The many benefits of black pepperBlack pepper has more healthy properties than most people know about. Black pepper isn't like salt that can make food less healthy if too much is added. Black pepper is a spice that has the potential to make food more beneficial when used in various recipes and as a table spice.
The History of Black Pepper
As far back as the ancient eras, the spice we know as black pepper actually had monetary value. It was used in the market place and in other places in place of money. It was used to appease ancient gods in the temples. Even now, black pepper is a commonly used spice. Fortunately for us, it is always in great supply and it costs very little.
We get our black pepper from the pepper vine that can grow at least thirty feet tall in the stifling climates of the tropical parts of the world. The pepper vines actually bear fruit—small white flowers that turn into berries called peppercorns. Manufacturers take the peppercorns and collect them as whole berries or as ground black pepper.
The medicinal benefits of black pepper reach beyond its taste and flavoring of your foods. Research studies have shown that black pepper actually has healthful properties. Of all of the benefits of this spice, it is its ability to enhance the function of the digestive tract that makes it a good reason to put it in the dishes you cook.
Another benefit of black pepper is its ability to diminish the amount of gas in the intestinal tract. This leads to less flatulence and bloating and is believed to be another benefit of increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
For those who understand the benefits of antioxidants, you'll be glad to learn that black pepper is known to have a great amount of antioxidant properties. It also has benefits against bacterial growth, particularly in the intestinal tract. The good news is that all you need to do is put a little bit in your food every day.
Black Pepper in Cooking
How do you like your pepper? If you're a professional cook or just someone who likes the best in cuisine, you probably grind your peppercorns in a peppercorn mill. You can get fresh peppercorns at the grocery store, on the internet and at organic food stores. When you grind your own pepper, you enhance the freshness of the pepper and probably get a better health benefit from it. In addition, the outer skin of the peppercorn most likely enhances metabolism, leading to a higher probability of weight loss.
If you're the type of person who just wants to shake their pepper on, do yourself a favor and purchase the best brand of pepper you can buy. The supermarket shelves are full of ground pepper and going with the cheapest brand probably won't give you a quality product. You don't need to buy gourmet pepper but buying a brand name will go a long way toward giving you a quality product.