Besides enhancing the flavor and adding a new dimension to your meal, black pepper also provides a number of health benefits – it can help with weight loss, improve digestion, alleviate colds and coughs, boost your metabolism, treat skin problems and even tackle some serious conditions.
A staple ingredient in the culinary traditions of many cultures, pepper is rich in minerals, such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and vitamins, such as niacin, vitamin B6, K and E, thiamin, folate, riboflavin. It has antioxidant properties that prevent or repair damage caused by free radicals, protecting against cardiovascular diseases, liver problems symptoms of premature aging, macular degeneration, and memory loss.
Several studies have suggested that black pepper can exhibit anticancer abilities. One such article concluded that “Our findings strongly suggest that black pepper and cardamom exert immunomodulatory roles and antitumor activities, and hence they manifest themselves as natural agents that can promote the maintenance of a healthy immune system. We anticipate that black pepper and cardamom constituents can be used as potential therapeutic tools to regulate inflammatory responses and prevent/attenuate carcinogenesis”.
Piperine, the natural alkaloid which gives pepper its unique aroma, has been shown to fight obesity and reduce atherosclerosis.
Worried about infections or harmful bacteria? No need, as pepper is a great antibacterial agent with positive effects against many staphylococci and bacilli (including Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus sphaericus, Staphylococcus aureus gram).
Asian medicine has used black pepper for centuries in treating asthma, ear aches, gangrene, hernias, hoarseness, insect bites, tooth decay and toothache.
In time, it gained the reputation as being the king of spices, quite deservedly. Black pepper, not just a condiment but also a strong therapeutic influence.