Black pepper; the hot and healthy spice

Black pepper is a spice that you have probably used before if you cook in this country. Even if you have not used it, you would have heard of it. It is known by many names in many cultures. Around here, we also refer to it as Cameroon pepper.

Whatever name you call it, it is a fiery spice that adds an earthy and pungent flavour to any food. This is one spice that you want to use sparingly though, unless you want to burn your taste buds off. Yes, it is that hot.

We know that it tastes good, and that it is hot, but not much is said about how healthy it is, if at all. More on that later, first, what is black pepper?

Let’s talk black pepper

Black Pepper
Pepper Shaker

Black pepper is native to India and other Asian countries that have tropical weather. Interestingly, black and white pepper are gotten from the same plant, only prepared differently. Black is gotten by cooking the dried unripe fruit while white is made by cooking and drying the ripe seed.

You can get the pepper at almost ever market in Nigeria. If you have not been including this wonder spice in your cooking before now, maybe you need to have a rethink. Because it packs a punch, and not just because of its fiery pepperiness.

Why black pepper should be in your diet

Black pepper interestingly has quite a few benefits that many have been sleeping on. Keep reading to find out some of the amazing benefits

  • Antioxidant Properties
    There is a compound that black pepper contains known as piperine. And it has been found out through research that this substance has strong antioxidant properties.

    Antioxidants have been known to stop or reduce the effects of free radicals. Which are substances that cause aging, cancer, heart disease, inflammation, generally wreak havoc in the body.
  • Anti- Inflammatory properties
    This health benefit is also attributed to the piperine compound in back pepper. Chronic inflammation is blamed for many serious issues that happen in your body. Ranging from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Anything that fights inflammation in your body is something you should take often.
  • It may improve brain function
    Piperine to the rescue once again. This wonder substance has been shown to improve brain function in animals. It is particularly effective in treating degenerative brain conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Of course, this needs to be confirmed in humans, but the animal results are promising.
  • It may stimulate digestion
    Yet again, piperine in may ease digestion and stimulate the stomach. It helps the stomach produce more gastric acid which helps to digest food faster. So, add that pinch of black pepper in your food to keep everything running smoothly in your digestive system.

Piperine to the rescue!

After reading this article, you probably feel like piperine should be given an award right? It seems like it does a lot of good work in the body and you should not miss out on this. The next time you are at the market, ask for some of this wonder spice, would you? It is good for you

Segun is an ardent lover of fashion, reading and writing. When Segun isn't swimming baking or cooking he is punching away keys somewhere on the African continent. He is a creative with a penchant for finding (and in some cases creating) new and interesting ways of doing things. For more details, send an email to


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