Black pepper or the ‘King of Spices’ is one of the most popularly known spices all over the world. It belongs to the plant family Piperaceae, in the genus Piper. Its scientific name is Piper Nigrum and it has other names like ‘kali mirch’, ‘nalla miriyalu’ and ‘Black gold’. It originates from South India, Indonesia and other parts of South Asia.
As the name suggests black pepper is black in colour and is the storehouse of many nutrients. Black pepper is derived from perennial vines and climbers of the pepper plant. The fruits from such vines are collected and dried to get black peppercorns. These peppercorns have a strong, spicy fragrance and flavour liked and appreciated all over the world. The goodness of black pepper lies in the nutritious combination of components, its culinary uses and unique medicinal properties.
Nutritional Value of Black Pepper
- Vitamins: Black Pepper is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, carotenes, flavonoids and some other antioxidants. All these vitamins are responsible for removing free radicals from the body and prevent many health issues.
- Minerals: Minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron and copper can be found in this spice. The minerals mentioned here are amongst the important daily requirements of the body.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates found in black pepper are mostly in the form of fibre so it is not harmful for the body. With black pepper, the absorption of Curcumin and other nutrients increases up to 2000 times in our body.
Benefits of Black Pepper
- Promotes Weight Loss: The external layer of black pepper helps in synthesising fats. This is due to the presence of phytonutrients which also increases the metabolism of the body. Black pepper keeps the fat formation in check and promotes weight loss.
- Improves Digestion: Piperine, found in pepper improves the process of digestion. It also helps in healing peptic ulcers with its amazing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Better digestion improves hunger and gives relief from constipation. The anti-oxidant properties also aid intestinal health and the carminative properties help in relieving gas.
- Helps Diabetic Patients: Black pepper is helpful in providing a sense of relief to diabetic patients through its healing anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants help in relieving obesity and reducing damage caused by free radicals. It helps in stabilising the blood sugar level of the body.
- Benefits to Skin: This rich source of anti-oxidants is responsible for protecting the skin from ageing effects like wrinkles, blemishes, dark spots etc. Daily consumption of black pepper in the body can show great results on the skin.
- Heart Health and Cholesterol: Heart diseases are related to higher blood cholesterol levels. Piperine has the tendency of reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels which helps in improving heart health. It further prevents the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Helps in Treating Infections: Fungal and bacterial infections can be tackled better with the help of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of black pepper. Throat infection, bacterial infections and viral infections like asthma, flu, cold and cough can also be treated with the use of black pepper.