Have you ever thought how deeply black pepper benefits us, popular known as the king of spice black pepper remains the most traded spice in the world, also known as ‘Black Gold’ because of the stature it had in the world spice trade centuries ago.
The hot and strong spice with a distinct aroma and flavour is sharp on the tongue but warms the body. A dash of black pepper not only gives a delectable spark to food, but this wonderful spice has been much sought after for centuries for its medicinal value. The exotic spice is equally beneficial in whole as peppercorn or powdered form.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, black pepper is an excellent source of vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, C, E, B6, and K. Moreover, it is also rich in minerals like zinc, sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, calcium. High in dietary fibre, black pepper also contains folate and moderate quantities of protein and carbohydrates.
The benefits of black pepper are quite numerous below are a list of some of the most prominent ones
Piperine in black pepper stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is essential for proper digestion of food. This preventing bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
Soothes Cough and Cold
The spice is a godsend when it comes to treating cough or cold. A pinch of black pepper powder mixed with half a teaspoon of honey is a known remedy for treating a sore throat due to flu, viral or pollution. Black pepper added to the tea, along with ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, is known to bring relief from a severe bout of cold for many. Rich in vitamin C, the spice acts as an antibiotic, and you could also add a pinch of black pepper powder and cinnamon powder to hot water and take steam.
Helps in Losing Weight
Regular consumption of black pepper is hugely beneficial in boosting metabolism. This, in turn, helps in breaking down fat and is a natural way to shed some weight. The phytonutrients in the spice help in breaking down the fat cells, making it easier for the body to process and get rid of the extra fat and toxins. A pinch of the spice in one meal is enough to do the trick.
Improves Skin Health
Another fabulous black pepper benefit is that it can prevent and repair the damage caused to the skin by free radicals. The powerful antioxidant properties of the spice protect the skin from premature ageing, age spots and wrinkles. Added to this, it is one of the best natural exfoliator. Mixed with a little honey or curd, it improves blood circulation and clears the skin dramatically.
Another powerful health benefit of black pepper is its exceptional ability to fight infections. The antibacterial properties of the spice are hugely beneficial in building the body’s immunity and in healing insect bites and other topical infections.
Black pepper extract benefits us by improving the bioavailability properties of the accompanying spices, foods or even medicines. It not only ensures enhanced taste but also makes nutrients more accessible to our system.
Studies show that piperine in black pepper helps in increasing the absorption of nutrients like selenium, beta-carotene, curcumin and vitamin B. These nutrients are vital for preventing and fighting cancer, especially colon and prostate cancer
Improves Cognitive Function
Many studies have shown that piperine in black pepper can boost brain function, thus reducing cognitive damage and memory impairment. It is especially known for its role in controlling Alzheimer’s disease. Extensive research shows how black pepper in synergy with curcumin, a bioactive compound found in turmeric, has helped in lowering the incidence of Alzheimer’s in India, turmeric being a staple spice in most Indian homes.
Improves Dental Health
Black pepper has proven anti-inflammatory properties that are of great help in treating gum inflammation. Mixing a little amount with salt and water and massaging the gums can bring instant relief from toothache. Take very little quantity, though.
Helps in Treating Diabetes
The antioxidants present in black pepper help in regulating the blood sugar levels in the body. Research proves that black pepper oil can regulate the production of enzymes that break down starch into glucose, thus delaying the absorption of glucose in the body.
Rejuvenates the Hair
Mix a teaspoon of pepper powder with the juice of one lemon and apply on the scalp and hair. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse with cold water. It will energise your hair, making them soft and lustrous. To strengthen the roots, mix a teaspoon of black pepper powder with one tablespoon of honey. Keep for 20 minutes and rinse off. Fluffy soft and smooth mane is all yours.
When getting your black pepper, it is critical that you buy only the best quality spice, which is pure & authentic and will give maximum health benefits while stroking those taste buds of yours.
Interesting Facts about Black Pepper
World’s most traded spice, pepper is the most widely used spice around the globe
The word ‘pepper’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Pippali’, meaning berry.
Pepper gets its sharp taste from the compound ‘piperene’.
Pepper is indigenous to India, and its origin goes back at least 2000 BC.
Green, black, red and white pepper, all come from the same plant. The colour is dependent on the ripeness and the method used for processing the spice.
An expensive spice in the Middle Ages, a man’s wealth was measured by his stock of pepper.
A prized possession, pepper was so sought after that traders formed spice routes from India to Europe and many wars were fought over it.
Romans demanded pepper as ransom when laying siege on a city or kidnapping important dignitaries.
Pepper was considered a valuable currency and a coveted spice for the cuisine of only the elite citizens on ancient Rome.
Pepper loses its flavour and aroma very quickly, so it’s best stored in airtight containers. You will be doing yourself a whole of good just by a sprinkle of the marvellous spice to your food, for both taste and health.
Make sure you use only the purest and the most authentic black pepper powder as it will not only make a remarkable difference to the taste of the food but also your wellbeing.
Also, next time you have some little sniffles and aches to deal with, peek into your kitchen before you head out to the doctor. The little remedy might well be sitting right there in your spice rack!