9 Surprising Health Benefits of Black Pepper
Imagine what our meals would be like without the pizazz of black pepper. Yet, aside from its ability to banish blandness and impart flavor in our food, the spice has properties that can improve quite a few aspects of health. Here are nine benefits of adding it to your food.
9 Benefits of Consuming More Black Pepper
1. Enhances Digestion
Black pepper stimulates the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid, a substance needed for the digestion of protein and other foods. This action helps prevent indigestion, constipation and diarrhea.
2. Fights Cancer Cells
In a study conducted at the University of Michigan Cancer Center, scientists found black pepper may prevent the development of breast cancer. Once again, the effect was heightened when the spice was combined with turmeric. In addition to breast cancer, black pepper may also slow the progression of skin and colon cancer.
3. Increases the Absorption and Bioavailability of Curcumin
Research suggests taking black pepper together with curcumin can boost absorption of curcumin, a compound that is known for its impressive ability to curb inflammation and protect the the brain. Despite curcumin’s remarkable health benefits, it has the drawbacks of poor absorption and bioavailability. But according to a study published in Planta Medica, when 20 mg of black pepper was administered together with 2 g of curcumin, it improved the absorption as well as increased the bioavailability of the turmeric-derived compound 2000 percent.
4. Promotes Weight Loss
The outer layer of black pepper contains nutrients that promote the breakdown of fat cells. Additionally, the spice stimulates sweating and urination, which help eliminate excess water and toxins from the body.
5. Facilitates Clear Skin
When crushed black pepper is added to a face scrub, it removes dead skin cells and stimulates circulation along with delivering more nutrients and oxygen to the skin. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent acne.
6. Relieves Cough and Stuffy Nose
The same antibacterial properties of black pepper that fight acne can relieve a cough and stuffy nose as well. It is also a natural decongestant. Next time you catch a cold, sprinkle black pepper on hot chicken soup to loosen phlegm in your lungs and help you breathe easier.
7. Makes You Smarter and Reduces Depression
According to the Journal of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, black pepper improves cognition and reduces depression. When people consume pepper regularly, it facilitates better brain function.
8. Boosts Cardiovascular Health
In a study published in Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, researchers found black pepper promotes better blood pressure and reduces inflammation, factors that boost cardiovascular health.
9. Supplies Antioxidants
Black pepper has substantial antioxidant properties, a benefit that produces many positive effects. Our bodies are under constant assault from free radicals, molecules that harm cells and lead to disease. Antioxidants help prevent this damage.
Black pepper, like many other spices, has more health benefits than are commonly known. It is better to sprinkle freshly ground pepper on a dish rather than add it to a dish during cooking. You may want to keep a pepper grinder on the kitchen table, so you can enjoy the spice in many of your foods. It will enhance the taste of meals while giving your health a boost.