7 Crazy Good Health Benefits of Black
Pepper


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April 22, 2016

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist










Black pepper is the ultimate all-purpose spice, added to
practically any dish to give it a little extra kick. It’s been so
important throughout history that pepper was once actually
used as a currency and an offering to the gods. Black pepper
is now a staple in the kitchen but did you know this popular
condiment not only boosts the flavor of your food but can
improve your health, too? Find out the crazy good health
benefits of black pepper you may not have heard of.

Black Pepper’s Important History

Black pepper is made from peppercorns growing on the
pepper plant, a vine growing to huge sizes in tropical
countries.  

Grinding the peppercorns produces the piquant spice we
know and love.

In ancient Greece, black pepper was used as a currency,
paying for taxes and ransoms, and for sacred offerings to
the deities. During the middle ages, a man who owned a lot
of pepper was seen as very wealthy. Black pepper was an
important traded spice as the empires of the west explored
the new world.

Pepper was important because it not only flavored bland
food but it could actually disguise a lack of freshness –
important when food preservation was an unknown
technology.

What Are the Health Benefits of Black Pepper?

Today, we don’t need black pepper to fake food freshness.
But we do need it for its spicy taste, and for its nutritional
and health value.

Black pepper is a good source of vitamin K and manganese,
and supplies excellent amounts of copper, iron, fiber,
calcium, and chromium.

One of the surprising benefits of black pepper is its effect on
digestion. When the spice stimulates the taste buds, the
stomach acts on a signal to produce more hydrochloric acid.
This acid is necessary for effective digestion.

Black pepper is also known as a "carminative", meaning a
substance that aids in preventing intestinal gas from
forming. It also helps to promote sweating and urination.  

Black pepper is a potent source of antioxidants and exerts a
strong antibacterial effect – another reason why this spice is
so important for your health. It can even help to break down
fat cells.

How to Use Black Pepper

You can buy black pepper as whole peppercorns that you
use whole in dishes or crush in a grinder, or pre-ground
unto powder. Ground black pepper does not have quite the
strength of flavor as peppercorns, and it doesn't keep so
long - but it is more convenient to use. You can store black
peppercorns for years - they don't lose their taste or
qualities.

Add freshly-ground black pepper to dishes towards the end
of the cooking time in order to preserve the flavor.

You can add black pepper to practically anything - even
sweet dishes like cakes and cookies - this gives them a spicy
twist.

Add freshly-ground black pepper to salad dressings,
omelets, cheese dishes, and scrambled eggs.

Serve a simple dessert of fresh strawberries and black
pepper.

Add black pepper to soups, stews, hamburgers, meat and
fish dishes. Black peppercorns make a great sauce for steak.
It is also a good spice to use in cold sauces, dips, and in
mashed potato.


We looked at recent scientific evidence to show how black
pepper can seriously benefit your health and wellbeing.
































1.
Black Pepper Essential Oil Helps You Quit Smoking

Crazy but true? Black pepper essential oil could cure your
cigarette addiction.

A 1994 study from the Nicotine Research Laboratory at the V.
A. Medical Center in Durham shows that inhaling the vapor
of black pepper essential oil can actually reduce cravings for
cigarettes.

The study looked at 48 smokers and demonstrated that
dummy cigarettes with black pepper vapor reduced
participants’’ cravings for that first cigarette of the morning.

2.
Black Pepper Magnifies the Effectiveness of Therapeutic
Drugs


The principle substance in black pepper that gives it its
pungent kick is piperine. And piperine is good for more than
just flavor, according to experts.

Piperine helps to make many therapeutic drugs more
effective by enhancing their bioavailability, according to a
2007 study from the Central Food Technological Research
Institute, Mysore, India.

Piperine helps to increase absorption in the gut and blocks
harmful reactions in the liver. Scientists believe it could have
a greater use in pharmaceuticals.

3.
Could Black Pepper Fight Cancer?

Black pepper is believed to have powerful anti-cancer and
anti-tumor effects.  Several studies have pointed to its
effectiveness as an anti-carcinogenic substance.


A 2010 study from Michigan State University found that
black pepper has an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-
cancer effect, helping to inhibit cancer cell growth.

A 2015 study from Dalhousie University, Halifax, in Canada
also demonstrates that piperine in black pepper slowed
down the growth of colon cancer cells and is suggested as a
useful treatment for colon cancer.

4.
Black Pepper Extract Can Help Reduce Blood Pressure

Scientists have found that piperine in black pepper helps to
reduce high blood pressure in lab rats under induced
hypertension conditions.

The 2010 study from Comenus University in Bratislava,
Slovakia demonstrates that black pepper has a significant
effect on blood pressure in rats, causing it to decrease the
induced blood pressure rise after three weeks of treatment.

5.
Calm Your Stomach with Black Pepper

Black pepper is known to stimulate healthy digestion,
preventing the buildup of intestinal gas and reducing the
incidence of
constipation.

A 2010 study from Aga Khan University Medical College,
Karachi, Pakistan also shows that black pepper extract has
an anti-spasmodic effect on the stomach and also can help to
stop diarrhea.

Sprinkling pepper on your food may not be enough to
relieve stomach pains, but the concentrated extract piperine
may be useful as a dietary supplement for gastrointestinal
disorders.  

6.
Lose Weight with the Power of Black Pepper

Some experts say that black pepper helps you to lose
weight. Sounds too good to be true?

A 2012 paper published in the American Chemical Society’s
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concludes that
piperine in black pepper blocks the formation of new fat
cells.

Authors Soo-Jong Um and Ji-Cheon Jeong at the National
Research Foundation of Korea describe in the paper how
piperine in black pepper interferes with the activity of certain
genes that govern the formation of fat cells.

The metabolic effect of piperine helps to keep the number of
fat cells low, making black pepper a potentially important
addition to
weight loss supplements.

7.
Black Pepper Can Reduce the Oxidative Stress of a High
Fat Diet


A 2004 study from Annamalai University in India reveals how
black pepper can help offset some of the harm caused by
eating a high fat diet.

Researchers show that black pepper has an antioxidant
effect and supplementing a high fat diet with black pepper or
piperine reduces oxidative stress caused to the cells.




























































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