benefits of white pepper

Health Benefits of White Pepper You May Have Never Heard Of

White pepper is more than just a spice. Below are the benefits of white pepper you'll reap after including it in your savory meals.

While you might be commonly using black pepper in your meals, do you know that most Asian cuisine you have enjoyed almost always uses white pepper? But what precisely is white pepper, how does it differ from black pepper, and what are the benefits of white pepper? Everything will be covered in this article.

what is white pepper

What Is White Pepper?

You might be surprised to learn that all peppercorns, including black, white, and green varieties, come from the same Piper nigrum or pepper plant. It’s a vine that grows berries of what is popularly known as peppercorns after going through several processing steps.

White pepper is produced by taking the fully ripe pepper berries. After being harvested, they are soaked for around 10 days in clear water, which leads to the fermentation process. The outer skins are then peeled, removing some of the chemicals that give black pepper its distinct aroma and flavor.

The process will leave the seed inside, which are then dried to produce white pepper. It is sold in a variety of forms, including as whole and ground white pepper. The latter is perhaps the most common way of its consumption.

Then, how does it taste? Opinions are divided regarding whether white pepper is milder or even hotter than its counterpart. White pepper does, however, taste hot/spicy on the palate. Some claim that the white pepper flavor is less complex and more earthy than that of black pepper.

In Western recipes, it’s primarily used in white sauces for aesthetic reasons. Meanwhile, in the majority of Asian countries, it’s used far more frequently compared to the black one to lend a hint of spicy to any cooking.

health benefits of white pepper

7 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of White Pepper

White pepper is not only good for flavoring any delicacies. They also provide a vast number of health benefits, thanks to the piperine contained within. It’s a chemical believed to be helpful in treating a wide range of digestive conditions, colds, headaches, and other ailments. 

The following is the list of scientific-backed health benefits you can obtain after including white pepper in your daily diet.

1. Boost proper digestion

One of the benefits of white pepper is that it promotes healthy digestion. This is primarily due to the piperine content that is believed to be capable of stimulating the release of digestive and pancreatic enzymes. Also, the compound can help in increasing saliva production to break down food in your body more efficiently. 

Several animal studies have also shown the advantages of consuming white pepper for digestive health. In one animal study from Nutrition Research, feeding rats piperine for about six weeks could greatly help shorten the transit time of meals traveling through the intestinal system.

2. Improve poor eyesight

In certain cultures, white pepper has been widely known to be a beneficial spice for treating several eye conditions, like poor vision. This is primarily attributable to the immune-stimulating and antibacterial qualities contained within the pepper. Not only is it great for improving eyesight, but it is also believed to be quite effective for treating cataracts.

To get most of the benefits of white pepper for the eyes, most typically consume the spice along with sugar crystals, almond powder, Triphala powder, and aniseeds. However, it’s advisable to see a professional herbalist prior to using this method as it might not always be suitable for certain people and eye health conditions.

3. Reduce inflammation

Acute inflammation is a clear indication that your immune system is actively battling against infections and external invaders. However, research suggests that it will lead to chronic inflammation if there is no treatment conducted. Worst of all, it can cause severe medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

This is another health condition where the benefits of white pepper come in handy. Again, it’s due to the beneficial compounds in the pepper. These include antioxidants and piperine that can reduce inflammation. According to Kyung Hee University research, the piperine compound can also decrease several inflammation markers in rats with arthritis.

4. Promote weight loss

Black pepper has been popularly known as a spice that can help in losing weight. But do you know that white pepper also provides the same health property? This is all due to the high amount of capsaicin—a compound commonly found in pepper. According to various studies, capsaicin can speed up how quickly your body burns fat stores and uses energy. 

Additionally, it may help in reducing appetite; hence, many weight loss products include capsaicin as one of the most active ingredients. To reap the most of the white pepper benefits for weight loss, you can incorporate the spice in any of your favorite savory, balanced meals.  

5. Decrease high blood pressure

Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and put your heart health at risk. Known to be free of sodium and rich in vitamins C and A and flavonoids, white pepper is effective in decreasing blood pressure while also controlling your salt intake.

A number of studies have proven the benefits of white pepper in this case. One test-tube study published in the National Library of Medicine shows that white pepper contributed to the dilation of blood vessels that can help control blood pressure.

6. Promote healthy skin

White pepper has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that are great for treating dark spots, wrinkles, acne, and other skin conditions. It’s also rich in antioxidants, which can improve blood circulation and exfoliate dead skin, giving your skin a natural glow. 

To obtain the health benefits of white pepper for your skin, you can use it as a face scrub. However, applying the spice directly to the skin is not always advised, as it will make your face feel burnt. You can consume it regularly by incorporating spice into your daily diet.

7. Improve bone strength

White pepper is one of the many spices known to be a vitamin and mineral powerhouse. It has manganese, magnesium, and coppers, which are known to be beneficial in improving bone strength. It doesn’t only end there; white pepper also helps in reducing joint pains. 

People with joint conditions such as arthritis can eliminate their constant pains by regularly adding white pepper to their savory meals. The capsaicin chemical in the pepper is known to have anti-inflammatory traits that can help ease joint pain due to swelling.

Final Thoughts

The benefits of white pepper are not only limited to the list above. The spice can also help treat colds and mild headaches, as well as improve head and scalp health. Consuming it by mouth is not advisable, but you can incorporate the spice into your well-balanced diet. Head to Spices and Co. to start taking advantage of the many benefits white pepper offers.

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