black pepper pouring from a wooden cup on a white background

10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Black Pepper

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With its distinctive taste and pungent aroma, black pepper has long been one of the most popular spices around the world.

But did you know that this ancient seasoning also offers some amazing health benefits?

In addition to being used as a flavoring agent in cuisines around the world, black pepper also boasts numerous scientifically-backed health benefits, including potential relief from pain, cardiovascular issues, and even cancer.

Read on to learn more about the potential benefits of black pepper!

1) Anti-inflammatory

The essential oils found in black pepper are thought to reduce inflammation and protect against a range of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

Even if you don’t have any chronic health conditions, adding black pepper to your diet could be beneficial.

Research shows that it may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes

2) Antibacterial

Research shows that black pepper can fight off certain strains of harmful bacteria, including MRSA, a bacterial infection that’s become more and more resistant to antibiotics.

The most effective part is a chemical called piperine, which increases absorption of black pepper’s other components most notably its antioxidants.

Studies show piperine also has beneficial effects for people with arthritis or pre-diabetes.

Be careful not to overdo it on black pepper too much can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. 

Don’t add too much to your food at once. Start small and build up from there as you get used to it.

Also, don’t confuse black pepper with white pepper, they are two different things entirely though they may look quite similar so make sure you know what you are buying! 

3) Improves Brain Function

 As we get older, it becomes increasingly more difficult to focus and concentrate.

But black pepper extract has been shown to help promote memory retention and attention span by increasing brain dopamine activity.

It’s not just for middle-aged people, Black pepper may have benefits for those with brain damage or Alzheimer’s disease too!

The results from one study showed that children suffering from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) were able to focus better after taking black pepper extract.

Not only does it help in retaining information but it also helps in improving concentration.

This is because it stimulates alpha wave production and allows you to concentrate better on any task at hand.

These two factors will allow you to focus on a particular activity more and hence improve your productivity.  

Black pepper contains high amounts of zinc, which has been shown to be an important element for our memory functioning.

Since black pepper helps boost dopamine levels, it can be extremely beneficial for older people with brain damage or Alzheimer’s disease by helping them retain information and enhance their memory functioning as well!

4) Aid To Digestion

The piperine in black pepper is responsible for its ability to aid digestion.

This active ingredient can reduce stomach problems and improve overall digestion, especially when consumed with large meals.

Eating black pepper can also help promote healthy bowel movements, making it a great spice for those who are constipated or experiencing digestive discomfort.

Additionally, regular consumption of black pepper has been linked to improved absorption of dietary minerals and increased metabolic rate.

Research shows that some other spices like red chili peppers can have an opposite effect on metabolism, increasing your risk of weight gain.

However, black pepper is safe and a good addition to many dishes.

5) Treats Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that results from an inability to produce or use insulin, which is necessary for cells to properly absorb sugar.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90%–95% of all cases.

It typically begins with insulin resistance (when cells fail to respond normally to insulin) and most often affects adults who are overweight or obese.

According to studies, black pepper has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance in a dose-dependent manner meaning that it’s best consumed in large amounts.

6) Reduces Cholesterol Levels

Multiple animal studies have demonstrated that piperine (one of the black pepper’s key components) can reduce levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

In one study, researchers found that adding 1g per kg of body weight (or about 0.3 g per pound) was enough to significantly lower triglyceride levels.

Furthermore, when combined with garlic and ginger, piperine may boost their effects on lipid metabolism as well. 

7) Reverses Blood Clots

The vitamin K found in black pepper helps improve blood flow and prevents clots from forming, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

To reap these benefits, use ground or crushed peppercorns when cooking your favorite dishes.

Adding some zing to your meals won’t hurt and could save your life!

It works on a cellular level, protecting tissues while increasing circulation and promoting greater oxygen delivery. 

8) Black Pepper Can Help You Absorb Other Nutrients

This is because black pepper contains piperine, a compound that helps your body absorb essential nutrients and increase their bioavailability.

For example, piperine increases curcumin’s absorption by up to 2,000 percent!

However, if you don’t like it spicy and peppery, you can easily opt for white pepper instead.

9) Eases Arthritis Pain

Research suggests that consuming black pepper can help fight pain related to arthritis.

This means that black pepper can potentially be used as an effective supplement for those with painful joints and other symptoms associated with arthritis.

10) Rich In Antioxidants

Antioxidants are important for preventing cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory loss.

Because black pepper contains high levels of antioxidants (particularly beta carotene), it can help protect against a variety of diseases.

Additionally, research suggests that regular consumption of black pepper boosts antioxidant activity in our bodies by an average of 42%.

And when we ingest these antioxidants on a regular basis, our health improves. 

How To Get Black Pepper In Your Diet

Don’t freak out if you can’t find black pepper in your local grocery store.

You can always order it online, or replace it with an alternative like white pepper.

A good rule of thumb is to use about 1/8 teaspoon per serving.

Just don’t add too much, since some sources say excessive amounts can irritate stomachs. Better safe than sorry.

And mix it up! Aside from its health benefits, black pepper adds great flavor to many foods and drinks.

The next time you make tea or a hot beverage (say coffee), add a pinch and enjoy! 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-mrsa

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27671817/

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/glucose-intolerance

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252758

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