Black Pepper's Surprising Health Benefits

It’s a kick of heat. It might make you sneeze. Black pepper is an American kitchen staple that just happens to have a multitude of healthy properties. Who knew? Black pepper has many surprising health properties that may provide some pretty impressive benefits. Some of these include anti-inflammatory properties, stabilizing blood sugar, fighting cancer, increasing nutrient absorption, antioxidant properties and more.

How Old is Black Pepper Use?

Black peppercorns are actually the dried berries from the vine plant Piper nigrum, but did you know it has been used for many thousands of years? This little berry, the peppercorn, hails from an area of Southern India and is the most ubiquitous spice used in the world.

Black Pepper May Reduce Inflammation

Many of the compounds in black pepper are potent. Adding black pepper into the diet in different ways might provide health benefits beyond just ordinary nutrition or the taste impact. The most active compound in black pepper, piperine, has anti-inflammatory benefits. In animal studies, black pepper has been shown to help with the inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis and injury, and asthma caused by lung inflammation.

Black Pepper May Help Lower Blood Sugar

Anything that reduces inflammation, as pepper does, might also help reduce blood sugar or keep blood sugar in a more stable range with fewer fluctuations. Black pepper works in another way, too: It naturally increases the metabolic rate, which might contribute to controlling obesity and diabetes.

Black Pepper Might Fight Cancer

The main compound in black pepper might be a cancer-fighting compound, also. Test tube studies showed piperine caused cancer cell death and slowed the replication of cancer cells in multiple types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.

Black Pepper Increases Nutrient Absorption

A surprising fact is that black pepper aids in the absorption of turmeric, making the curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties more bioavailable. Piperine also helps with the absorption of calcium and selenium. In addition to other spices and herbs being more bioavailable with black pepper, it makes the compounds in green tea more bioavailable. One to three black peppercorns brewed with green tea won’t significantly change the flavor of the tea, but it will release some of the absorption power of piperine in the peppercorns.

Black Pepper Shows Great Promise

Research on animals has found using black pepper medicinally to be promising. Some of these studies have determined:

Always consult a healthcare provider before using supplements, even pepper, medicinally. Make sure to talk about any potential drawbacks as well as benefits. Variety is the spice of life. In the case of black pepper, this spice may increase the variety of health in our lives. With so many potential benefits, grinding some pepper over food or into chai tea seems pretty tempting.

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6/8/2020 4:29:18 PM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
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