Black pepper could be found in almost every restaurant and kitchen countertop in America. It is considered the “king of all spices”, but unlike salt, scientists have not found it to be exciting enough to be studied even further. Yes, that is quite sad to know. But on the plus side, the research and studies conducted about black pepper have been surprising. That’s why it is being used far and wide in this day and age. But is black pepper good for you? Well, it may not be listed as a condiment and ingredient that could level out with saffron, cumin, or saffron but we must give it a chance, right? It is also not as well-loved as salt but it has many healing properties and its roots are as interesting as it could get.
According to studies and archeologists, pepper has been used in India for as early as 2000 B.C, and pepper trade existed between Egypt and India ever since. Aside from its many uses in the kitchen and dishes, it has also been found to have links in eliminating chemicals that cause cancers for foods that have been exposed to high temperatures- even so for those that are too cooked or charred. Here is what scientists have to say in the question of whether is black pepper good for you.
What You Need To Know About Black Pepper
Black pepper comes from a peppercorn fruit which is a flowering vine. The peppercorn gets dried and becomes a useful ingredient for seasoning and spice. Ground pepper and peppercorns are extensively cultivated and are available in almost any tropical region like South India and Vietnam.
There are many types of peppers that are produced from peppercorns and depending on usage and purpose; you can surely find one that would best fit your needs.
It is available as a whole or ground black peppercorn and both are widely available in markets and grocery stores in the US which makes it convenient for use. When it is stored in a dry and cool place, the black pepper’s shelf life may be prolonged from at least 3-4 years. The main purpose of adding black pepper in food is to add and enhance the flavor of any cooking recipes from:
- Salad Dressings
- Avocado toast
- Scrambled eggs
Peppers, especially black peppers, are produced mainly in Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Brazil. Currently, the United States is the biggest consumer when it comes to pepper with at least $671 million dollars of pepper export since 2010. Isn’t that amazing how something so unnoticeable can be used so much?
Black Pepper: Is It Good For You?
Peppers get their spicy flavor from the piperine’s seed and fruit. Is black pepper good for you? For starters, a tablespoon of ground black pepper would contain the following nutritional value.
- Vitamin k- 13%
- Manganese- 18%
- Iron- 10%
- Dietary Fiber
- Essential Nutrients
Aside from its many uses in improving flavor, the compounds found in black pepper are said to have components that could improve the absorption of nutrients, protect the body from cell damages, and aid in some common digestive issues. Here are the top benefits that you can get from it. Take note, this is being backed by science and researchers who have proved it, too.
1. Has properties that prevent prolonged inflammation
Chronic inflammation causes heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Piperine, which is an active ingredient in pepper, is found to be effective for fighting off inflammation.
2. Packed with antioxidants
Free radicals are chemicals that could cause cancer and most of the time, it can be found in the foods that we eat. Peppers are found to have high levels of antioxidants that prevent the spread of free radicals.
3. Improves blood sugar levels
Compounds found in black pepper are found to have effects on the blood’s sugar metabolism.
4. Helps in increasing brain function
It has been specifically found to have potential benefits for those who suffer from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s diseases, and other conditions that are brain degenerative.
5. Lower the body’s cholesterol levels
Heart disease which is commonly caused by high cholesterol levels is the leading cause of health issues and death worldwide. Studies have found that using pepper extracts have potential effects in reducing the body’s cholesterol levels.
6. Contains properties that are cancer-fighting
The active ingredient in black pepper which is piperine is mainly responsible for its claims in fighting cancer. It has promising effects when it comes to reversing the resistance of the body’s cancer cells.
7. Promotes gut health
Studies have shown that black pepper increases the good bacteria found in the gut which is responsible for immune function and mood.
8. May help in weight loss
Beverages containing black pepper are found to reduce the appetite compared to soda and flavored water.
9. Boosts nutrient absorption
The active ingredients in the black pepper could help in the faster and increased absorption of nutrients like calcium and selenium.
10. Could help in relieving pain
Studies in rodents found that black peppers are natural pain relievers. There are still further studies in humans needed to verify this claim though.
The active components of black pepper have been scientifically proven to have beneficial effects on health and brain function. But of course, we cannot deny the fact that there are also possible side effects and dangers that could be encountered if there is too much consumption of black pepper.
- Consumption of large amounts can cause a burning sensation in the stomach and throat.
- May interfere with drugs and medicines for allergy symptoms.
- Could absorb both bad and good chemicals from medicines and over the counter drugs
If you are planning to use black pepper in unusually high amounts, it’s best to consult your doctor first to make sure that complications could be prevented.
Black pepper is an ingredient that is versatile in all sorts of dishes and recipes. It can be added to meats, eggs, fish, soups, and salads for a burst of flavor. What’s amazing is that it can be easily found in almost all grocery stores near you.
Is black pepper good for you? Considering all the scientific studies and evidence, black pepper is considered healthy and would not pose any risks if used for food. Yes, it may offer nutrient and digestion benefits which could either be bad or good for you, but altogether, it is a safe and affordable food condiment with high levels of antioxidants and health benefits that you will surely need.