Black Pepper: an Underrated Superfood

Black Pepper

A Common Household Condiment is Actually Great for Health

Black pepper is often overlooked by many people, but a few dabs over your dinner can actually pack quite the health ‘punch.’ As a native of India, black pepper is derived from peppercorn plants and was one of the more highly prized spices during the height of the spice trade. It allows the taste of certain food to be disguised and enhanced. Now, just about everyone has black pepper in their home. But most do not know that it holds amazing health benefits.

Fights Cancer – According to a University of Michigan study, the active ingredient piperine found in black pepper can help prevent breast cancer. In another study published in the journal Experimental and Molecular Pathology, piperine helps expose rectal cancer cells to certain chemicals that kills the cancer cells. A third study in Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reported that piperine inhibits the growth of blood vessels that supports tumors and slow the growth of cancer.

Improves Digestion Health – Black pepper stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid, which is needed to reduce indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. When added to food, it also helps our digestive system pick up the nutrients of the food around it. Black pepper is also a diuretic, helping the body get rid of unwanted toxins. For centuries, black pepper has also been used as an anti-flatulence compound.

Fights Cough – Some respiratory conditions can be treated with black pepper since it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Freshly ground black pepper can also clear up a stuffy nose. Piperine works as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Antioxidant – It’s high in carotenoids and antioxidant which helps fight the harmful effects of oxygen. When taken with turmeric, another potent Indian spice, the anticancer properties may be enhanced. It also helps fight peptic ulcers.

Skin Health – The active ingredient in black pepper, piperine, has been show to maintain skin pigment in a Great Britain study. When mixed in with a face scrub, black pepper helps clear your skin since it stimulates oxygen and nutrients to surface on your face. The texture of the the black pepper also helps scrape away the dead skin cells of the face for a smoother complexion.

Now that you know the surprisingly astounding health benefits it gives you, it’s time to start putting black pepper on just about everything you eat. Just remember that eating a freshly grounded black pepper holds more benefits than if you cooked the black pepper with the food. The best way to keep it fresh is to store it in an airtight container and away from the sun.