Black pepper boasts a number of amazingly beneficial properties that can help you maintain a healthy body. From drastically increasing nutrient absorption to protecting against cancer, black pepper offers an effective way to increase the positive impacts of a healthy diet.
What Makes Black Pepper Healthy?
The most important health-boosting property of black pepper is the antixoidant alkaloid phytochemical piperine. Piperine offers a number of health benefits. Benefits include stimulating cells to absorb more nutrients and retain them for longer periods of time. Essentially, piperine acts as a catalyst. It increases the bioavailability of important compounds that help to fight against cancer and inflammation.
1. Black Pepper Promotes Nutrient Absorption
Bioavailability is the body’s ability to retain and use nutrients from the foods we consume. It is critically important to healthy bodily functions. Fortunately, certain foods, such as black pepper, help the body to absorb nutrients more efficiently. Thus, making them more readily available to support all of the body’s various systems. In addition, chemicals working together may compound each other’s effects, rendering them even more beneficial. Such is the case with black pepper. Combining it with curcumin—the active medicinal component in turmeric—may increase its absorption by as great as two thousand times. Curcumin is known to be an anti-inflammatory and tumor-inhibiting compound. This means it is protective against various cancers and neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
2. Black Pepper Slows Nutrient Breakdown
Not only does black pepper vastly increase the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, such as curcumin, but it also helps to slow down the body’s consumption of these resources. By inhibiting enzymes that break down nutrients, piperine allows the body more time to make use of these valuable chemicals. Combining the features of improved nutrient absorption with a longer period of time in which to absorb them, makes black pepper a valuable component in any diet.
3. Black Pepper Protects Against Certain Diseases
As already introduced, the increased supply of bodily nutrients that black pepper enables has a number of important health effects. Piperine helps to slow or even stop cancer cell growth, particularly in studies focused on pancreatic and breast cancer. Piperine is also instrumental in supporting brain function and improving cognitive ability, leading to a decrease in neurological disorders. It has even been found to support weight loss by helping the body to burn more calories. Finally, in addition to these important benefits, piperine helps to regulate our sleep cycles by increasing the body’s production of serotonin and melatonin. Best of all, obtaining these numerous benefits is easy. Simply add more black pepper—and curcumin too for that matter—to your diet.
Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.