You might be surprised to hear that black pepper is full of health benefits. Yes, the better half of your salt shaker can indeed provide you with relief from various ailments. Black pepper is the result of the fruit of the plant with the same namesake being dried and then ground into powder to be used in culinary endeavors.
Black pepper contains anti-inflammatory properties along with many vitamins and minerals such as manganese, iron, potassium, fiber, and vitamins C and K. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of black pepper.
1. Stomach Aid
Black pepper is able to stimulate acid secretion in the stomach, which aids in digestion. Consuming black pepper can thereby prevent diarrhea and constipation. It also keeps things moving through the stomach, removing toxins from the body and ensuring proper digestion. Black pepper can also help with heartburn as it moves gasses down and out of the body.
2. Weight Loss
If you want to get the most weight-loss benefits from black pepper, try consuming it in its peppercorn form. The outer layer of peppercorn helps your body break down fat cells, which in turn helps your body use the smaller components of these cells and helps you lose weight.
3. Healthy Skin
Black pepper can help with skin diseases, such as Vitiligo, that cause discoloration of the skin. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that piperine in pepper can stimulate the production of pigment in the skin. For the most obvious results, you can apply pepper treatments directly to the skin (but check with your dermatologist first).
4. Respiratory Aid
Black pepper is often used in traditional medicine to treat colds, coughs, and other respiratory ailments. Because pepper has an expectorant property, it is also effective in treating nasal congestion and breaking up phlegm in the respiratory tract. Black pepper may also be effective in treating asthma and whooping cough.
5. Antibacterial Properties
Black pepper may be effective in fighting infections and treating insect bites because of its antibacterial properties.
It is also believed that black pepper is a potent antioxidant and therefore can effectively remove free radicals from the body. The ability to fight free radicals translates to cancer prevention and healthier, younger looking skin.
7. Neurological Support
Studies have suggested that piperine, found in black pepper, can help to improve both memory and cognitive function. Researchers believe that piperine stimulates the chemical pathways in the brain related to memory and cognition, and this is very promising research for those that suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Studies suggest that black pepper may also be effective in treating and preventing peptic ulcers. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat earaches and gangrene. Black pepper also enhances your body’s bioavailability, which means that it helps our bodies maximize the benefits and nutrients derived from the foods we eat. Pepper may also help remove cholesterol from the artery walls, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.
While black pepper does provide many health benefits, it does pose a risk to those that have had abdominal surgery because it may irritate the intestines. As with anything, it should never be taken in excessive amounts. Of course, black pepper can cause sneezing and some may be allergic or sensitive to it.
Assuming you don’t fall into any of the warning categories mentioned above, feel free to add more black pepper into your diet to reap the many benefits. Fresh ground black pepper, black pepper essential oil, or fresh peppercorn is your best bet for taking advantage of the many health benefits.