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Black Pepper Nothing to Sneeze At


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http://www.healthnews.com/natural-healt ... -2231.html


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Peppercorns are a common spice that have been around since most grains of sand. So important in one century, tiny little peppercorns were used as currency and were traded like spicy jewels. In the Middle Ages, pepper was used primarily to cover the taste of rotten meat, as fresh meat was hard to come by. In certain food circles and in seventeenth-century France, pepper is considered the only spice that didn’t overpower foods. New studies have suggested that seasoning your plate with pepper may add more than flavor to your palate.

All televised cooking shows, printed cookbooks, and cooking classes, will provide you with the best piece of advice you will ever get when adding spice to your foods: salt and pepper. Salt and pepper are the two mainstays to savory dishes and some sweet treats even have pepper lurking in the mix. A new study says that the easiest and most cost-effective way to bring out the flavor in your cuisine may be boosting your health in unimaginable ways.

There are many different kinds of peppercorns: black, green, white, and pink, which all serve different purposes in kitchens across the world. Black pepper or Piper nigrum, is a vine of the family Piperaceae that flowers into a fruit and is dried, harvested, and sold as peppercorns. Long used as an Ayurvedic medicine, an Indian book of medicine dating back to the fifth century cites pepper as a healing agent for a variety of illnesses: earache, liver problems, lung disease, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, tooth decay, and even sunburn.

Piperine, the major alkaloid contained in black pepper, seems to be the main jumpstart to your overall health by making the nutrients in foods more available to the body’s resources. Piperine helps induce the enzymes throughout the body, resulting in better nutrients entering and dispersing as needed in the bloodstream. By stripping down cells to their best possible components, the compound piperine inhibits metabolism of nutritional substances.

Piperine simulates the enzymes of the pancreas that breakdown proteins as part of the body’s digestive system, enhancing the capacity for digestion and reducing the food timeline inside the body. Besides helping the digestive track, piperine helps increase endorphins in the brain producing joy and acting as a natural anti-depressant, decreasing stomach ulcers, increasing brain functions and stopping pain and asthma symptoms. Piperine is even said to be highly effective in fighting cancers of the colon.

A recent study published over the summer in Clinical Laboratory Science reported findings on compounds from red grapes, black pepper, and cinnamon in order to see the effects on colon cancer. Research concluded all three components give off significant anti-multiplication of cultivated human cells of colon cancer. The results of another study on anti-depression published in September by the journal Psychopharmacology, showed that curcumin—natural ingredient found in the spice tumeric—taken in conjunction with piperine can act as a potent depression-killer.

There are some people who stay far away from the pepper grinder on the table because of the spicy taste or the texture or the possibility of sneezing, but then there are some who—due to allergies or certain food restrictions—are unable to consume little flakes of pepper on their food. For those who are physically unable to digest or stand the taste of pepper, piperine can be found in a supplement called Bioperine, and there are a variety of vitamins that contain it as well as curcumin for added benefits. Recommendations are to take those supplements alongside meals for the maximum effects.

With all this emerging research, it seems that for health reasons everyone should be picking up the pros of pepper either in pill form, the mill, shaker, or saying yes to the waiter at the restaurant from time to time and spread a little spice by sprucing up their health.

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(Health News, Article by Lara Endreszl, December 7, 2008)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not being posted with the intention of being medical advice of any kind.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Carole,

I have loved black peppercorns for eons (have several grinders from Penzy's ready for anything new).

Ever since childhood I've peppered everything from soup to nuts. :D Especially love black pepper from India. It's aroma is fantastic.

However, Bill is not a pepper fan. Of course, that doesn't stop me from "peppering" him anyway. He doesn't mind, but would never ask for it.

I have all sorts of spices: red pepper (capsaicin sp?) my all-time addiction.

Have added turmeric ever since reading of its antioxidant qualities. That, I purchased in a large plastic bag and put it into mostly everything - even fish recipes.

Our spice cabinet (huge) is chuck full of every sort of spice and herb. There must be a hot tamale in my background. :lol:

In the summer, we have fresh herbs just off the patio. Right now, it's all dried fare.

So good to see you here again, Carole. Missed you.

Much love,


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  • 6 months later...

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