I’m interested in knowing whether black pepper is the antitheses to salt … After all saltt’s bad boy image has been talked about at length for the last 20+ years, especially in regards to its link with high blood pressure because of its diuretic characteristics.
Of course what’s often overlooked is our need for some salt to survive – 6g/day – which equates to around a quarter of an ounce … its not that much is it? And there are arguments to state that if we didn’t add salt at the table we would still ingest enough to cover our daily requirements.
Most of us enjoy food with flavour, you might even say that this is what we pay for when we head to our favourite restaurant for an indulgent evening of good food, wine and conversation. Flavour lifts any meal and has the capacity to transfer food from the realms of ordinary into a place of extra-ordinary and much more. Maybe flavour is to food what accessories are to an outfit.
For me there are a range of ingredients to fit the bill … and among them one of my favourites is Black Pepper … In addition to the great flavour I wonder what the effects of pepper are on our physiological system
Is black pepper good for you? In truth, there is no simple answer to this question. There have not been enough studies on to verify if it is overall healthful and beneficial, detrimental, or neither. There are, however, plenty of suggestions as to the benefits (and negatives) associated with black pepper. Here are a few of them:
Possible Benefits Of Black Pepper
- Alleviates hemorrhoids
- Alleviates gas
- Alleviates constipation
Improves digestion – just think, by grinding or shaking black pepper onto your meal, you may actually be aiding yourself in the digestion of that meal. How? Black pepper stimulates the taste buds, alerting your stomach to increase its hydrochloric acid secretion which aids in digestion.
- Alleviates loss of appetite – again, black pepper wakes up and stimulates the taste buds.
- Promotes sweating
- Promotes urination
- It’s thought to have anti-bacterial properties
- Anti-oxidant effect
- Stimulates the breakdown of fat cells
One theory still being tested is that inhaling vapor from black pepper extract may reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking. Here are some more:
Piperine, an alkaloid found in black pepper, could enhance the bio-availability of some nutritional substances and drugs. It also may have anti-carcinogenic properties and anti-convulsant.
Possible Negative Effects Of Black Pepper
According to at least one study, black pepper may cause an increase in parietal secretion (of hydrochloric acid – the acid mentioned as an aid to digestion) and pepsin secretion and a loss in potassium.
Also, there is a chance of mucosal mircrobleeding and even gastric bleeding from it due, in part, to the above-stated secretions).
Piperine may actually be carcinogenic (although some studies show that it is anti-carcinogenic) and it might even have negative effects on sperm and interfere with reproductive processes.
All in all, it seems that more likely than not, black pepper has positive health benefits. But before you start loading black pepper onto everything in site, realize that there are possible negatives, as well (which may affect your thoughts around using it.
Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on fur boots and fashion please visit Salt and Pepper Shakers.
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