7 Health Benefits of Black Pepper that Can't be Ignored
Healthy Living

7 Health Benefits of Black Pepper that Can't be Ignored

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 12 Nov 2015 - 13:37

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Known as the king of spice, the humble black pepper cannot be ignored as an essential ingredient for our recipes and salads. It is just not a spice or a flavoring agent, but has numerous medicinal properties that put it on top of the health-foods list.

The piperine compound which gives black pepper its pungent kick on the palate possesses antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Not enough, it also has a good amount of iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins and dietary fiber that helps treat numerous health conditions. Scientifically proven, pepper helps track fat cells and cope with conditions like cancer, bronchitis and enhancing digestive tract functioning.

A 2013 study published in theJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinerevealed that when chain smokers inhaled the aroma of black pepper oil or black pepper itself, their craving for smoking diminished.

Some of pepper’s amazing health benefits include:

1) Good for upset Stomach: Pepper increases the hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach which alleviates digestive problems particularly proteins which are hard to digest. When the body produces insufficient hydrochloric acid, food may sit in the stomach for a longer time, leading to indigestion or heartburn, gas, diarrhea or constipation. Black pepper has diaphoretic (promotes sweating) and diuretic (promotes urination) effects that helps remove excess water or edema from the body and also has a carminative (herbal treatment) effect that enhances overall function of the body, thereby preventing various gastrointestinal conditions.

2)Weight Loss: One of the most common benefits of pepper is – its natural weight loss program. The outer layer of peppercorn helps in thebreakdown of fat cells. A 2012 study published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" found that piperine inhibits genes required for new fat cell growth and ultimately fights the evolution of new fat cells.

3) Skin Health: Pepper helps toheal vitiligo, a skin disease in which the pigment is lost from areas of the skin, causing whitish patches. Researchers in London have found that piperine can induce the skin to produce pigment, hence instead of opting for some chemically based treatments for vitiligo, one should use topical treatment of piperine accompanied with ultra violet light therapy, which is much effective.

Skin therapy - Pepper when crushed and used as a face scrub, helps shed off dead skin, delivers more oxygen, induces circulation and provides essential nutrients to the skin. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of pepper help keep skin safe from infections like acne. Simply adding pepper powder to your face pack and applying it on the face, keeping it for about 10-15 minutes and rinsing withwarm water shows good results on following this therapy regularly.

4) Helps treat Asthma and Whooping Cough: Ayurveda considers pepper as an effective remedy for respiratory conditions. Its expectorant properties as well as its strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties protects from respiratory problems. The spicyflavor of pepper helps loosen phlegm and alleviate a stuffy nose. Another alternative to fight off mucus is a cup of black pepper tea with honey, add 1 teaspoon of grounded pepper and 2 tablespoons of honey in a cup of boiling water and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Strain and sip.

5) Helps Prevent Cancer: A study conducted at the University of MichiganCancerCenter found that black pepper helps prevent breast cancer tumors and all types of cancers due to its piperine content. Black pepper is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, carotene, flavonoids and other anti-oxidants that eradicates harmful free radicals and protects the body from Make sure you incorporate at least half a teaspoon of pepper powder while preparing food to derive its anticancer properties.

6) Acts as a natural anti-depressant:According to a study published in The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, piperine increases the cognitivefunctionof the brain and helps vanquish depression. Another study published in the journal of Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, revealed that piperine suppresses an enzyme that decomposes the calming neurotransmitter serotonin, making it potentially effective in the treatment of some mood disorders. Pepper used in any form either by adding it to the daily meal or eating it as a seasoning, can beat your depression.

7) Effect of black pepper on brain: A study published in the journal of Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters says black pepper might help prevent and treat Parkinson's disease. It found that the brain promptly assimilates piperine, suggesting it offers brain-protective benefits. Another study says black pepper can anticipate brain aging and help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

According to Ayurveda medicine, other benefits associated with black pepper include:

  • Fighting against infections and insect bites such as scabies due to its antibacterial properties.
  • Also helps to prevent ear-aches and gangrene
  • Helps in dealing with peptic ulcers and gastric mucosal damage.
  • Helps treat toothache and tooth decay.

Kath Younger, a registered dietitian in Charlottesville, Virginia says that the shaker form is likely not a magical natural cure-all, because the problem stands in the dosage requirements. Hence, she recommends incorporating a lot of pepper in the diet, to reap its benefit from the piperine punch.

Reference:Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry;University of MichiganCancerCenter

 

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.