Top 10 Shocking Health Benefits From This One Table Spice

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

There is one extremely common spice that you find on almost every kitchen table, every restaurant table, and in every fast food restaurant, that is loaded with healthy benefits but almost no one knows it. Which spice is this? Pepper. Plain old black pepper. Yes, as in salt and pepper, that one! This super tasty spice has so much going for it, it’s not surprising that we see it being used everywhere; it’s just that many people don’t know why. Black pepper has so much more to offer us than just a little spicy flavor!

In fact, you might not know it, but black pepper is actually a part of a fruit that comes from a flowering vine. Those little fruits are what we call peppercorns. Peppercorns are ground up into white, black, and red pepper powders that add a touch of warm flavor to many dishes. Due to its natural heat, it can help to clear out your sinuses so you can breathe easier. It also contains antibacterial properties, which help to fight off bacterial infections, along with other essential nutrients that keep your respiratory system healthy such as vitamins K, C, iron, potassium, and manganese. This is probably why most homemade chicken soup recipes call for a good dose of black pepper, and why your mom made you a big pot of soup when you were sick.

Historically, black pepper was used to treat a wide variety of symptoms, as well as diseases. It has long been used to treat anemia, impotence, heart disease, stomach problems, and heart disease. It was even used in ancient times to preserve foods.

Take a look at the top 10 health benefits we can all derive from black pepper.

 

1. Improves bioavailability

Eating black pepper can help the body more easily absorb nutrients from the food you eat and improve overall health.

 

2. Treats skin issues

Great Britain conducted research that showed that piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, was a very effective treatment for skin diseases such as vitiligo, a skin problem that causes certain areas of the skin to lose its pigmentation. Regular consumption of pepper can decrease susceptibility to skin cancers that are caused due to overexposure to the sun.

 

3. Aids in weight loss

The outside layer of peppercorns contains a compound that can improve the metabolism of fat. Adding more black pepper to foods might help those looking to lose weight.

 

4. Reduces inflammation

Research done with animals shows that piperine has a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This can help reduce your chance of chronic diseases, such as arthritis.

 

5. Contains powerful antioxidants

Black pepper is loaded with an organic compound called phenols, which are strong antioxidants. These are important to the body when it comes to fighting off free radical damage that can cause cell damage and premature aging.

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Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

6. Natural antidepressant

In animal studies, black pepper has been shown to improve brain function and stimulate the central nervous system.

 

SEE ALSO: The Side Effects of this Anti-Depressant are Worse than You Know

7. Improves oral health

You might not think it, but black pepper fights the bacteria that can cause tooth decay, kills the germs that cause bad breath, and can even provide relief from toothaches.

 

8. Provides relief from coughs and colds

The antibacterial properties in black pepper make it one of the perfect remedies for respiratory problems such as the flu, the common cold, and coughs. Pepper clears up congestions, free sinus passages, and can even clear up sinusitis.

 

9. Improves digestion

The antibacterial properties in pepper also make it a must for those suffering from intestinal and digestive issues related to bacteria. Ingesting pepper causes your body to increase its production of hydrochloric acid, which improves digestion, reduces gas, constipation, and colic. Find out other foods for digestion.

 

10. Cancer fighting properties

Research shows that the antioxidants in pepper extracts kills free radical scavenging activity and can help prevent certain types of cancers as well as slowing the overall growth of cancer cells.

Consuming black pepper has no ill side effects and can be consumed safely. Adding pepper, along with other powerful medicinal spices to your diet such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and fenugreek, is a terrific way to naturally enhance the body’s overall health.

Sources:

Dalby, Andrew (October 1, 2002). Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, 89. University of California Press.

McGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking (Revised Edition). Scribner, 427–429. ISBN 0-684-80001-2. OCLC 56590708. “Black Pepper and Relatives”.

Jaffee, Steven (2004). Delivering and Taking the Heat: Indian Spices and Evolving Process Standards (.pdf). An Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper from the World Bank.

Johri RK, Zutshi U 1992 An Ayurvedic formulation Trikatu and its constituents. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 37(2):85