Indian households are filled with different varieties of spices. Black pepper, ‘kaali mirch’ in Hindi, the king of spices, holds its throne in every kitchen. It doesn’t just add an excellent depth of flavor to your dishes, but also offers numerous health benefits. You must have hated it when your mom sneakily add it in your favorite pasta. Put this infamous hatred away and delve into the article to uncover the amazing health benefits of black pepper.
What is Black Pepper?
Black pepper is a flowering vine, belonging to the family Piperaceae, and is scientifically called Piper nigrum. The fruit of this vine is dried and used as spice, known as peppercorns. These peppercorns or ground pepper are referred as pepper and used in three forms, as black pepper, white pepper, and green pepper. Black pepper was originated from South India and is mostly cultivated in tropical regions. It is produced from the unripe fruit of pepper plant, which is first cooked then dried. Dried pepper grounds is famous for its culinary and medicinal uses. It is the most traded spice in the world, and added to different cuisines around the world.
Some Facts About Black Pepper
- In olden times, pepper was very expensive and was mostly consumed by the wealthy.
- Indian monks used to eat peppercorns while travelling to be able to adapt new environments.
- The spiciness of black pepper is due to the presence of chemical, piperine.
- Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of pepper and produces 34% of the world’s pepper products.
- The USA is the world’s largest consumer of pepper and imports about 18% of the world’s pepper.
- During the Middle Ages, peppercorns were worth more than gold in weight.
- The Romans used to demand pepper as ransom when they besieged a city.
- Pepper loses its aroma or flavor through evaporation.
- The culinary use of pepper traces back to over 4000 years ans was even used to place in Egyptian tombs to accompany the pharaohs.
- Black peppercorns are green when harvested and change color while drying.
Nutritional value of Black Pepper
The nutritional value of 100 grams of black pepper is given below:
- Energy: 255 Kcal
- Carbohydrates: 64.81 g
- Protein: 10.95 g
- Total Fat: 3.26 g
- Dietary Fiber: 26.5 g
- Vitamin A: 299 IU
- Thiamine:0.109 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.240 mg
- Niacin: 1.142 mg
- Vitamin C: 21 mg
- Vitamin E: 4.56 mg
- Vitamin K: 163.7 μg
- Sodium: 44 mg
- Potassium: 1.25 g
- Calcium: 437 mg
- Copper: 1.127 mg
- Iron: 28.86 mg
- Magnesium: 194 mg
- Manganese: 5.625 mg
- Phosphorus: 173 mg
- Zinc: 1.42 mg
Health Benefits of Black Pepper
1. Improves the Digestive System
Black pepper stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid and other digestive juices, thereby facilitates digestion. Consumption of black pepper enhances the break down of complex food and prevents from digestive issues, such as diarrhea, constipation, colic and the formation of intestinal gas. Black pepper is carminative in nature that helps relieve stomach gas and flatulence. Additionally, it has positive effects in treating peptic ulcers.
2. Black Pepper Benefits for Weight Loss
Black pepper is one of the best spices that help you lose weight. It not only improves digestion and prevents the deposition of fats, but also helps in the breakdown of fat cells. Furthermore, black pepper inhibit the formation of fat cells, and thereby help you achieve your weight goals.
3. Relieves Nasal Congestion
Black pepper is good for your respiratory health. It is an important ingredient in home remedies for cold and cough. Black pepper breaks the mucus and phlegm deposition in the respiratory tracts and prevents sinusitis and nasal congestion. Its irritant property eliminates out the loosened mucus or phlegm through sneezing and coughing.
4. An Antidote for Asthma
As mentioned above, black pepper helps in treating respiratory problems. It has expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties that ease the symptoms of asthma. Moreover, black pepper keeps the respiratory tract clear and improves its health.
5. Fights Infections
In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, black pepper has antibacterial qualities that fight against infections, insect bites and prevent the spread of diseases. It also scraps out cholesterol from the arteries wall and keeps it clean.
6. Detoxifies Your Body
Black pepper promotes urination and sweating, which are the ways to remove toxins from the body. Sweating clears the skin pores of foreign particles that may have deposited there and removes excess of water. Urination is another form of removing toxins, such as uric acid and urea. Urine also takes away fats as 4% of urine is made of fat and excess water. Black pepper also helps in keeping the arteries clean and free from toxins.
7. Black Pepper Benefits for Men
Presence of zinc and magnesium in black pepper helps in increasing the level of testosterone. These two minerals are very important for male sex hormones which helps in improving male fertility. They increase the sperm count and its concentration. Furthermore, helps in development and movement of sperm.
8. Provides Antioxidant Effects
Black pepper has antioxidant effects on our body that fight against free radicals and improves the immune system. High phenolic content of black pepper provides many health benefits, and even protect against serious illness like cancer.
9. Increases Bioavailability
Black pepper contains piperine that helps in maximizing the benefits of food we consume. It enhances the bioavailability of nutrients in many foods and supplements. Black pepper not only adds flavor to our dish, but also makes the nutrients more accessible to our body system.
10. Black Pepper Benefits for Heart
Black pepper is good for removing excess cholesterol from our blood and lowers the risk of heart diseases. Piperine in black pepper balances the blood cholesterol level, and can even lower blood pressure. It is effective in controlling blood pressure and keeps your heart healthy.
11. Enhances Cognitive Function
Piperine again helps in improving the cognitive function of our brain. Black pepper reduces memory impairment and cognitive malfunction. The piperine in black pepper are antidepressant, delays brain aging, and thus prevents from brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
12. Black Pepper Benefits for Eyes
Black pepper is good for improving your eyesight as well. You can eat black pepper in any form to reap this benefits and works best when taken with clarified butter or ghee.
13. Improves Your Oral Health
The anti-inflammatory properties of black pepper helps in treating gum inflammation. It is also bactericidal and kills the bacteria that causes oral infections and toothache. A mixture of black pepper and salt is a best remedy for providing relief from dental issues.
14. Benefits of Black Pepper for Skin
- Black pepper fights free radicals and delays the premature signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots.
- Black pepper is a natural exfoliant, it is used as scrub to remove the dead cells.
- Vitiligo is a condition when skin loses its natural pigmentation and turn white in certain areas. Black pepper is good for treating this skin condition, and used as alternative to chemical-based treatments.
15. Is Black Pepper Good for Your Hair?
- Black pepper helps you combat various hair issues and even stimulates hair growth.
- Rich in antioxidants, black pepper help in cleansing your scalp.
- Black pepper also strengthens the hair roots, revitalize your hair, and leave it silky and shiny.
So, before you make faces to its spiciness, think of extracting these health benefits of black pepper. As we all know, black pepper is used for enhancing flavor and seasonings, even a small amount can definitely improve your health. Sprinkle it over your salad, dishes, and reap both its taste and benefits.