undoubtedly rich in beneficial properties, more importantly, its piperine. Want to get the most of the benefits of black pepper? You first need to have the pepper ready on your kitchen table. Head to Spices and Co. to have one, and you may start reaping the benefits the spice offers.