Black Pepper, botanically known as Piper Nigrum, is a flowering vine from the Piperaceae family. It’s native to India. This plant produces the fruit that is used as a spice and seasoning after being dried. The fresh fruit is also called black pepper, whereas the dried fruit is called peppercorn.
It’s approximately 0.20 inches in diameter and dark red. Peppercorns are ground, later on, making a powder that is used as a spice. There are three varieties of pepper: black pepper, green pepper, and white pepper. Black pepper is one of the most common spices used in different cuisines throughout the world.
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Black Pepper Benefits
- Peppercorns contain health benefiting essential oils like piperine. Piperine is the alkaloid compound that gives black pepper its characteristic strong, spicy taste.
- Apart from being a great way of adding flavor to your dishes, black pepper has remarkable health benefits. It has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which make it an amazing medicinal spice.
- Thanks to the aforementioned properties, black pepper boosts immunity and helps in relieving cough and common colds and treating diseases caused by bacteria.
- When applied to the skin, it exfoliates, stimulates circulation and prevents infections like acne mainly due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Just like many other spices, black pepper is very rich in essential nutrients, minerals, dietary fiber, vitamins C and K and antioxidants. Thus, this medicinal spice fights molecules which damage cell membranes (free radicals), fighting cancer-causing free radicals and thus contributing to prevent or treat different cancer and heart diseases.
- Another effect of black pepper is that it speeds up the metabolism. As a result, it can help to lose weight, as it makes the body burn off calories at a faster rate and breaks down fat cells. As it favors sweating and it has diuretic properties, it allows you to get rid of excess water and release all the toxins from your skin and body.
- Black pepper improves digestion by increasing gastrointestinal enzyme secretions and the absorption of nutrients. It also has anti-flatulent properties and is useful to treat gastrointestinal distress such as indigestion, acidity, constipation and diarrhea.
Ways of Eating Black Pepper
Eating black pepper regularly has a lot of benefits. The easiest way of adding this natural ingredient to your diet is by adding it to your meals. Eating black pepper provides a lot of benefits as long as you don’t eat large quantities. Bear in mind that it’s a strong spice.
Black Pepper Meals
Take advantage of its qualities and use it to spice up your dishes, adding a strong flavor and a pungent touch. It’s used both in whole and grounded form.
Add a tablespoon of freshly ground pepper powder to your meals while you are cooking. It will keep your stomach healthy.
Black Pepper Exfoliant
Use black pepper as an exfoliant. Add pepper to a face scrub to remove dead skin, stimulate circulation and prevent skin infections like acne.