Health Benefits Of Black Pepper

Nutrition

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Published on: 17-Aug-2022

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Aparna Lyer

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Health Benefits Of Black Pepper

Health Benefits Of Black Pepper

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Black Pepper, the king of spices, is used in cooking and for garnishing various savouries and desserts. Black pepper owes its origins to Kerala-a state of South India. 

Both types of pepper, black and white, possess numerous health benefits.  Pepper, though pungent and zesty in taste, bolsters your digestion and helps battle bacterial growth in the intestinal tract.

Table Of Contents

1. Black Pepper-Origin And Scientific Characteristics

2. Nutritional  Value Of Black Pepper

3. Culinary Uses Of Black Pepper

4. Health Benefits Of Black Pepper

5. Dietitician’s Recommendation

6. The Final Say

7. FAQs

Black Pepper-Origin And Scientific Characteristics

The word pepper is derived from a  Sanskrit word, “Pippali”, which was considered black gold. Black pepper has been used in Indian cooking for 4000 years. Black pepper offers a variety of health benefits in addition to its flavour-enhancing properties. Piper nigrum (the botanical name for the black pepper plant) is native to the tropical forests of Kerala, Goa and Karnataka in the Malabar Coast of Southwest India. 

The plant is a flowering vine that produces green flower spikes and small, dark fruits called peppercorns which can be dried and used as a condiment. Almost ripe peppercorns are picked and dried to obtain black pepper until they turn black. Piperine, a compound in pepper, is known to increase the absorption of vitamin B12 and selenium. 

There are two types of pepper, black and white; both hold immense health benefits and have culinary uses. Countries like Vietnam, India, Brazil and Indonesia consume pepper in large proportions.

Nutritional Value Of Black Pepper 

Black pepper is a superfood high in antioxidants and manganese, which strengthens your bones and metabolism. This aromatic spice has a variety of active compounds, specifically oleoresins and alkaloids like piperine and chavicine. It also contains flavonoids, essential oils, and other phenolic compounds that help protect cells and improve digestive health.

Black pepper is also an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), vitamin B6, copper, iron, and calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc, chrome. 

Approximately 100 grams of black pepper contains:

  • Calories – 304
  • Protein – 11.5 g
  • Carbohydrates – 49.2 g
  • Dietary Fibre – 35.3 g
  • Fat – 6.8 g
  • Calcium – 460 mg
  • Iron – 12.4 mg
  • Magnesium – 171 mg
  • Phosphorus – 198 mg
  • Potassium – 1.4 g
  • Sodium – 20 mg
  • Zinc – 1.31 mg
  • Copper – 1.4 mg
  • Manganese – 4.14 mg

Culinary Uses Of Black Pepper

Black pepper is used in several dishes to add flavour and spiciness. It is used in raw form in Indian cuisine and in ground form worldwide. Black pepper is a versatile ingredient needed for various recipes to add flavour to dishes such as meat, fish, vegetables, salad dressings, soups, stir-fries, chowmein, and pasta.

  • It is used in sweet and savoury preparations such as fruit cakes, bread, and tarts to hint at spiciness.
  • Black peppercorns with other spices and seasonings are used to marinate paneer, tofu, chicken, fish and meat.
  • You can add some grounded black pepper to omelettes and savoury pancakes.
  • It can also be used to sprinkle onto chopped fruits. 
  • It is widely used in herbal teas like kadhas to relieve cough and cold. 

Health Benefits Of Black Pepper

The little spice holds profound health benefits that you might be oblivious of

1. Prevents Cancer

Black pepper prevents cancer if consumed by mixing it with turmeric milk. It also treats the common cold and possesses antioxidants, vitamin A, and carotenoids that help prevent cancer.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties 

For many chronic diseases like cancer, asthma, and diabetes, inflammation is the underlying issue. However, according to a study, piperine, a chemical compound in black pepper, fights inflammation effectively.

3. May Benefit Your Brain

Piperine, the primary component in black pepper, has brain boost boosting properties and is known to reduce depression and enhance memory.

4. Regulates Blood Pressure

Loaded with the goodness of antioxidants, black pepper can improve cardiovascular health and regulate blood pressure. In addition, pepper contains capsaicin which is known to reduce blood pressure.

5. Reduces Appetite 

Black pepper contains piperine, which enhances metabolic performance and prevents fat accumulation. This spice can be added to green tea, which can help you in shedding weight. It can also be added to your diet.

7. Reduces Skin Problems

It contains properties that reduce skin pigmentation and help maintain the skin's original colour. Regular consumption also reduces wrinkles and fine lines. If you are prone to acne, include black pepper in your diet.

8. Promotes Gut Health 

Black pepper releases hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which aids digestion. So a bit of pepper in your diet will help you to digest your food faster. In addition, hydrochloric acid is known to keep your intestine clean and resolves other gastrointestinal problems.

9. Keeps Depression At Bay

Black pepper helps in the functioning of the brain and reduces symptoms like depression. In addition, piperine, a compound in pepper, is known to protect your brain from oxidative damage and improves cognitive functioning. 

10. Detoxifies The Body

Consuming black pepper helps you to sweat and urinate more, which detoxifies the body’s toxins, thus cleansing your intestine. 

11. Good For The Brain

Pepper has brain-boosting properties. It keeps Alzheimer's disease at bay. It can do wonders in helping the brain function properly and reduce the symptoms of depression.

Dietitian’s Recommendation

As a dietitian, I recommend you add black pepper to your diet due to its myriad health benefits. It can also be added to the tadkas of your favourite dishes, soups, and salad in a grounded form. 

It is also used in herbal teas, safeguarding against common cold and cough. In addition, consuming pepper-infused water in the morning can help in weight loss, boosts metabolism, etc. 

-Dietician Shruti Naidu

The Final Say

Black pepper is a spice that not only adds aroma to cuisines but is also deemed as the king of spices because of its potent health benefits like weight loss, treating depression, boosting digestion, detoxifying your body, etc. However, consuming too much of it can also upset your stomach. So it is essential to consume it in moderation. 

FAQs

1. Are there any side effects of overconsuming black pepper in excess?

There are no such side effects of black pepper. However, consuming large amounts can give you a burning aftertaste of the spice. Other than that, there are no such side effects encountered.

2. What health problems can be prevented by the consumption of pepper?

Health issues like digestion, vitiligo, asthma, arthritis, joint pain etc., can be cured or prevented by consuming pepper in moderation from a younger age.

3. How do you consume black pepper daily?

In Indian households, black pepper is added to tea masala regularly or else you can add a pinch of pepper in salad or sabzi.

4. Can I boil black pepper?

 Yes, you can boil black pepper in water or milk to enhance the flavour.

 5. How much quantity of black pepper should be added daily?

 Limit your intake to 1-2 small tsp in a day if it is digested, or add 1-2 pinch as per your convenience, but excess than 1-2 small tsp a day can be avoided.

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