Black pepper: properties, benefits, history and how to best use it

Black pepper is a spice used in cooking to flavor and spice up dishes. But what are the benefits of consuming pepper? Let's find out how to best use it but also the possible contraindications.

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Il black pepper is a spice used in the kitchen to flavor and spice up dishes. But what are they the benefits of the consumption of pepper? Let's find out how to best use it but also the possible contraindications.

From the fruits of the plant known as Piper nigrum, the famous spice commonly called pepper is obtained, not only black but also white and green pepper. What changes is only the type of processing to which the fruits are subjected. Specifically, black pepper is obtained by blanching the unripe fruits of the plant for a short time in hot water and then putting them to dry in the sun for a few days, the time necessary to make their appearance and color similar to that of the spice we know.

Black pepper is very commonly used, everyone knows its characteristic flavor but its properties are often ignored. Used in the right way and without exaggerating, this spice it can offer several benefits for our health.


Black pepper, properties

The most interesting active ingredient contained in pepper is the piperine, a substance capable of stimulate metabolism and thermogenesis, thus helping to burn more calories and counteract the accumulation of fat.

Black pepper is also equipped with active ingredients from digestive power, it is no coincidence that Ayurvedic medicine takes this spice very seriously and uses it, together with others, precisely to favor the correct functioning of the stomach. There is an explanation to all this: piperine stimulates gastric juices and at the same time improves the absorption of some important nutrients found in food.

According to a study published in the scientific journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, black pepper associated with turmeric increases its bioavailability and has been shown to be able to prevent the growth of breast cancer cancer cells.

This spice has then antiseptic, purifying, expectorant properties, it increases sweating and is able to stimulate the production of endorphins, due to the latter property it is also considered a sort of natural antidepressant.

Among the properties of black pepper there is also one moderate analgesic capacity who sees it useful in the treatment of muscle and joint pain. Finally, there are those who also consider it a remedy aphrodisiac.

Summarizing the pepper:

  • stimulates the metabolism
  • counteracts the accumulation of fat
  • it has digestive power
  • improves the absorption of some nutrients
  • antiseptic
  • depurative
  • expectorant
  • aphrodisiac
  • stimulates sweating
  • beneficial for the mood
  • analgesic
Black pepper: properties, benefits, history and how to best use it

Black pepper, benefits

Thanks to piperine, this spice is very useful to promote weight loss and body weight control, of course not alone but associated with a correct overall diet and the right amount of physical activity. Herbal teas based on this spice can also help promote digestion, provided, however, that there are no already full-blown irritations and pathologies affecting the stomach and intestines.

A pinch of pepper can help disinfect hazardous foods, he's able to improve mood and it can also act to rekindle a somewhat dormant passion. The sudorific effect is useful for those who want detoxify and it can also be exploited by preparing a hot black pepper bath.

Black pepper is also a very tasty spice and can help us reduce the amount of salt that we use to make our favorite dishes tastier. But be careful because pepper also contains sodium and therefore you shouldn't overdo it.

Few people know that the benefits of black pepper can also be exploited for body care, preparing, for example, oils and creams based on this spice with which to then perform relaxing massages or to help counteract muscle pain, joint pain or swelling.

Pepper is therefore useful for:

  • promote weight loss
  • maintaining the right body weight
  • promote digestion
  • promote purification
  • disinfect food
  • improve mood
  • limit the use of salt
  • do relaxing massages
  • counteract muscle or joint pain

How to best use it

In the kitchen, pepper lends itself to different uses, it goes well with cheese (famous spaghetti with cacio e pepe), meat, fish but also vegetables. Also great the combination with chocolate and dried fruit, you will probably know the famous gingerbread in which pepper is present to give a touch of unmistakable taste to this typical dessert.

Pepper is also used in cooking around the world to make spice blends, among the best known is garam masala and various variations of curry.

Combine pepper well with other ingredients can make a difference. We have advised you several times to add a pinch of this spice every time you use turmeric in order to increase its bioavailability, even in a drink like Golden Milk for example. However, the ideal would be to have the whole black peppercorns e grind them at the moment, in this way the flavor and aroma will be better.

To best keep its properties it is good always add it to hot foods after cooking and never expose it to sunlight.

If you want to make the most of its properties for external use, however, you can let it macerate for a few days peppercorns in sweet almond oil and then use it for massages or alternatively use the spice powder.

Black pepper: properties, benefits, history and how to best use it

Black pepper, contraindications

Black pepper is a spice irritating in particular to the mucous membranes, it is good to avoid it or consume it in very small doses and sporadically in case you suffer from ulcer, gastritis but also hemorrhoids. Attention must also pay those who suffer from hypertension as pepper contains a lot of sodium. Not recommended for children and the elderly. If, on the other hand, you take drugs and regularly consume pepper, it is always better to seek the advice of your doctor to avoid possible interference.

Therefore, avoid or limit pepper in case of:

  • gastritis
  • ulcer
  • hemorrhoids
  • hypertension

Learn more too the properties of other spices:

  • PEPE DI CAYENNA: properties AND USES

Black pepper, because it makes you sneeze

If you use black pepper, you have certainly noticed that if it is inhaled it almost immediately makes you sneeze. This is due to the fact that this spice contains piperine, a pyridine alkaloid. It is about an irritant that if it arrives in the nose it goes to stimulate the nerve endings inside the mucosa. Sneezing is one of the means that our body has to drive away unwanted substances.

Black pepper, history

The pepper is one of the oldest spices, in India it has been commonly consumed for over two thousand years. The Egyptians also knew about it, and over time this spice became more and more precious so much so that it is even used as a bargaining chip like gold, not surprisingly it was called "the black gold". The wealthy Romans, who did not worry about price, used it in many dishes. In reality, the most valuable variant was the white one which cost practically twice as much as black pepper. However, at the time these were really high figures, to make you understand the proportion you just need to know that in 410 the king of the Goths Alaric after having put Rome to fire and sword he asked as a tribute, among other things, too a ton of pepper! After the fall of the Roman Empire, the pepper trade passed into the hands of the sailors of the Maritime Republics, it was precisely the search for the spice sites that pushed the navigators of the time to explore new lands. Over the years following the new discoveries, however, as ocean crossings were increasingly frequent, the price of pepper dropped so much until today it has become accessible to everyone.

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