Black pepper can be found in most kitchens around the world and it’s almost as omnipresent as good old salt. But what are the black pepper health benefits, beyond the spicy kick it gives foods?
We know a lot of things about salt, in general, when it comes to science. But it seems like black pepper hasn’t been that much of a priority for researchers so far, though maybe it should. Because all of the recent research shows that black pepper is a great asset in the kitchen and in your body.
Before you start to have a whole lot of it, you should also know that the pepper shakers in most restaurants should be handled with care.
Black pepper health benefits to know
1. Eliminates some toxins
When you cook meat at high temperatures, some cancer-causing chemicals form on its surface. But, as researchers from Kansas State University found out, a black pepper marinade might just be the thing to eliminate the formation of those substances, named heterocyclic amines or HCAs. Just use one teaspoon of black pepper for half a pound of meat. If you’re not a huge fan of black pepper but want to benefit from it, add some more herbs to the marinade and it should be ok.
2. Aids your digestion
Freshly ground black pepper can be of great help for your digestion processes. Keith Singletary, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois, wrote an overview of the research on pepper funded by the McCormick Science Institute, which studies the benefits of spices. Some of the evidence in the paper suggests that black pepper has some benefit for the gastrointestinal tract. It might work by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. These help you feel full after a meal.
3. Helps you absorb more nutrients
Black pepper also enhances the absorption of some nutrients. The organic compound piperine is responsible for some of the black pepper health benefits that are being studied. Piperine is the bit of pepper that gives that piquancy. And apparently, it’s the compound that helps your body absorb more of curcumin and resveratrol. Curcumin is the chemical found in turmeric root, while resveratrol is a red wine compound. They both benefit from piperine’s ability to help you absorb them better. However, this is complicated by the fact that scientists don’t know exactly what else piperine helps you absorb. Research is pending.
Now, don't overdo it with the seasoning just because it might be super healthy. Here are some seasoning mistakes you might be making!