Black pepper is one of the most popularly used spices across the world, and it has been adding spicy flavors to numerous dishes for thousands of years. Black pepper is the most traded spice in the world, and it is also one of the most common spices used on preparing dishes around the world. That’s why it is called the king of spices!
In Nigeria, African black pepper is used as a flavouring and spice for foods. When it is used as a spice, the seeds, whether fresh or dried, are added to stews, sauces, and soups. Black pepper in Yoruba is known as Aka Iyere, Black pepper in Igbo is known as Uziza seed. Black pepper in Hausa should be Baki Barkono, although I’m not sure. The botanical name of African black pepper is Piper Nigrum.
However, did you know that Black pepper is more than just a kitchen staple? It is also very nutritious and has so many powerful medicinal properties. Let’s find out the nutritional value of black pepper, a dirty the health benefits of black pepper.
Nutritional Content of Black Pepper
One of the major constituents of black pepper is a chemical compound called piperine, which is responsible for its spiciness. It is different from capsaicin, which is present in chili peppers.
Black pepper is also rich in vitamin K, iron and manganese. It also contains moderate amounts of other essential nutrients, protein, and dietary fibre. Black pepper is naturally a healthy gluten-free spice.
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Black Pepper
Find out some of the amazing health benefits of Black pepper:
1. It Improves Fertility In Men
This will interest you most if you are a man – Black pepper is very effective in improving male fertility!
Black peppers contain potent properties which work in synergy to help improve fertility in male, and they are also associated with increased testosterone levels. A few studies have backed up this claim.
However, the reason behind black pepper’s effectiveness in improving male fertility is because it is rich in two formidable minerals – zinc and magnesium, which plays an important role in improving male sex hormones. Black pepper also helps in the formation, concentration, and movement of sperms.
2. It helps in Combating Depression
Black pepper contains piperine, a compound which is very beneficial to people living with depression. It also improves the functioning of the brain while enhancing the memory as well.
In a similar vein, several medical journals, including the Journal of food and chemical toxicology hypothesize that consuming black pepper on a regular basis helps in getting fighting depression while enhancing how the brain functions.
3. It Helps with Digestion
One of the essential acids secreted by the body during digestion processes is the “hydrochloric acid,” and the good news is that Black pepper helps in increasing the secretion of this acid, which further aids the digestion process in your body.
Aside from that, black pepper also hinders intestinal gas production, and it enhances sweating and urinating, which in turn helps in eliminating toxins from your body.
4. It Boosts Nutrient Absorption and Fights Cancer
This is yet another powerful benefit of black pepper. Regular intake of black pepper has been reported severally to be great in helping the body absorb more nutrients as you eat foods. Whether you are eating black pepper with fruits or vegetables or recipes or any other dish, your body will be able to absorb maximum nutrient, and you will feel the effect on your overall wellbeing.
Black pepper also has cancer-fighting properties, because of the antioxidant abilities of piperine. Several laboratory studies claim that black pepper showed promising results when it comes to combating cancer.
5. It helps in Treating Ulcers
Peptic ulcer is a sore that develops on the lining of the esophagus, stomach or small intestine and it is often caused by infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori [H. Pylori] and long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs. This condition is often accompanied with a lot of discomfort and pains.
Thankfully, Black peppers are excellent sources of antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory, which provides quick relief to peptic ulcers. It also strengthens the mucosal defense so as to better protect your stomach against hydrochloric acid and harmful agents.
6. It Promotes Weight Loss
Hoping to shed some weights?
Black pepper is here to help!
The Fat cells if not broken, will hinder you from losing weight because they play an important role in your weight gain/loss. However, the piperine in black pepper helps in combating the formation of fat cells and increasing your metabolic rate, which in turn leads to a reduction in your overall weight. It also contains certain carminative properties which help in eliminating intestinal gases and reduce bloating in your body.
Furthermore, black pepper is a low-calorie food [about 8 calories], which means you can incorporate it into your weight loss diet so as to boost your desired weight loss goals by a significant margin. You can as well use black pepper as a remedy for fat-related issues.
7. It is a great remedy for Cough and Sore Throat
Perhaps you are struggling with cough or sore throat, and you are looking for an effective natural remedy, black pepper is all you need. It is packed with some expectorant properties that help in reducing the symptoms of various respiratory issues, including cough, sore throat, wheezing, etc.
It will interest you to know that black pepper is often used in making DIY cough remedies, and this is majorly because of its high effectiveness in dealing with this condition. Therefore, if you are struggling with a cough, you can treat it using black pepper, and all you need do is to follow these simple steps:
Add a ¼ teaspoon of black pepper to a tablespoon full of honey, mix thoroughly and then eat.
8. It helps in Soothing Toothaches
Due to several reasons, you may develop toothaches and other gum related diseases, which can be extremely painful at times. But the good news is that black pepper can help you out in situations like this. The reason is that black pepper is packed with some antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, all of which helps in preventing the widespread of this in your mouth.
To treat toothache with black pepper, mix it together with salt and then apply on the painful area. You should feel some relief after a while.
9. It Improves Digestive Health
Black pepper promotes digestion in humans, and it does this by stimulating the digestive juices and enzymes in your body. Research also shows that regular intake of black pepper can enhance the body to break down and digest food optimally. It was also gathered that black pepper contributes positively to pancreatic enzymes, and thus boosting the overall digestive process.
10. It Helps Treat Diabetes and Control Sugar levels
The powerful antioxidants in black pepper make it an excellent food choice for people with diabetics as they help in stabilizing blood sugar levels in the body. These antioxidants also regulate hyperglycemia, which further aids the treatment of diabetes.
Additionally, multiple studies hypothesize that black pepper oil is capable of blocking the activities of the two enzymes responsible for the breaking down of starch into glucose which can worsen diabetic symptoms in the patient. However, the regular intake of black pepper can delay glucose absorption and reduce the symptoms of diabetes to a certain degree.
Black pepper is undoubtedly a healthy spice and contains a plethora of medically proven health benefits. Although more medical studies are required to understand black pepper’s health benefits better, it is still very good for you.
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