We use it to spice up our omelette, or add that extra zing to Indian dishes, but did you know that humble black pepper can add a lot more to your food than just flavour. Here is a list of its top 10 benefits.
Helps prevent cancer:According to a study carried out by the University of Michigan Cancer Center, black pepper was found to prevent the development of breast cancer tumors. They found that the piperinecontent of black pepper plays a key role in preventing cancers. It further stated that when combined with turmeric its anticancer properties are heightened. Apart from the piperine, black pepper also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenes and other anti-oxidants that help remove harmful free radicals and protect the body from cancers and diseases. Other studies have suggested its efficacy in stalling the progression of skin cancers and bowel and colon cancer as well. Add a teaspoon of pepper powder to your food once a day. It is better that you eat freshly ground pepper rather than adding it to a dish while cooking.
Helps in digestion: The piperine content of black pepper makes it a great digestive. It stimulates the taste buds to signal the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid. This acid is essential to digest proteins and other foods in the stomach, which when left undigested cause flatulence, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation and acidity. The excess hydrochloric acid secreted helps in preventing these conditions. To aid in digestion, add a tablespoon (depending on the number of servings being prepared) of freshly ground pepper powder to your meal, while cooking. It will add to the flavour of the dish and keep your stomach healthy.
Helps you lose weight: Black pepper is great in aiding the proper assimilation (extraction of all the nutrients) of food. Moreover, its outer layer which contains potentphytonutrients stimulates the breakdown of fat cells. It also promotes sweating and urination and is a great way to get rid of excess water and toxins from the body. All these activities collectively help in weight loss. For effective weightloss, just sprinkle pepper over your food. Do not eat too much of the spice, it can cause severe side effects.
Relieves gas: Known for its carminative properties (a substance that prevents the formation of gas) black pepper is great to relieve discomfort caused due to flatulence and colicky pain. Adding pepper to your meals instead of chili powder will help relieve flatulence.
Can give you clear skin: Apart from a great way to help you sweat and release all the toxins from your skin, it acts a great exfoliant. Pepper when crushed and added to a face scrub, helps slough off dead skin, stimulates circulation and helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties help keep the skin safe from infections like acne.
Beats dandruff: Ditch those anti dandruff shampoos, try using pepper instead. Because of its antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties, pepper is great to get rid of dandruff. Mix a teaspoonful of crushed black pepper in a cup of curd. Mix well and apply on the scalp. Leave in for about half an hour. Rinse out your hair well. Do not use shampoo at this stage. Wash your hair with shampoo the next day. Make sure you do not use too much pepper, it may cause your scalp to burn.
Clears up a stuffy nose and relieves cough: Due to its antibacterial properties, black pepper is a very effective natural remedy to cure colds and coughs. Its warm, spicyflavour also helps loosen phlegm and relieve a stuffy nose. Try sprinkling freshly ground pepper on hot soup or rasam. It will immediately loosen up the phlegm and help you breathe easier.
Helps people with anorexia: Black pepper is known to improve digestion and stimulate the taste buds. Because of this property, it is a great natural remedy for people with anorexia (a condition where the person does not eat) by helping them regain their appetite. Adding a little pepper to their food, will go a long way in resolving anorexia.
Helps the body use nutrients more efficiently: Black pepper is known to have properties that help enhance bioavailability. This means that it helps in the proper transport and absorption of nutrients from food. This property also helps drugs work more efficiently.
Is a natural anti-depressant: The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology reported that the compound piperine in black pepper increases the cognitive function of the brain and helps beat depression. It was also found that pepper eaten on a regular basis helps the brain function properly. Add it to your daily meal, or eat it as seasoning on a salad. Pepper in any form can help make you smarter and less depressed.
So, the next time you want to spice up your meal, use pepper. It will not only add to the flavour, it has the potential to make you happier.
Source .. dna india