Do you usually consume black pepper? Well, know that this condiment has several health benefits, especially as it contains large amounts of vitamins, minerals and other substances that are beneficial to the body.
To talk more about this food, Remédio Caseiro invited nutritionist Janiele da Silva Rodrigues, who highlights all the qualities of this powerful spice for the body.
According to the professional, this variety of pepper is considered a functional food. That’s because this condiment has the ability to promote weight loss, promote well-being, improve digestion and also leave the skin with a healthier appearance.
Are you curious? Keep following this article to find out more about these health benefits, pepper care, and some easy and delicious recipes to make at home!
10 benefits of consuming black pepper
Black pepper or black pepper brings several health benefits, among the main ones, according to nutritionist Janiele Rodrigues, are the large amounts of vitamins and minerals.
This makes the seasoning bring gains for health as a whole, especially in the process of weight loss, absorption of essential nutrients and the prevention of inflammation and allergies.
Check out the 10 main advantages of consuming black pepper daily and how it works in the body:
1. It has a huge range of nutrients
According to the nutrition professional, this variety of pepper is very rich in vitamins A, C, D and the B complex, such as B1, B2 and B6. In addition to being a source of minerals such as iron and calcium.
This makes it responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system, ensuring the health of the eyes, bones, lungs and heart, mainly due to the presence of calcium, which stimulates cardiac contraction.
The nutritionist also points out that each 100 gram serving of black pepper contains only 38 calories, 5 grams of sugars, 10 grams of protein and only 0.3 grams of lipids or fats.
2. Acts on the elimination of free radicals
This variety of pepper is also very rich in antioxidant substances , among the main ones are the phenolic compounds, beta-carotene and ascorbic acid, the well-known vitamin C.
These substances act by preventing substances known as free radicals from being released into the body. These components are produced during the oxidation process of cells and can cause various damages to the body.
Therefore, maintaining a diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent many types of illnesses and premature aging, as well as helping the body’s essential functions to maintain the normal functioning of the body.
3. It is an ally in the fight against inflammation
According to the nutritionist, another health advantage in the consumption of pepper is its anti-inflammatory capacity. What happens is that this variety is rich in piperine, a substance that has a spicy and bitter taste.
In the body, piperine prevents the release of substances that give rise to the inflammatory process by white blood cells, which are the defense cells and produce substances to contain the advance of invading agents in the body. However, these substances reach other tissues and create inflammation, which is a way to stop the spread of disease.
By preventing these substances from being produced, the spice ends up being effective in the treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, asthma and even allergies. ( 1 )
4. Helps you have a less disease-prone body
According to nutritionist, black pepper has the ability to strengthen the immune system due to three of its components. The first of these is vitamin C, which stimulates the production of new white blood cells.
Second, there is the presence of the natural pigment beta-carotene, which improves the response time of defense cells against invasion by harmful microorganisms.
Finally, there is piperine. The nutrition professional informs that this substance is especially beneficial in maintaining the immune system, especially in cases of diseases or immunosuppressive treatments, such as chemotherapy.
5. Improves nutrient absorption
Consuming black pepper frequently also improves the rate of absorption of many nutrients. This is due to the large amounts of vitamins B1, B2, C and D, which act directly on food absorption.
In addition, piperine also improves the absorption of nutrients, especially calcium, iron, B vitamins and beta-carotene. All of this contributes to the spice being elevated to the status of functional food. ( 1 )
6. If you want to lose weight, she can be an ally
As nutrition professional Janiele Rodrigues points out, this variety of pepper directly contributes to weight loss, as it is rich in some phytonutrients that help break down fat molecules.
In addition, piperine also has thermogenic and diuretic effects. In other words, it can speed up the metabolism at the same time that it favors the reduction of swelling through the elimination of substances and liquids retained in the tissues. ( 1 , 4 )
7. Promotes a sense of well-being
Have you ever noticed that you feel better after consuming spicy food? In the case of black pepper, this happens because of the action of piperine, which stimulates the production of hormones responsible for well-being, while decreasing the action of those released during stress .
