Black Pepper Nutrition Facts

Black pepper is one of the oldest known spices, hailing from India’s Malabar Coast, and is one of the most widely used spices in the world. Black pepper, widely used in cooking, has several health benefits. The plant is a tall woody plant with small yellowish-red flowers that bloom in the spring. The flower produces a seed that is commonly referred to as a peppercorn. After that, the peppercorn is ground into black pepper.

Black Pepper

Pepper has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, particularly in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system. It was mostly used to treat menstrual problems and ear, nose, and throat problems. However, too much black pepper can cause gastrointestinal problems, so people should be cautious about how much they use. Please continue reading to learn more about black pepper, including its nutritional value, health benefits, and risks.

Black Pepper Nutrition Facts

black pepper nutrition facts

What is Exactly Black Pepper?

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the Piperaceae family grown for its peppercorn-like fruit, dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit is a drupe (stonefruit) with a stone that encloses a single pepper seed and is about 5 mm (0.20 in) in diameter (fresh and fully mature). Peppercorns and the ground pepper made from them are known as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit), and white pepper, respectively (ripe fruit seeds).

The Malabar pepper, native to India’s Malabar Coast, is widely cultivated in other tropical regions. Since antiquity, peppercorns, ground, dried, and cooked, have been used for flavor and traditional medicine. Black pepper is the most widely traded spice on the planet, and it’s also one of the most common spices used in cuisines all over the world. The chemical compound piperine, a different spicy than the capsaicin found in chili peppers, is responsible for its spiciness. It’s a common seasoning in the Western world, often paired with salt and available in shakers or mills on dining tables.

Varieties

Although there are over 600 different types of black pepper, only a few are commonly used in cooking. They have distinct flavors, such as acidity, sweetness, and citrus, influencing their use in different dishes. The Lampong variety from Indonesia, for example, has a citrusy aroma and a woodsy flavor, making it ideal for crusting steak. The Sarawak variety from Malaysia, on the other hand, has an earthy, mild flavor that is ideal for barbecue rubs. Different peppercorns can also be ground together to create a flavor blend.

What are the Health Benefits of Black Pepper?

Here are the health benefits of black pepper:

1. Helps Decrease Inflammation

Piperine, the main active ingredient in black pepper, has reduced inflammation. Diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and heart disease can all be caused by chronic inflammation. While the anti-inflammatory effects of black pepper have not been thoroughly researched in humans, there have been several promising mouse studies. In one study, piperine treatment for arthritis in rats resulted in less joint swelling and lower inflammation markers. 

2. Contains Antioxidants

Piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, is high in antioxidants, which help prevent or delay the harmful effects of free radicals caused by pollution, cigarette smoke, and exposure to the sun. Some diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, are linked to free radicals. In one study, people who ate a concentrated black pepper diet had less free radical damage than those who didn’t eat concentrated black pepper.

3. Improves Brain Function

Piperine has improved brain function and reduced Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Piperine has been shown in seven studies to improve memory and reduce the production of amyloid plaques, which are harmful proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Improves Blood Sugar Control

Piperine has improved brain function and reduced Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Piperine has been shown in seven studies to improve memory and reduce the production of amyloid plaques, which are harmful proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Increases Absorption of Nutrients

Piperine has been shown in some studies to improve blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. A piperine-containing supplement was given to 86 people with insulin resistance for eight weeks in one study. Insulin sensitivity, or the ability to respond to the hormone insulin to remove glucose from the blood, improved after eight weeks.

6. Increases Absorption of Nutrients

Black pepper is thought to have nutrient synergy or the ability to work together with other foods to improve health. Black pepper boosts the absorption of calcium, selenium, green tea, and turmeric, among other nutrients. It’s common advice to take calcium or selenium with black pepper and make sure any turmeric supplement you take has black pepper.

Risks and Side Effects

There isn’t much scientific evidence that black pepper has significant health risks or side effects. While too much black pepper can cause digestive problems, most herbs and spices can do the same. In addition, consuming large amounts of black pepper may cause mouth and throat burning.

However, some research suggests that black pepper, specifical piperine, can have negative consequences in some circumstances.

