Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the Piperaceae family. It is used as both spice and medicine. The presence of piperine, a bioactive, is what gives peppercorns its biting, almost pungent spiciness.
The best way to eat pepper to harness maximum benefits is to eat freshly ground pepper, and not cook it along with food.
All over the coastal Region and Malindi especially, the spice has been used in making the favorite delicacies like pilau, biryani curry, and even tea.
Black Pepper Nutrition Facts
Black pepper contains minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and possibly vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, according to the USDA Food Data Central. Other nutrients may include vitamin E, folate, and vitamin K.
Black pepper may also have dietary fiber and a moderate amount of carbohydrates and protein.
Here’s are six reasons to sprinkle some more black pepper
- The piperine in black pepper can be credited with the prevention of cancer and becomes twice as potent when combined with turmeric.
- The spice also has Vitamin C, Vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenes, and other antioxidants that help remove harmful free radicals and protect the body from cancers and diseases.
- Again, the piperine in black pepper eases digestion and stimulates the stomach, which then secretes more hydrochloric acid that helps to digest proteins in food.
- Black pepper is antibacterial in nature and therefore helps to cure a cold and cough. A teaspoon of honey with freshly crushed pepper does the trick. It also helps to alleviate chest congestion, often caused due to pollution, flu, or a viral infection.
- You might not want to believe this, but black pepper is brilliant when it comes to extracting nutrients from food. And its outermost layer contains phytonutrients, which help to break down fat cells, and also increases metabolism.
- The piperine in black pepper helps to deal with depression. It stimulates the brain and helps it to function properly by making it more active.
Tips to use Black Pepper
Preparing grounded pepper powder at home is better than buying it ready-made. However, even homemade powder retains its freshness for only 3 months, while whole peppercorns can keep their freshness indefinitely.
Adding a pinch of black pepper to every meal may help in improving both, taste and digestion. It could also help improve your overall health and well-being.
You can add pepper to your eggs, when marinating meat, or sprinkle a small pinch on your salads such as watermelon.
How to Store black pepper
To take maximum advantage of the benefits of black pepper, it’s important that you store it in the best way possible. It’s recommended that you buy the whole peppercorn and crush it at home. This not only makes sure that the spice retains its flavour, but also that it lasts longer. Store it in an airtight glass.
Recipes that use black pepper
Mashed Potato Gravy