Black pepper ‘Piper nigrum’ is the dried fruit of black pepper plant. Black pepper is known as the ‘King of Spices” for its amazing health benefits while providing an excellent depth of flavour to any dish.
Black pepper is available in whole, powder, and cracked forms and the strong pungent flavour of black pepper comes from one of its ingredients, piperine.
Black pepper contains minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also contains vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin B6.
One teaspoon of ground pepper contains 5 calories, 1 gm of carbohydrates, 0.6 mg iron, 8.7 mg calcium, 0.1 mg manganese, and 3.3 mcg vitamin K. It fails to contain cholesterol or fat.
Possible Health Benefits of Black Pepper…
1. Piperine possesses cancer-fighting properties hence, it is known as a chemo-preventative agent. The compound may also halt the survival and spread of different types of cancer cells.
2. Piperine exhibits anti-tumour activity for certain types of cancer such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
3. Piperine also accelerates the absorption of other nutrients such as curcumin, selenium, vitamin B, and beta-carotene which are essential for the prevention of cancer.
4. The antioxidants, carotenes, flavonoids, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A content of black pepper eliminates harmful free radicals and protects the body against cancers.
Relieves cold and cough
1. The antibacterial property of black pepper helps in relieving cold and cough. It further reduces chest congestion due to flu, pollution, or a viral infection.
2. It offers relief in nasal congestion and sinusitis by breaking the mucus in the respiratory tract so that it can be easily eliminated.
3. Due to the anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties of black pepper, it can also ease asthmatic symptoms and prevent asthma.
Lowers blood sugar
1. The antioxidants present in black pepper helps regularise blood sugar levels. They control hyperglycaemia, thus helping in the treatment of diabetes.
2. Piperine compound of black pepper helps enhance the metabolism of blood sugar and lower blood sugar levels.
3. Piperine can decrease the dose of metformin (a diabetes medication) and even its side effects.
Lowers blood pressure
1. Piperine in black pepper normalises and controls the blood pressure and prevents the rise of blood pressure, by blocking calcium channels.
2. The essential oils present in black pepper acts as ACE inhibitors.
The extracts of black pepper are capable of decreasing cholesterol levels and enhances the absorption of cholesterol-lowering supplements.
A few other possible benefits…
Black pepper also offers other benefits such as promotes digestion, enables weight loss, improves skin health, deals with depression, treats stomach ulcers, gets rid of gas, relieves vitiligo, speeds up the absorption of drugs, fights infection, acts as an anti-depressant, helps quit smoking, improves cognition, relieves gum problems, stimulates appetite, improves fertility in men, and treats dandruff.
How to use Black Pepper?
Black Pepper can be used in multiple ways, some of them are as follows
- To make tea.
- In buttermilk.
- In seasoning.
- In egg dishes.
- In mashed potato.
- As salad dressings.
- To make pepper sauce.
- In sweet biscuits and cakes.
- In strawberries or pineapple.
- To coat meat before roasting.
- To flavour dips, and cold sauces.
- In soups, pastas, sauces, and marinades.
How to make Black Pepper Tea?
Take 2 cups of water and bring it to boil.
Take 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger. Add all of them.
Switch off the flame and let it steep for approximately 5 minutes. Strain it into a cup and drink it warm.