10 Good reasons to add the black pepper to the meal

Sep 21 2013 - 2:09pm
Black Pepper

When we say black, it is black pepper we speak about, one of the age-old most sought and traded spices for its amazing health benefits. If you come from a Mediterranean or Semitic-based background, peppers are a common sight in your household.

The active ingredient in black pepper, also known as Piper Nigrum L., is piperine, and hailed as a king among treatments of diseases and common maladies.

There have been many ailments cured by black pepper according to old-wives tales and small-scale studies, including relief from:

• Respiratory disorders
• Diarrhea
• Anemia
• Impotency
• Dental disease
• Muscular strains
• Sinusitis
• Nasal congestion
• Atherosclerosis
• Cognitive impairment
• Ear aches
• Gangrene
• Hernia
• Vision problems

So what makes the black pepper, this 4,000 year old spice such a prized possession in modern science?

1. The marriage of salt and pepper: When it comes to salt, it’s a well-known fact that it gets you bloated through retaining too much water. That’s where black pepper comes in to the rescue, acting as a diuretic to sweat out the excess water and harmful toxins in the body. Combine the two in your dish and you have a perfectly healthy balance.

2. Loving the Tummy: You may turn to Pepto Bismol after a meal to calm your indigestion, or you may sprinkle some black pepper onto your dish to prevent its occurrence in the first place. Black pepper stimulates the taste buds, which signal the stomach to increase production of hydrochloric acid, and voila! Better digestion to fight that queasy feeling in your tummy.

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3. Battling the Flu: If you feel yourself congested and really need to get yourself back to normal, sprinkle some black pepper into a steaming cup of hot mint tea. The stronger the concoction, the better. You would be surprised at how fast that flu will turn tail and run.

4. Magical Healing: Well, we are no superheroes, but apparently black pepper gives some rather fantastical healing abilities. Just sprinkle a bit of black pepper on that cut the next time you scratch against something sharp and watch how quickly your body begins to heal itself. It is magically antibacterial.

5. Killing Diabetes: Black pepper battles and wins against Type 2 Diabetes, not the diabetics! It inhibits key enzymes linked to the disorder, as well as being known as a key antioxidant.

6. Pain Relief: The anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity found in black peppers means it could be extremely useful in pain and inflammation relief. Make sure to include it in your meals.

7. Catching Cancer: When it comes to controlling tumour growth and fighting off the need for chemotherapy, black pepper is most definitely a winner.

8. Washing away Weight: The outer layer of black pepper is amazing in assisting the body to break down fat cells, which makes digestion easier and weight loss a perfectly natural part of your daily diet.

9. Undermining Ulcers: Well, if there’s any spice that can clean your stomach lining of the damage caused by peptic ulcers, it is black pepper. The intake of 200-500mg of this ingredient a day will ensure the prevention of gastric acid increase, depletion of mucus off the stomach wall, and prevents changes in the body caused by ethanol.

10. Inspiring Death in Insects: And insect bites, apparently. It is by far the strongest natural insecticide, especially when controlling small-scale insect outbreaks.

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