Besides being a great spice, black pepper has many health benefits. Knowing these deepens your appreciation for black pepper.
Black pepper is obtained from Pippaland is majorly used as a spice with many offers. It is a major source of magnesium, iron, vitamin K and fiber. It also has essential oil, Piperine, which, when used during aromatherapy, helps ease aching muscles, inflammatory arthritis, and digestive issues. In addition, black pepper has dietary fiber with little amounts of proteins and carbohydrates. Keep reading this article to know more about black pepper, its health benefits, the risks of taking it, and how to store it.
Health Benefits of black pepper
Black pepper has many health benefits, including;
i. Smoothens digestion and nutrients absorption
Black pepper has Piperine that stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid, a compound that aids withdigestion andprevents you from experiencing diarrhea and constipation. Pepper also has carminative properties that help reduce stomach discomfort and gas build-up. Moreover, it relieves colicky pains, besides promoting nutrient absorption, portraying pre-biotic-like properties, and improving gastrointestinal health by regulating the intestinal microbiota.
ii. It prevents Cancer
Piperinemay suppress cancer cells’ replication in the prostratearea,colon, and breast. Moreover, studies have shown that pepper can be a therapeutic agent since it can treat a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. More studies are needed to prove black pepper’s anti-cancer properties.
iii. Boosts brain function
Several animal studies have noted that Piperine improves the brain’s functioning, especially thesymptoms of degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. For instance, researchers discovered a rat’s memory had reduced the formation of amyloid fragments that damage the protein fragments linked to cognitive functions. Consequently, black pepper can reduce Alzheimer’s condition in humans.
iv. Helps in weight lose
Do you want to lose some weight? Make black pepper your close friend. The antibiotics in pepper extract nutrients from food. The outermost layer has phytonutrients that are useful in breaking fat cells and increasing metabolism. If you take fresh pepper andstart sweating, know that pepper is flashing out the toxins and excess water present in your body, contributing to weight loss.
v. Relieves cough and cold
A mixture of black pepper and a teaspoon of fresh honey may form natural remedies for cold and cough. It is possible because of the antibacterial nature of pepper. Besides, the mixture can also reduce chest congestion primarily caused by pollution, viral infection, or flu. In addition, you canform steamby addingitto hot water and eucalyptus oil.
vi. Helps in blood sugar control
A study was conducted on humans and concludedthat Piperine has insulin sensitivity properties. Since insulin hormone control glucose rise, black pepper can control the blood sugar levels. Controlled blood sugar levels keep diabetes type-2 and its symptoms in check.
vii. Reduces depression
Piperineincreases the production of hormones dopamine and serotonin. These are essential to the body and helpspromote a good mood and lower stress, depression, and anxiety levels. Moreover,researchers believe that an imbalance of serotonin levels will influence your one negatively, resulting in depression.
viii. Boosts your memory
Piperine helps in improving the neurotransmission of certain chemicals like endorphin and serotonin. These chemicals are critical for normal body functioning, and they will help in promoting a healthy memory. Moreover, Piperine will increase your mental skills like attention and reasoning. In addition, it will also reduce sluggish feelings and lack of motivation.
ix. Black Pepper improves overall health.
In addition to the mentioned benefits, black pepper treats certain health conditions like toothaches, decay, and earaches. Besides, you can improve your vision by taking it continuously.
x. Promotes a healthy skin
Black pepper contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help in promoting smooth and clear skin. It also increases blood circulation, which, in turn, brings gentle heat to the skin and opens the pores for better cleaning. Moreover, pepper has a rough texture making it suitable for exfoliation. To get perfect results, mix it with honey, andskin tone will improve drastically. Besides, you can also apply it on itchy skin caused by mite bites and measles, and it will relieve you of pain.Black pepper also enables the circulation of blood and ‘more oxygen’ to the skin. You can also use it to cure Vitiligo, a condition in which the skin loses its pigment and forms white patches. Finally, you can reduce wrinkles when you add black pepper daily to your meals.
What are the risks and side effects of black pepper?
Despite the positive effects of black pepper, it also has drawbacks. Too much black pepper may cause distress to your digestive system. Besides, you may end up having a burning sensation in the mouth and the throat.In a study on rodents and humans, Piperinewas found to boost medicines like an anti-histamine. Therefore, it is useful for improving the functionality of poorly absorbed drugs. You should consult the medics if you notice any possible interactions of the drugs you are taking when consuming black pepper or any piperine supplements.
How is black pepper stored?
To get the maximum benefits of pepper, you are required to store it in the best place. You should buy a full peppercorn and crush it when using it. A whole peppercorn will not only retain its flavor but also last longer. However, it would be best to keep it in an airtight container and in a cool, dry place,awayfrom sunlight.
How is black pepper used?
Black pepper has several uses, including being a spice for dishes. You can add black pepper to fried rice to add flavorin salads, soups, or even buttermilk. Additionally, you can use it as spice sauces for steaks and curries and coating the grilled chicken or meat. However, you are advised to avoid cooking it as much as possible.
Black pepper hasnumerous advantages, including lowering blood sugar levels and aiding with weight loss. Therefore, you should invest in a quality pepper grinder to help youuse whole peppercorns and stay fresh while enjoying the benefits. When buying them, choose the heavy, round, and compact ones, and after grinding them, store them in the refrigerator for them to last longer.
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