Not just for seasoning or flavour, kali miri aka (black pepper), brings a lot more to the table
What happens when you add pepper to your food daily? It not only adds heat and flavour to your food but is also loaded with many health benefits that improves your overall well being. Black pepper is also considered as the king of spices and was once known as black gold – because of its versatility and medicinal properties.
Black pepper has potent antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of chronic health conditions. It’s bioavailability – a positive effect that helps absorb nutrients from other foods into the bloodstream, is something that makes this spice much more than just seasoning.
Here are 10 less known health benefits of black pepper
1. Improves nutrient absorption – Black pepper increases absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and selenium. Bioavailability – nutrient absorption quality of this spice helps absorb nutrients from foods that are rich in calcium, Vitamin D, curcumin, and others. However, one should be mindful about using black pepper, as excessive consumption can be harmful. Just a pinch of freshly grounded black pepper is all you need.
2. Has anti-inflammatory properties – The main active ingredient in black pepper called piperine decreases inflammation. Apart from anti-inflammatory properties, black pepper is rich in antioxidants, antimicrobial properties and contains antibacterial benefits. However, piperine can react with certain medication and can affect the absorption of prescription medicines. Hence one must consult their health expert before adding this spice to their diet.
3. Boosts gut health – Black pepper has carminative properties – that helps combat flatulence – eases gas buildup in the intestines. It also stimulates taste buds that helps increase hydrochloric acid production in the stomach for better digestion and improves nutrient absorption. It relieves from excessive gas, indigestion, constipation, acidity and diarrheoa, thereby promoting gut health.
4. Contains cancer-fighting properties – Rich in antioxidant, black pepper combats free radicals – that causes ageing and cell damage. It also contains Vitamin A, C, flavonoids, carotenes that help prevent and stall cancer progression. Adding half a teaspoon of freshly grounded peppercorn to your food daily can help you reap cancer fighting health benefits.
5. Regulates blood sugar levels – Piperine in black pepper may help regulate blood sugar as well as blood pressure levels. It also helps improve metabolism that helps weight loss. The oil from this spice inhibits enzymes that can manage and prevent type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Black pepper does not treat type 2 diabetes, it only helps regulate blood sugar levels and combats against complications caused by high blood sugar levels – type 2 diabetes.
6. Lowers cholesterol levels – The bioavailability of black pepper has a positive effect on nutrient absorption helps reduce bad cholesterol and improves good cholesterol levels. This helps regulate blood pressure levels – manages hypertension and prevents heart conditions from progressing.
7. Nourishes brain health – Black pepper is one of the few spices that contain brain-boosting effects. Piperine – the active antioxidant ingredient present in the spice helps combat free radicals that causes cognitive decline and cell damage. Black pepper when paired with curcumin may help mental conditions such as Parkison’s and dementia from progression.
8. Good for hair and skin – Black pepper treats dandruff and can improve cases of hyperpigmentation. This spice improves skin condition – consuming it raw or cooked is good enough to repair and rejuvenate your skin. Pepper also helps flush toxins that help maintain the wear and tear of your skin.
To get rid of dandruff all you need is some crushed black pepper with some curd and add it to your scalp and let it dry for a minimum of 30 minutes. Also, make sure that you do not use excess black pepper as this can result in the burning of your scalp. Make sure that you do not use shampoo for the next 24 hours after applying black pepper to your hair as this may cause side effects.
9. Contains antidepressant properties – Chewing raw peppercorn releases mood enhancing chemicals to the brain that soothes and calms the mind. However, consumption should be in moderation, too much peppercorn can be harmful. Black pepper contains antidepressant properties that help prevent and manage symptoms of depression. If you want a more herbal way to combat feeling low – chewing a few peppercorns could be of some help – to keep calm.
Any spice used in excess amounts can be harmful. Heavy consumption of black pepper can lead to burning sensation in the throat and the stomach. It can also reduce the effectiveness of medication due to its nutrient absorption property.
Please consult with your health expert before increasing the amount of black pepper in your diet. Being mindful is the key – a little bit of this flavourful spice will go a long way.