There’s a good chance that you are already adding pepper to a lot of your foods, but do you know which type of pepper? There are many different varieties of pepper, and one that brings a lot of benefits is the black pepper. Black pepper is different from the fact that it is cooked and then dried, and it is the most common spice in the world. Pretty much every country uses black pepper in food preparation, though you most often eat it for the taste.
You might not have known that black pepper can actually bring some health benefits, even the kind you find at the table of each fast food restaurant. So can a spice that seems so minor and random really be that helpful to your health? The details might surprise you, as we take a look at the proven health benefits of black pepper.
Some Surprising Nutrients
When you think about black pepper, it’s usually just as a seasoning, and you typically don’t consider any nutritional value. Black pepper actually does have some vitamins and minerals, and more than you might think. For starters, there is a small amount of protein in each six gram serving of black pepper, as well as seven percent of your daily suggested total of dietary fiber.
The most abundant vitamin found in black pepper is vitamin K, which helps prevents blood clotting, osteoporosis and more. There are also small amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin B6. As for the minerals, black pepper has significant amounts of iron and manganese, while carrying smaller amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium and copper. That’s quite impressive for something that you sprinkle onto a food without thinking much about it.
Many of us find ourselves carrying around a bit of extra fat around our midsection that can be seemingly impossible to lose. It’s frustrating to see the weight not go away no matter how hard we try in the gym or in the kitchen. Adding more black pepper to your diet can assist with that, however. Black pepper has been shown to help breakdown fat cells, which allows your body to process these cells away from your problem areas.
That stubborn fat that won’t go away is flushed out, as well as other toxins that might be causing you to be a higher weight than you want to be. Excess water and acids are flushed out thanks to black pepper, which could help you finally lose those last 10 pounds you have been trying to shed for quite some time. It’s not just how your stomach looks on the outside, either, as black pepper helps what’s within.
On the Right Tract
Whether you have gas, bloating, or one of the many other digestive issues that a lot of us face on a daily basis, black pepper might be the cure to your problems. We already mentioned how toxins are flushed out of your body, and the excess gunk that was wearing you down before won’t be a problem, offering up some digestive relief. Black pepper also has hydrochloric acid, which allows your body to digest more efficiently and relieve your problems.
While you still might be gassy, at least the gas won’t be headed north and causing a lot of discomfort in your chest. Black pepper is a source of fiber and has antibacterial properties, which further aids in your digestive system. Digestive problems that were caused by bacteria are very common, though they don’t have to be.
Maybe the problem isn’t actually in your stomach, but rather your head. By that, we mean that you may suffer from stuffy noses and coughing throughout the year. Mixing up some black pepper with warm water should be able to help you clear right up by loosening the phlegm in your sinuses. Killing the bacteria and stimulating your respiratory system will induce sneezing, clearing up the stuffy nose that has been bugging you for so long.
For external problems such as skin, black pepper can be used for your skin. Vitiligo is a common skin disease that changes skin pigment, though black pepper is used in treatments that allow for pigment production. It is also a lot safer and easier to go through than the alternative treatment that uses many chemicals.
Black pepper even helps with your smile. A lot of dental problems are caused by inflammation, and black pepper kills the bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath. Just mixing it into water and massaging it on your gums can really help.
From bone diseases such as osteoporosis and mental disorders such as depression to life threatening illnesses like cancer, black pepper might be able to help you prevent all of the above. With the natural antioxidant properties of black pepper, your chances of developing arthritis go down, and those that already have it can see some pain relief by adding more black pepper.
Cancer is caused by free radicals attacking the cells of your body, which are suppressed by antioxidants found in black pepper. Studies have shown that black pepper has been beneficial in preventing certain forms of cancer, with breast and colon cancer being the most affected. All of this while improving your circulation and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol makes black pepper very versatile.
As for depression, you can increase your serotonin levels through black pepper. Lower levels are typically found in people with depression, and black pepper also contains piperine that boosts your endorphin production. Though it can’t cure depression, black pepper does act as a natural anti-depressant without all of the chemicals from prescription drugs.
Summing it Up
Thanks to black pepper, you can look better on the outside with an improved smile, clearer skin and a trimmer waist while helping yourself on the inside. It’s certainly something that you don’t expect when you sprinkle pepper onto foods like chicken or corn, but now you know that it can actually help you. So just how much black pepper should you be using, and is there a dangerous amount?
There are some people that will be allergic to black pepper, which is the case for all forms of pepper. Whether or not you’re allergic, you certainly shouldn’t be inhaling it to get rid of a stuffy nose as that will cause some problems. Other than that, there are certain medications that don’t interact positively with black pepper, so make sure to speak with your doctor if you are on medications currently.
The negatives are very rare, and really don’t come from pepper itself, but rather outside sources. So feel free to add black pepper to any foods that you think might taste better with some extra kick. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor, and you’ve probably been helping yourself already without even being aware.