Black pepper has surprsing science-backed health benefits, not known by most people

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black-pepper(NaturalHealth365) Black pepper – sometimes called the “King of spices” – is one of the most commonly used spices in the world.  Made by grinding peppercorns, the dried berries that come from the Piper nigrum vine, it offers a mildly spicy, sharp flavor that goes well with a multitude of culinary dishes.

Like many other spices, this spice packs a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant punch.

Offering far more than just versatile flavor as a kitchen staple, black pepper has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is hailed for its concentration of beneficial, potent plant compounds.

Black pepper is rich in potent antioxidant properties

Free radicals – unstable molecules that can cause cell damage – can be created naturally or formed when you’re exposed to the sun’s rays, pollution, or even cigarette smoke. Excessive free radical damage can result in health problems, and it’s been linked to heart disease, certain types of cancer, and premature aging.

Black pepper contains peperine, a plant compound that’s been found to have antioxidant properties. Some studies have found that piperine supplements and ground black pepper supplements have the potential to reduce the free radical damage linked to health issues.

Black pepper takes on chronic inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties

As you know, chronic inflammation is an underlying factor in many health problems, including diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Multiple studies suggest that peperine may help fight inflammation, which may result in less joint swelling in individuals with arthritis or even suppressing inflammation in the airways caused by seasonal allergies and asthma.

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Additional science-backed health benefits of piperine

Piperine has been found to help improve brain function, and may specifically be beneficial for treating the symptoms of degenerative brain conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers have also discovered that piperine helps improve blood sugar metabolism, with one specific study finding that taking a supplement with piperine resulted in significant improvements in insulin sensitivity for overweight individuals.

Black pepper and peperine are thought to help lower cholesterol, one of the top risk factors for heart disease. The piperine in black pepper possesses cancer-fighting properties as well, with studies showing it slowed the replication of colon, prostate, and breast cancer cells.

Preliminary research also shows that black pepper may promote gut health, reduce appetite, boost nutrient absorption, and work as an effective natural pain reliever.

With a variety of science-backed health benefits, it’s definitely worth grabbing the black pepper and adding it to your favorite dishes. Its bold flavor and subtle heat can enhance nearly any savory food, and it’s perfect on meat, poultry, vegetables, fish, pasta, and more.

For even more of a flavor punch, pair it up with other healthy seasonings, such as lemon zest, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and garlic.  Enjoy!

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
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Healthline.com