For this reason, adding the spice to your diet can help you maintain a lighter, healthier life. In addition, it is important to highlight that the feeling of well-being is related to the prevention of various diseases, oxidative stress and even the process of losing weight in a natural and healthy way. ( 3 )
8. Facilitates the digestion process
For those who constantly suffer from poor digestion or stomach gas, the consumption of black pepper brings several benefits, according to nutritionist Janiele. Especially because the B-complex vitamins have properties that stimulate the digestive process.
Piperine, in turn, stimulates the production of stomach acid, saliva, bile and enzymes released by the pancreas. In practice, these actions complement each other and favor a quick digestion and breakdown of carbohydrate and fat molecules. In addition to improving intestinal transit and preventing the discomfort caused by constipation. ( 3 , 4 )
9. Helps in cancer prevention
According to the National Cancer Institute (Inca), the incidence of this disease is not determined by a single factor. However, healthy eating habits are related to a lower risk of developing this problem. And black pepper is included in the list of foods that should be eaten.
This is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants. By reducing the damage caused by free radicals, cell mutations are prevented and this decreases the risk of developing some types of cancer.
In addition, piperine stimulates the action of macrophages, cells that eat other sick cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body.
10. Have more beautiful and healthier skin
Finally, the nutritionist highlights that the pepper variety contributes to an improvement in the skin’s appearance. Mainly because of the large amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin A, substances that protect the skin from damage and help maintain a healthy tone.
Antioxidant substances also act in this sense, as they reduce the action of free radicals, which are one of the main causes of premature aging.
Are there contraindications?
As it is an ingredient used for food purposes, there are few restrictions on the use of black pepper. The main one is in relation to the amount consumed, which according to the nutrition professional, should not exceed half a teaspoon.
When consumed in excess, it can worsen inflammatory conditions in people who suffer from gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcers, pancreatitis and hemorrhoids. This happens “because the spice is capable of stimulating the production of digestive juice, which in excess causes irritation in the mucous membranes”, as Janiele highlights.
In addition, people who suffer from high blood pressure should also be careful with consumption, as pepper contains diuretic effects that enhance the action of medications.
Finally, pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy should also avoid it, because pepper can cause bleeding and even lead to miscarriage.
Myth or truth: black pepper is bad for the kidneys?
True, as nutritionist Janiele says, but only when consumed in excess.
“Our kidneys have several functions, including the production of hormones, absorption of minerals, excretion of toxins, in addition to the best known: blood filtering and urine production”, informs the professional.
Black pepper, on the other hand, is rich in calcium and also has capsaicin, which is found in peppers in general and causes a burning sensation. In excess, they can overload the kidneys and also the gastrointestinal system.
However, do not think that it is necessary to abolish the use of it in food. That’s because pepper brings more benefits than harm. So just use with caution.
How to use in recipes?
Black pepper is one of the most used spices in the world, mainly because it is not as hot as other varieties and because it has a more discreet flavor, which goes with a multitude of dishes.
That said, you can use it in preparing red and white meats like chicken and fish. Furthermore, it is suitable for making salad dressings, soups and even barbecues and cheese-based dishes.
Nutritionist Janiele recommends mixing black pepper with coriander, turmeric or turmeric , red pepper and cumin . This combination of herbs and spices gives an incredible flavor to the dishes and also enhances the individual effect of each of the ingredients.
But peppercorns require some care in terms of storage and use. For example, keep them in a dry place without direct sunlight. Furthermore, it is important to grind the beans just before use, otherwise they may lose their properties.
After all, what is black pepper?
Black pepper, also known in Brazil as black pepper or black pepper, is nothing more than the fruit of the Piper nigrum plant , which is native to Northeast India.
It is a perennial vine, but as it is a plant with a tropical climate, it has become well used to the Brazilian climate. Currently, it is considered “the king of spices”, as it is one of the most used peppers in the world.
The spice can be commercialized and used in four different ways, which vary according to the harvesting method, they are: black, the most common type and that comes from ripe, sun-dried fruits; white pepper, which are ripe peeled fruits; the green pepper type, which are immature grains; and red pepper, which are ripe fruits, but without going through the sun-drying process. ( 2 , 3 )