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Do you sprinkle black pepper powder on your omelette? Have you ever tried adding a pinch of black pepper to your dishes for that extra zing? If not, then start using this wonder spice in your diet. Apart from enriching the taste and flavour of the food, black pepper provides numerous health benefits. Here are top 10 hidden benefits of black pepper you ought to know.
#1 -- Protects you fromcancer
A study conducted by the University of Michigan Cancer Center stated that the piperine content of black pepper prevents the development of breast cancer. This spice also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenes and other anti-oxidants that neutralize the harmful free radicals in your body thereby protect you from cancer. Other studies have suggested that black pepper can stall the progression of skin cancer, bowel cancer and colon cancer.
Tip:Make it a habit to add at least half a teaspoon of pepper powder while preparing food to reap its health benefits. Alternatively, you can sprinkle black pepper powder at the end of cooking to reap its anticancer properties.
#2 -- Helps in digestion
Piperine present in black pepper stimulates the taste buds to signal the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid. This acid is essential to digest proteins and other foods in the stomach, which if left undigested cause flatulence, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation and acidity. The excess hydrochloric acid secreted helps in preventing these conditions.
Tip: To aid in digestion, add a tablespoon (depending on the number of servings being prepared) of freshly ground pepper powder to your meal, while cooking. It will add to the flavour of the dish and keep your stomach healthy.
#3 -- Helps you lose weight
Black pepper is great in aiding the proper assimilation (extraction of all the nutrients) of food. Moreover, its outer layer which contains potentphytonutrientsstimulates the breakdown of fat cells. This is the reason, why this spice ranks high among the best weight loss aids.
Tip:For effective weight loss, just sprinkle pepper over your food. Do not eat too much of the spice, it can cause severe side effects.
#4 --Relieves gas
Known for its carminative properties black pepper is great to relieve discomfort caused due to flatulence and colicky pain. It inhibits serotonin receptors and also has the ability to break up and expel intestinal gas (carminative effect) which makes it a good antiemetic agent.
Tip: Adding pepper to your meals instead of chili powder will help relieve flatulence. So the next time you want to spice up your food, just sprinkle some pepper powder. You can also consume these 5 natural foods to relieve flatulence.
#5 -- Can give you clear skin
Apart from a great way to help you sweat and release all the toxins from your skin, it acts a great exfoliant. Pepper when crushed and added to a face scrub, helps slough off dead skin, stimulates circulation and helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help keep the skin safe from infections like acne.
Tip: Add coarsely ground pepper powder to your face pack and apply it over the face and keep it for 15 minutes. Now, wash your face with warm water. Do this regularly to get desired results.
#6 -- Beatsdandruff
Are you finding ways to deal with dandruff? Although there are numerous products available in the market, here s a reasonable and easily available home remedy to get rid of it black pepper powder. Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, this kitchen ingredient acts as a great natural aid to get rid of dandruff.
Tip: Mix a teaspoonful of crushed black pepper in a cup of curd. Mix well and apply on the scalp. Leave in for about half an hour. Rinse out your hair well. Do not use shampoo at this stage. Wash your hair with shampoo the next day. Make sure you do not use too much pepper, it may cause your scalp to burn.
#7 -- Clears up a stuffy nose and relieves cough
Due to its antibacterial properties, black pepper is an effective natural remedy to cure cough and cold. Additionally, the warm and spicyflavour of this spice helps loosen phlegm and relieves a stuffy nose.
Tip: Try sprinkling freshly ground pepper on hot soup or prepare rasam by adding black pepper to it. This will immediately loosen up the phlegm and help you breathe easier.
#8 -- Is good for people withanorexia
Black pepper is known to improve digestion and stimulate the taste buds. Because of this property, it is well-known as a natural aid to help people dealing with anorexia (a condition where the person does not eat). Apart from this, it also helps you to regain your appetite.
Tip: If you are suffering from anorexia and looking out for some natural way, try black pepper. Adding a little pepper powder to food, will go a long way in resolving anorexia. Here are 8 facts about anorexia, the weight loss obsession you should know.
#9 -- Helps the body use nutrients more efficiently
Black pepper is known to have properties that help enhance bioavailability. This means that it helps in the proper transport and absorption of nutrients from food. This property also helps drugs work more efficiently.
Tip: All you need to do is try to include this spice in your foods such as salads, juice, curries or even with rice, on a regular basis.
#10 -- Is a natural anti-depressant
The next time you want to spice up your meal, use pepper. This is because, it will not only add to the flavour, but posses the potential to make you happier. The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology reported that the compound piperine in black pepper increases the cognitive function of the brain and helps beat depression. It was also found that pepper eaten on a regular basis helps the brain function properly.
Tip: Add it to your daily meal or eat it as seasoning on a salad. Pepper in any form can help make you smarter and less depressed.
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