Piperine, for example, has been shown in rodent and human studies to improve the absorption of certain medicines, such as antihistamines. This may be beneficial for drugs that are poorly absorbed. Still, it may cause overabsorption of other medications as a result. Before increasing your black pepper intake or taking piperine supplements, talk to your doctor about possible drug interactions.

What are the Uses of Black Pepper?

Black Pepper

Black pepper is a versatile spice used in various savory dishes. They were usually milled just before preparing dishes and added at the last minute in the recipes to keep their fragrance and flavor intact (since prolonged cooking results in evaporation of essential oils).

Here are some preparation tips:

  • Black peppercorns and other spices and seasonings marinate chicken, fish, and meat.
  • The spice, popular as “kali mirch” in the Indian subcontinent, is used liberally in Indian vegetarian and chicken curries and, in the Middle East, in meat and rice dishes.
  • They can be employed to prepare soups, barbecue sauces, pickling, and the main ingredient in various curry powders (Indian garam masala powder).
  • Although preferred in savory foods, this spice can also feature, albeit in tiny quantities, in sweet preparations like fruitcakes, pieces of bread, and pies to add a peppery-spice note.
  • Black peppercorn powder is mixed with salt and is a common item on the serving table in restaurants in India and Pakistan. Sprinkle the mixture over vegetable/fruit salads, chats, lemonades, soups, and other dishes. In Punjab, this spice-salt mixture is commonly used to flavor lassi (churned yogurt).
  • Cubeb peppers mainly feature Indonesian curries.

What is the Different Between White Pepper and Black Pepper?

The piper nigrum plant produces both white and black peppercorns and berries. The distinction between the two is a result of how they are processed. Most people are familiar with black peppercorns, harvested when the berries are nearing ripeness.

After picking, the berries are sun-dried, darkening their outer layer. The outer layer of the berry is removed from white peppercorns either before or after drying, leaving only the lighter-colored inner seed. There are a few options for removing the outer layer. For example, soaking the berry in water will cause the darker-colored skins to fall off. Another method for removing the skin is to wash it with a continuous stream of water.

The second method produces a cleaner result. The remaining fruit is then rubbed away, and the naked seed is dried. Alternative methods for removing the outer layer of the pepper from the seed have been used in the past, including mechanical, chemical, and biological methods. White pepper is usually more expensive than black pepper because the manufacturing process involves more steps.

White pepper triumphs over black pepper because its spiciness is more pronounced when it comes to heat. However, many food experts believe that white pepper’s flavor is significantly less complex than high-quality black pepper. The outer layer of black pepper contains compounds that contribute to the flavor’s complexity. Black pepper has a wider range of flavor notes than the outer layer, including floral and fruit notes.

Is Black Pepper Better than Salt?

For a quick recap of significant nutrients and differences in black pepper and salt:

  • Black pepper has more thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, and folate.
  • Black pepper is a great source of protein.
  • Black pepper is an excellent source of Vitamin K, calcium, dietary fiber, iron, and potassium.

How Many Black Peppers Should I Eat A Day?

Many studies show that incorporating this spice into your diet will help you lose weight faster. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t include it in your diet but do so in moderation. Black pepper should not be consumed more than 1-2 teaspoons per day, and excessive consumption can result in various negative consequences. Black pepper should be consumed every day on an empty stomach before breakfast. Even if you intend to chew it, do so first thing in the morning. Black pepper can also be added to vegetable and fruit juices. Add half a teaspoon of black pepper to your juice, stir well, and drink.

Conclusion

Black pepper and piperine have been used in folk and traditional medicine for thousands of years. While much of the research on black pepper’s health and wellness benefits are preliminary and involves more animals than humans, it is promising and warrants further investigation. Pepper is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and other health advantages, and it may also improve brain function and raise good cholesterol levels.

Aside from the flavor, black pepper contains various nutrients and potent compounds such as piperine. Piperine, a compound found in black pepper, has been shown to have medicinal properties. It has a wide range of benefits, including antioxidants and anti-cancer properties and aiding in treating skin problems.