Do you know the beak pepper? Peppers are the fruit of a plant that has gained popularity in the world thanks to the burning sensation it causes in the mouth.
However, this variety is included in the group of aromatic peppers. For that reason, it doesn’t burn, but it tastes delicious.
This natural product is also a safe source of nutrients and other substances that have beneficial effects on the body.
An example of this are the antioxidant compounds, as they protect the body against various degenerative diseases.
To talk more about this condiment, we invited nutritionist Janiele da Silva Rodrigues, who highlights all the benefits of this food and explains the best way to consume it.
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Benefits of beak pepper
This pepper has practically the same compounds and benefits as other fruits of the species. A good example of this is beta-carotene, a substance responsible for the red color of peppers in general.
This same enzyme is considered an antioxidant and still manages to help the body in a better absorption of vitamins A and C. In this way, it is a good food to increase the body’s immunity.
In addition, beak is still rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium and phosphorus. All these nutrients are indispensable for us humans.
It is worth mentioning that this condiment contains vitamins B6, C and K1. Therefore, it is an excellent option for controlling blood sugar levels and preventing or treating inflammation.
However, the biggest difference between biquinho and other peppers consumed in Brazil is the low amount of capsaicin, a substance responsible for the burning characteristic of these spices and for stimulating the metabolism.
Fight free radicals
In addition to beta-carotene, this condiment has other elements that also act as antioxidants in the body, they are: phenolic compounds, flavonoids and vitamin C (or ascorbic acid).
In practice, these substances inhibit the production of free radicals, molecules responsible for oxidizing cells and disrupting their functioning.
In this way, consuming more antioxidant foods helps to keep the body healthier and younger.
Strengthens the immune system
According to Janiele Rodrigues, vitamin C, in addition to being a powerful natural antioxidant, is capable of strengthening the immune system.
Every 100 grams (g) of pepper contains 99 milligrams (mg) of the vitamin, more than the ideal daily consumption for an adult, which is 60 mg.
Due to this composition, the food in question is able to stimulate the production of new white blood cells and antibodies, the body’s defense cells.
Aids in weight loss
“Compared to other peppers with a stronger sting, it [beaked pepper] has less capsaicin. In this way, it is not so stimulating for the metabolism”, highlights the nutritionist.
However, this condiment also helps in the weight loss process, especially thanks to the thermogenic effect from capsinoids, increasing energy expenditure and fat burning.
At the same time, the fruit has few calories, being only 9 per 100 grams.
In addition, pepper is also rich in fiber , especially the skin, making consumers feel full more quickly.
Finally, this food also improves digestion and increases the feeling of well-being. That way, you can curb your appetite.
Helps relieve pain
Traditionally, peppers are used for pain relief . This happens because capsaicin, found in small amounts in the beak, acts directly on pain receptors, blocking them.
Thus, eating pepper frequently can be a natural alternative for those suffering from chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, for example.
Protect the stomach
Many people believe that people with stomach problems cannot consume pepper. However, this does not apply to the beak.
According to Janiele, “it is believed that it can be less aggressive for those who suffer from stomach problems”, due to the low amount of the compound capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning of the fruit. And, in small amounts, this substance works to protect the stomach mucosa.
Another benefit of pepper is to help prevent ulcers, as capsaicin and capsinoids have the ability to increase the production of gastric mucus, a substance that coats and protects the stomach wall.
In addition, these substances also help fight the Helicobacter pylori bacteria , which is one of the main causes of gastritis.
Therefore, biquinho is a great and delicious way to enjoy all the benefits of peppers, without having the burning sensation in the mouth and the aggravation of stomach problems.
Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Another good news for lovers of this variety of pepper is that it has the ability to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, fats used as energy reserve in the blood.
This is because the condiment stimulates the production of bile, which in turn breaks down fat molecules. After that, these substances are discarded along with the feces, due to the work of the capsinoids.
Therefore, this natural food can also be used to prevent cardiovascular disease. This is because high levels of sugars and fats in the blood are some of the main factors for the development of these problems.
Therefore, by lowering cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides, the risks of developing cardiovascular problems drop considerably.
In addition, antioxidant compounds help protect heart cells, encouraging healthy heart function.
Contains anti-cancer properties
Frequently consuming this type of pepper also reduces the risk of developing cancer.
This happens both because of the presence of antioxidants, which prevent healthy cells from mutating, and because of the action of capsaicin and capsinoids.
These substances are responsible for blocking the tumor formation mechanism. In this way, they prevent the emergence of various types of cancer, such as skin and prostate cancer, for example.
However, it is important to know that according to the National Cancer Institute (Inca), the disease is multifactorial. That is, it is caused by a number of factors, including eating habits.
Therefore, it is necessary to align the consumption of biquinho with healthier eating habits, physical exercise and give up addictions to toxic substances.
How to plant?
When you see all the health benefits that this little fruit brings, you were curious to try it, but you can’t find it in your city? So, you can rest assured (a), because the pepper tree is an easy plant to grow.
First, it is possible to cultivate the variety from seeds or seedlings, which are safer to show results, as they have already passed the germination stage.
According to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), pepper is a plant used to hot climates and very sensitive to cold. Therefore, when cultivating, the temperature in the place must be at least 21ºC.
A tip for those who live in the coldest regions of Brazil is to plant the seeds or seedlings in the warmer months.
In this way, it germinates and grows faster. Also, it is important not to leave the plant exposed to frost in the colder months.
The pot where it will be planted should have plenty of room for the roots. It must also be well drained, fertilized and light.
As for the watering regime, it should be done frequently, so that the soil is always moist, but not soggy.
The plant must be in direct contact with sunlight, mainly because it is from tropical and subtropical climates.
By following these tips, in an average of 150 days, you can have your first pepper crop. The pepper tree is a perennial plant, so when properly cared for it will bear fruit for years.
How to make pickled peppercorns?
According to nutritionist Janiele Rodrigues, these condiments can be consumed in canned food. However, it is necessary to be careful, as there is “an addition of other elements and not just pepper”, highlights the nutrition professional.
The canned foods of this seasoning are not seen as healthy foods, as those found “in markets and other spice stores use industrialized additives, which is not a food seen as 100% healthy”, he adds.
Therefore, the best option is to produce your own preserves, which may contain natural ingredients such as vinegar, oil, garlic, onion and several other spices.
- 200 ml of cachaça
- 300 ml of white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups of beak pepper
- Salt to taste.
Thoroughly clean the beak peppers and remove all cables. Then, heat the vinegar, cachaça, salt and sugar in a pan. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Soon after, add the pepper and simmer for another 1 minute. Place the peppers in a glass container with a lid and sterilized, add the liquid and garlic .
Finally, you need to cook the preserve in a bain-marie for about 20 minutes. When the glass cools, you can store it in the refrigerator.
Characteristics of beak pepper
The plant is of Brazilian origin, but it is still little known due to the fact that it appeared recently.
This is because it was in 2004 that the Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company of the State of Minas Gerais (Emater/MG) started to sell this condiment, intensifying production in the city of Campo Florido.
Part of the same group as peppers , the beak is, in a way, related to the aroeira-red pepper, gode pepper and the cambuci.
Furthermore, it received this name due to the drop shape that the fruits have. And when they are very ripe, they acquire a very reddish color.
It can be found for sale in natura or in seeds, considering that it can be easily planted at home as it grows fast and is a medium-sized shrub.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.