Black pepper is a versatile spice, used all across the world. It is packed with nutrients and is an amazing anti-inflammatory agent. Used as both a spice and as a medicine, black pepper is indeed a super spice. The largest producer and exporter of this spice include India, Brazil, and Vietnam.
Here we present the top 7 health benefits of black pepper:
- Relieves cough and cold: When it comes to a stuffy nose or nasal congestion, black pepper acts wonder due to its expectorant properties. Moreover, it acts against inflammation.
- Stimulates digestion: Black pepper increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which in turn aids proper digestion. It also has antibacterial qualities that help treat intestinal diseases caused by bacteria and also prevent diarrhea.
- Boosts nutrient absorption: Black pepper has unique properties, which helps in extracting nutrients from food. This is especially applicable for nutrients like curcumin found in the spice turmeric and beta carotene found in fruits and vegetables.
- Promotes weight loss: The phytonutrient content in the outer layer of peppercorns, aids in breaking down fat cells, and also enhances your metabolism. So, if you are looking to lose some weight, black pepper is a must-have spice.
- Prevents cancer: Black pepper is rich in nutrients like Vitamin, A, C, flavonoids, carotene and other antioxidants which helps in eliminating the free radicals, which are harmful to health and thus protects the body from diseases. Its piperine content plays an important role in preventing cancer.
- Improves skin: Black pepper has piperine, which stimulates the production of pigment in our skin. It aids in curing skin disease, vitiligo, which leads to the loss of pigmentation in some areas of the skin.
- Addresses depression: Regular consumption of black pepper helps in beating depression. This is due to its piperine content, which enhances the cognitive functioning of the brain.
Storing black pepper: Storing black pepper requires a bit of caution to ensure that its freshness is retained for longer.
Whole peppercorns can be stored for a long time. However, it requires proper storage to ensure that its goodness is retained. Store the peppercorns in an airtight and sealed glass container. To maintain maximum freshness and potency, it should be kept in a cool, dark, and dry place. However, ground peppercorn stays fresh for about two to three months. You can also toast the peppercorns before grinding it to enhance its flavor and heat.
Black peppercorns, as well as white peppercorns, are great for seasoning, but they add a lot of value to your meal due to its nutrient content and the health benefits that it offers. You can use black pepper for seasoning almost everything, starting from salads to marinade for your meats. It will just balance out the flavors and add a slight fiery tinge to your dish.