How much do you know about pepper, aside from it being in one of the two shakers you’ll find on virtually any dining table?
Did you know that pepper is a fruit that grows on a vine? And that although most of the pepper sold and consumed is black, it actually comes in three colors? Here’s the difference between the three:
- Black peppercorns are ripened, cooked, and then dried
- Green peppercorns are unripe and dried
- White peppercorns are almost ripe and have the skin removed
Most importantly, did you know that pepper is a powerhouse of health benefits? It’s loaded with minerals and vitamins, including iron, magnesium, and vitamins C and K. It contains an essential oil called piperine, which helps ease aches and pains. It’s also been found to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
What’s more, pepper also helps absorb turmeric, which, if you’re taking a turmeric supplement like Earth Echo’s Turmeric + Ginger, can really boost the efficacy.
Still need more convincing that the health benefits of pepper are nothing to sneeze at? Here are even more reasons to sprinkle on pepper any chance you can get:
- Promotes digestion – Black pepper stimulates your body’s ability to break down food. It boosts the enzymes in the pancreas and may ease gas. Some research suggests that it might help the pain of peptic ulcers.
- Fights cancer – Piperine has been shown to protect against some types of cancer. It also helps us absorb important nutrients, including B vitamins. One study showed that it boosts the effectiveness of a type of chemotherapy used to fight prostate cancer.
- Lowers blood pressure – Piperine has been shown to lower blood pressure in animals.
- Helps you lose weight – Piperine stops the body from forming extra fat cells. It’s also a great way to give your food more flavor without adding any extra fat or salt.
- Fights viruses – Ancient Chinese medicine has used black pepper to clear the sinuses for centuries. When mixed with honey and boiling water and allowed to steep, pepper may help stop a cough. Black pepper has also been shown to ease the symptoms of asthma.
- Is antibacterial – Black pepper has antibacterial properties that help fight infections and stop the spread of disease.
- Contains antioxidants – Black pepper has been shown to fight free radicals. This boosts the immune system and eases stress on the body’s cells.
- Enhances brain health – One of the most important things pepper does is stop the action of an enzyme that breaks down serotonin and melatonin. These two hormones are important to our well-being: serotonin calms us down and melatonin helps regulate our sleep cycle. It also may preserve dopamine, a hormone that helps us feel good. Other studies have shown that it can delay brain aging and help stop seizures.
- Boosts male fertility – Black pepper is high in zinc and magnesium. These two minerals boost male testosterone levels and aid in sperm mobility.
- Helps with diabetes – The antioxidants in black pepper help stabilize blood sugar levels and may slow the body’s ability to absorb glucose.
These are some pretty compelling reasons to add pepper to your meals. Comment below which benefit surprised you most.
If it happened to be benefit #4 (pepper helps you lose weight), you may want to add Cacao Bliss to your superfoods stash as well. It’s the ultimate cravings-fighter and helps your sweet tooth take a seat.