Black pepper: who would’ve thought this tabletop staple would be so good for you? Yes, besides giving our food a little spice kick, the humble peppercorn has multiple health benefits. In this blog we’ll look over some of its health benefits and will explore several ways to add more to your diet today!
Benefits of black pepper
Where does black pepper come from? Black pepper is actually a fruit! Peppercorns (the whole little black balls of pepper that come in pepper grinders) are the dried-out fruits of the black pepper vine in the family Piperaceae.
So, on to black pepper’s numerous benefits. First off, its a powerful antioxidant. The component responsible for this is called piperine. Antioxidants help protect against free radical damage (free radicals are things like pollution, toxins, etc.)
What’s more, black pepper helps your digestive system as well. It may improve blood sugar levels, boost absorption of nutrients, improve gut health, and lower cholesterol levels.
Finally, piperine in black pepper has been shown in studies to slow the replication of certain cancer cells such as breast cancer and prostate cancer cells. This study was done on cancer cells in a test tube, however, and more studies are needed to show whether these properties can be replicated in cancer in humans.
Where to use black pepper
A better question might be: where not to use black pepper! This seasoning goes well in most savory dishes. Shake or grind some onto eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, in soups and stews, and more! It imparts a nice, subtle flavor addition to food and just the tiniest bit of heat. You get the right amount of spice without it being too spicy (unless you like spice! In which case, other peppers have amazing benefits too!). Preferably, use whole peppercorns and grind them fresh. The flavor will pop through so much better!