The most common and most widely used spice for flavouring food around the world is pepper. It is delicious and helps to improve the taste of all the dishes we enrich with it. The origin of this berry is as complex and interesting as its taste.
A little bit of pepper history
The pepper originally comes from the Malabar region of India. There is archaeological evidence that pepper has been used since 2000 BC, and a text has also been found which points to a lively trade in pepper between India and the Greeks or Romans. The Romans liked it very soon, it is part of almost 80% of their recipes. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Arabs took over the spice trade. They wanted to maintain a monopoly on the pepper trade, so they sent fictional stories about buying spices into a sentence. For example, the Arabs spread the myth that black pepper was grown among the trees in a forest in India, where it was guarded by snakes. These snakes were then driven away by fire so that people could obtain spices. And it was during this fiery process that this spice allegedly turned black. It is interesting that in this way we managed to maintain a monopoly through imagination.
Until the 10th century, the absolute most popular spice was pepper. Trade in this spice has also spread to German and Italian traders. In some parts of Europe, pepper was considered a very luxurious spice. This trend continued, and in the 14th century the port of Genoa became a major player and transhipment point in the pepper trade. Vasco de Gama was sent on a mission to find a sea route that would bring Christians and bring this rare spice to King Manuel Manuel of Portugal. So much for the interesting history of pepper.
Black pepper is a healthy spice
We can definitely put black pepper on the list of the healthiest foods. This is definitely due to the nutrients contained in this spice. These small berries are an excellent source of vitamin K , calcium, chromium, iron, fiber and manganese . The best and tastiest way to enjoy black pepper is to grind it on any salty dish using a grinder. Black pepper is such a universal spice that it is used by almost all world cuisines.
Interesting fact about pepper: Black and white pepper are basically berries of the same plant. A different color is only due to collection at different stages of maturity.
Black pepper is a very nutritious spice, it is loaded with many minerals and vitamins. It contains vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin B6. It also contains riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, sodium, potassium, folate, choline and betaine. This is an exceptional amount of nutrients when it comes to spices. In addition, it does not contain any calories. It also contains protein – up to about 10.95 mg per 100 grams.
30 grams of pepper contains the recommended daily value:
79% of the daily recommended manganese value
57% vitamin K
Let’s now look at some of the amazing benefits of this spice.
1. Helps suppress depression
Black pepper contains a compound called piperine , which is a very beneficial substance for people suffering from depression. It also helps improve brain function and helps improve memory .
Studies on pepper and its health benefits have been published in medical journals (eg in a journal such as the Journal of food and chemical toxicology). Regular consumption of black pepper helps alleviate depression, which improves brain function very nicely.
2. Helps digestion, detoxifies
The body secretes an acid called hydrochloric acid , which is essential for the digestive process (gastric juice). Black pepper is known to increase the secretion of this acid, which helps the body digest food. It helps prevent the formation of intestinal gases and stimulates sweating and urination, which helps remove toxins from the body . Black pepper is something like an anti-flatulence medicine, it simply promotes good intestinal health .
Because black pepper is carminative, it discourages the body from producing intestinal gas.
3. Better nutrient absorption
Consuming black pepper helps the body absorb more nutrients from the food consumed. It is ideal to consume black pepper with fruit, vegetables or other similar dishes – this will help the body absorb nutrients from the food – to use the potential of the food to the maximum.
4. Treatment of gastric ulcers
Peptic ulcers are perhaps the worst, they can cause a lot of discomfort to the patient. Black pepper is rich in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory, which helps soothe stomach ulcers. Black pepper also helps strengthen the mucous membranes. It has also been found to combat the problems that arise from ethanol intake.
5. You will lose another kilogram
Fat cells need to be broken in order to lose weight. The outer dark layer of peppercorn accelerates the breakdown of these fat cells and helps increase the rate of metabolism . This again leads to weight loss.
6. It is a good remedy for cough and sore throat
Black pepper has expectorant properties (a drug or herbal drug that promotes the release and removal of mucus) that help reduce the symptoms associated with cough and other respiratory problems. It is therefore often recommended as an ingredient in cough preparations. The best way to use pepper when you have a cough is to add a quarter teaspoon of pepper to a tablespoon full of honey, mix thoroughly and eat.
7. Promotes a healthy heart
Doctors often recommend black pepper to patients who have heart problems. It is recommended that these patients add pepper to their diet. Why? Pepper is good at removing cholesterol in the arteries (it is more of a prevention of cholesterol formation). Pepper helps prevent a condition called atherosclerosis , which is a serious health problem.
Black pepper helps keep the system healthy with the help of other minerals it contains. For example, such as potassium, to control heart rate and blood pressure, and calcium to strengthen bones and teeth.
8. Soothes toothache
Another amazing use of black pepper is to reduce toothache and gum disease. Because it has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, it prevents the spread of bacteria in the mouth and can be applied to a painful area mixed with salt.
9. It works as a prevention of gray hair
Gray hair is a problem that many people face. Fresh pepper can be used to prevent this problem from occurring. The recipe is to simply mix a quarter teaspoon of black pepper in half a cup of white yogurt. Massage this mixture into the scalp and leave on for about half an hour. Then rinse thoroughly. Regular use of this mixture will have a significant effect.
10. Effective for patients with arthritis
When applied to the skin, the essential pepper oil causes a feeling of warming, which helps the blood to circulate. Therefore, this oil can be used by patients suffering from arthritis to relieve pain. It also helps remove uric acid and other toxins from the body – these are very harmful to people with arthritis .
Interesting: Ground pepper maintains optimal freshness for about 3 months. When cooking, it is ideal to use it until the last minute.
11. Black pepper and its benefits for the skin
As we wrote in this article, black pepper is full of healthy nutrients that are just great for our body. Regular consumption of this spice will also help you achieve beautiful skin. Pepper can also be used as an exfoliator (a substance that cleanses the skin) added to honey or yogurt.
Black pepper contains essential oils such as piperine, an alkaloid derived from ammonia , which gives the pepper its spicy character, as well as the monoterpenes sabinen, pinen, terpenene or limonene , which give this spice its aromatic properties.
12. Piperine in pepper helps health
One compound, piperine, has been shown to have promise in the treatment of a pigmented skin disorder called vitiligo , and may also be toxic to the malaria parasite. Piperine increases the body’s ability to absorb beta-carotenes, selenium and B vitamins (pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin), as well as other nutrients from food.
Final words? Black pepper has not only anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial effects, but also properties that improve the immune system.
Black pepper and professional scientific studies
And we will mention two studies.
The first study shows that black pepper ingredients can be helpful in quitting smoking. Steam from black pepper essential oil was tested and the results were very interesting.
The second study showed that the active substance in black pepper showed antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Black pepper and its components have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumor effects. This could help in the treatment of cancer, but of course more research is needed.