Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices worldwide. Known as the ‘king of spices’, it forms a significant part of a large number of cuisines all over the world, used in cooking as well as garnishing. Black pepper powder, that comes with a mildly spicy flavour, is made by grinding peppercorns, obtained from the plant Piper nigrum.
Since ancient times, black pepper has been considered to have essential health benefits. Therefore, in addition to adding flavor to foods, black pepper has wide-ranging beneficial properties for health. It fights cancer, is an antioxidant, relieves cough and cold, treats skin problems, enhances weight loss efforts, etc.
#1 High In Antioxidants
Studies have suggested that a diet high in antioxidants may help prevent or delay the damaging effects of free radicals. Black pepper contains the compound piperine which has been proved to have antioxidant effects and thus helps to prevent free radical damage to your cells.
#2 Treats Coughs and Colds
#3 Benefits Your Brain
Black pepper has a stimulatory effect on our brain. It especially helps patients with neurodegenerative diseases. It improves memory and cognitive function in an individual by stimulating the chemical pathways in the brain.
Additionally, it also acts as an antidepressant and elevates an individual’s mood.. Black pepper contains the compound piperine, which has been shown to improve cognitive ability in animal studies.
#4 Helps Improve Blood Sugar Control
Black pepper is useful in controlling the sugar level in patients with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the pancreas in our body is not able to produce enough insulin or when the body stops reacting adequately to otherwise normal levels of insulin. For this, nutritionists often claim that adding black pepper to your diet can help lower the risk of high blood sugar. Black pepper’s antioxidant properties help to stabilize blood sugar, while also boosting the digestive tract’s health. In addition to this, black pepper helps to fight obesity, which is also one of the major contributing factors of diabetes.
#5 Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels
#6 Cancer-fighting Properties
Black pepper has also been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties. The compound piperine, with its antioxidant properties, reduces damage to your cells and keeps the tissues healthy. Thus, eating freshly ground black pepper can help you to keep cancer at bay, due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant effects.
#7 Helps In The Absorption Of Nutrients
Black pepper helps to increase the absorption of essential nutrients. Due to its inhibitory activity on drug-metabolizing enzymes, it can help to increase the bioavailability of some nutrients like calcium and selenium, as well as beneficial components found in green tea and turmeric.
#8 Stimulates Digestion
Black pepper helps in the process of digestion. It has been found to have a stimulatory effect on the entire digestive system. Piperine, found in black pepper, stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach, which again helps to digest proteins.
#9 Enables Fat Loss
Black pepper supports weight loss efforts. It helps to break down fat cells, and also plays a significant role in increasing the levels of metabolism in the body. This increased metabolism allows for an increased breakdown of lipids and helps in Fat loss.
#10 Treats Skin Problems
Black pepper is known to prevent excessive skin pigmentation. Vitiligo is a skin condition which results in the appearance of discoloured patches over different areas of the body. It occurs when the skin loses the pigment cells (melanocytes). These cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives the skin its colour. Black pepper helps prevent vitiligo and maintains the original colour of the skin.
Black pepper is a popular spice and is an essential ingredient in the diet of people in all parts of the world. It multiplies the flavour of every dish where it is added and tingles our taste buds. This flavour-enhancer, with its bold flavour, is an excellent addition to almost any dish.
Besides the taste factor, black pepper also contains many nutrients and potent compounds like piperine. Piperine is a compound in black pepper which has been shown to exhibit therapeutic properties. It has wide-ranging benefits like antioxidants and anti-cancer effects, helps to counter skin problems, etc.