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Why is black pepper good for you?
If you ever wondered if black pepper or white pepper is good for you and if pepper has any health benefits, read on.
Black Peppers are the dried berries from the pepper plant, which are either crushed or ground or used as whole peppers to enhance the flavor and spiciness of food. The berries are generally referred to as peppercorns. When they are unripe, the peppers are green in color, and when they ripe, they turn red in color. The peppercorns are usually sundried which turns them black in color. The dried peppers are either used as such or crushed or ground into pepper powder to be used later. White Pepper is actually the seed inside the peppercorn with the skin removed.
The scientific name for black pepper is Piper Nigrum.
Black pepper is produced in a flowering vine and it is native to South India where it is very widely cultivated. These vines can be seen cultivated among other crops and most usually among the mango trees, even in homes. Since the berry plant is a climber, they are usually planted along with other trees so that the vines will grow and climb in the trees growing there. Even though black pepper is native to South India and India still has large-scale production of black pepper; Vietnam is the leading exporter of black pepper nowadays. The International Pepper Exchange is located in India.
In the above black and white picture of black pepper plantations from Wikimedia Commons Image, you can see that black pepper vines climbed into the trees. These plants are suitable to be grown in tropical climates.
So why is black pepper good for you?
Black Pepper Is Rich in Nutrients
Black pepper, one of the most expensive spices in the world, is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a very good source of manganese, vitamin K, iron, copper, and calcium. It is also rich in fiber, which makes it good for the health of our digestive system. Black pepper also contains lots of powerful antioxidants.
Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits
The antioxidants and nutrients present in black pepper make it an excellent spice to be used in food, which improves digestive health and also cardiac health.
The antibacterial properties of black pepper are also very well known and it has been used in traditional alternative medicines for a very long time. Including black pepper in diet can improve the overall immunity which can protect you from cold, cough, and throat infections. As a natural home remedy for a cough, it is suggested to take a pinch of black pepper with a tablespoon of honey, which will also give you relief from a cold and sore throat.
Adding black pepper to food can also help your body absorb the maximum nutrients from food. The outer layer of the pepper stimulates the break down of fat cells and thus reduce cholesterol and can help you keep your weight under control.
The use of excessive amounts of black pepper may not be advisable due to the presence of tiny amounts of safrole, which is also present in many other spices and herbs. But anything in moderation is the key!
How to enjoy black pepper in food?
Black pepper can be used as whole peppercorns, as crushed pepper, or ground powdered pepper in food, even as white pepper for its distinct flavor. Even though black pepper itself is more popular, white pepper is also popular in Chinese cuisine, traditional French cuisine, Swedish recipes, and also Vietnamese preparations. White pepper is especially suitable for white colored soups and dips and also mashed potatoes.
- Try adding black pepper to soups, stews, and dips
- Try flavoring omelets and other egg dishes with ground black pepper
- Sprinkle in salad dressings along with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice
- Add a pinch of ground pepper to your tea or coffee for an exotic drink
- Spice up roasted nuts using black pepper powder
Or, try adding them in any food where you want spiciness and unique flavor!
The "Black Gold" From Ancient Times
Black pepper is one of the most expensive spices in the world, owing to the intensive manual labor it needs including the processing and transportation costs (small yield and high demand). From ancient times itself, black pepper was considered very valuable and often used in trades as a form of commodity money. Black pepper was also called "Black Gold" due to its high price.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Naveed Ahmed from Bahrain on December 29, 2017:
Learned a new thing that Black Pepper is known as "Black Gold" in India as it counts for 60-65% of the total spices exports of India. Now one can tell why people of the Indian Sub-Continent use too much spicy food.
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on December 08, 2014:
@ All on This hub . . .
Have a Very Merry CHRISTmas.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on December 08, 2014:
Hi lex123, thanks so much for reading! I agree, black pepper goes great with Indian recipes :)
lex123 on December 02, 2014:
We use black pepper regularly even in South Indian rasam. It is one of the most important spices in our kitchen. Thanks for the informative hub.
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 27, 2014:
You are very welcome, VioletteRose.
I do enjoy food-related items that are useful and helpful, and this is one of those.
@ teaches12345, I happen to have spinach for dinner and this time I sprinkled a tad of salt on it. Not bad.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on September 26, 2014:
Thanks for reading teaches12345 and kenneth avery!
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 25, 2014:
Hi. What a delightful surprise to see you here. I hope that I am not breaking HP protocol by commenting to you on Violette's hub, but your husband and I are alike in using black pepper on everything.
I love it on mashed potatoes, even Spinach. Yes. Spinach. Delicious.
I am though, reasonably-minded. I do not use it on corn on the cob. Or ice cream.
If I do, I will be sent for professional help.
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 25, 2014:
@ Violette Rose,
Thank you for reading my hubs. If you aren't following me, I invite you to do so. I would love it.
Dianna Mendez on September 24, 2014:
My hubby loves black pepper and puts it on almost everything he cooks. I am so glad to read how it benefits the body. Interesting how we get it from plant to table. I prefer the black type though, the white just tastes a little too bland for me.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on June 01, 2014:
Thank you :) I would be happy to read your hubs !
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on May 31, 2014:
Thank you. I have loved black, white, and red pepper for most of my life. I use it on eggs, omelets, potato salad, French fries, and most foods. Thanks for sharing all of this information about the benefits of black pepper.
I voted UP and away on this hub.
Check your fan mail, then read a couple of my hubs then please be one of my followers.
I would love that.
Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Al.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on April 03, 2014:
Thank you DDE and Au fait :)
C E Clark from North Texas on April 01, 2014:
Learned some new things here. Very informative!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 30, 2014:
Black pepper is commonly used and white pepper is rarely used here. A very useful hub.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on March 30, 2014:
Thank you Jo Goldsmith11 and New Newbie :)
New Newbie on March 30, 2014:
Thank you for the info. I love pepper but never knew how it was grown. I'm happy to know it is a helathy ingredient.
Jo_Goldsmith11 on March 30, 2014:
A wonderful and detailed interesting read. You have outlined some good stuff here and the benefits of pepper, I never knew. So glad to stop in and learn. Shared, Up and tweeted. :-)
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on March 29, 2014:
Thank you so much for the comments :)
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 29, 2014:
I love adding black pepper to food, especially when the pepper is freshly ground. It has a lovely taste. Thanks for sharing the information.
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on March 29, 2014:
I love all color pepper :). Add it to almost everything.
Donna Caprio Quinlan from Newburyport, MA on March 28, 2014:
I have never had white pepper. I use black pepper but never knew it was good for you. Thanks for the information!
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on March 28, 2014:
I agree :) Thanks!
ologsinquito from USA on March 28, 2014:
Black pepper is also delicious!