5 Health Benefits of Black Pepper
First of all, what exactly is black pepper? Basically everyone everywhere throughout history has used it. We know it is paired with salt as the peanut butter and jelly of the spice world, but if pressed could you say what it was? Unlike salt which is a mineral, pepper comes from a vine. The vine flowers, and the fruit is cultivated and dried. This is the peppercorn that is then ground up over your scrambled eggs, and you’ll be happy to find out that black pepper is pretty good for you.
Black pepper, like most spices, is very low in calories. One tablespoon of black pepper (which is quite a lot) is only about 17 calories, and unlike salt it is not going to spike your blood pressure because black pepper is low in sodium.
Black pepper could aid in weight loss through its thermogenic properties. Thermogenic foods help your metabolic rate, but black pepper also possess a chemical compound known as piperine. This compound works to inhibit the proliferation of new fat cells. Keep in mind, though, that these properties just aid in weight loss. Dumping a cup of black pepper onto your German chocolate cake is not going to suddenly turn it into a salad.
There is even evidence that black pepper helps your heart health and fights against cancer. The issues both come back to piperine. In addition to fighting fat cells, it eases blood pressure and mitigates inflammation, which is great for your cardiovascular health. In terms of cancer, the piperine exposes certain types of cancer cells to reactive oxygen. This oxidation could help to inhibit the growth of cancer.
Black pepper also could improve digestion, so if you do eat an entire German chocolate cake covered in pepper at least it will go down easier. The spice works by stimulating the taste buds, which in turn tells the stomach to up the production of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is the liquid in your stomach that breaks down your food, and by increasing the hydrochloric acid black pepper facilitates the whole process.
Lastly, black pepper has topical properties and applications as well. You do not just have to eat it to benefit from its health benefits. When applied directly to the skin it can be effective in treating nerve pain. And if you’re living in the middle ages, it can aid in the fight against the skin disease known as scabies.
Looks like it's working to me.
Written by: E.M. Caris
Edited by: Lee Gresham
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