Health Benefits of Black Pepper a.k.a Kali Mirch – The King of Spices and Nature’s Fat Burner
Black Pepper (Kali Mirch in Hindi) – said to be king of spices that is rightful because of its benefits than just being a spice. Just like turmeric, you would surely find black peppercorns or powder in your kitchen. Its aroma is as potent as its benefits, making you sneeze if you smell the powder. Don’t try it:p
“Piperine” is the main active ingredient responsible for the numerous health benefits of black pepper.
In India, Just like Turmeric, Black pepper is considered an essential part of Indian cuisine. It has been used in ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicines since ancient times.
Interesting Facts About Black Pepper
1) The word pepper is derived from the old English word ‘pipor’, the Latin word ‘piper’, and the Sanskrit word ‘pippali’ meaning berry.
2) Piperine – the main active ingredient in black pepper raises your metabolism and is used in many fat burners, pre-workouts, and weight loss supplements. Check their label, and you would find “Bioperine/Piperine” as one of their ingredients.
4) Pepper increases the absorption of curcumin – the main active ingredient found in turmeric up to 2000% i.e. 20 times. It also increases the uptake of certain nutrients and anti-oxidants.
5) It’s the world’s most traded spice due to its numerous benefits.
6) It’s one of the top spices used in restaurants as well. You would always find it sitting on the table along with salt as ‘condiments’.
7) Vietnam followed by India is the biggest consumer of black pepper in the world. (1)
8) Russians like to sprinkle black pepper in their vodka and gin to make it a spicy alcoholic drink.
9) Interestingly, during the 11th century, peppercorns were considered “black gold” and a high-value commodity used in the barter system. Even the house rents, dowries, and taxes were paid off with peppercorns.
10) When Rome was captured back in AD 410, 3,000 pounds of pepper were demanded as ransom.
11) Pepper loses its flavor and fragrance through evaporation, so it’s best to keep it in an airtight box and pound it fresh as required.
12) Ancient Egyptians used peppercorns for preserving mummies. It’s said that peppercorns were stuffed inside the nostrils of Egyptian Pharaoh – Ramses the Great (1303-1213 BC) when he was mummified. Yes, that’s how old this spice is.
Health Benefits of Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
1. Natural Fat Burner & Diuretic
Black pepper fires up your metabolism and works as a natural thermogenic. This slightly elevates your body temperature and gives it the desired warmth and kick.
A study showed that piperine also blocks the formation of fat cells. (3)
It has diaphoretic and diuretic properties which can make you sweat more and shed more water-weight. It flushes all the toxins and unwanted water which your body has retained, and makes your face look bloated.
Piperine in black pepper also works as a natural appetite suppressant, making you feel satiated and eat less (4) (5). This makes black pepper one of the best natural fat burners that aids in weight loss.
You would find “Bioperine” as an added ingredient in many of the top fat burners, pre-workouts, coenzyme q10, and weight loss supplements. Bioperine/Piperine are also sold as stand-alone supplements.
Bonus Tip: Try eating 1-2 peppercorns or a big pinch of black pepper powder before working out or walking for the thermogenic effect. You can also have it along with your black coffee or green tea for pronounced thermogenic effects. Thank me later:)
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2. Black Pepper Increases Nutrients Absorption
Not just curcumin, Black pepper also increases the uptake of several nutrients, supplements, and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, calcium, etc. in the body which is known as bio enhancement.
That’s why spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper are used since ancient times in our Indian foods.
Piperine promotes the absorption of food supplements and other medicines.
Studies also showed that piperine increased the absorption of the active ingredient in Green tea called ‘Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)’(6). Green tea and black pepper can have synergistic effects.
Bonus Tip: Throw a pinch of black pepper next time while you prepare your green tea. I have a recipe for an amazing ‘fat-burning drink’ at the end, especially for you;)
3. Home Remedy for Sore Throat & Cough Cold
Black pepper’s anti-bacterial nature can help cure colds and coughs, making it an amazing home remedy for sore throat and cough-cold.
Its warm and spicy flavor also hits your throat which makes you feel relieved. Pepper greatly works as an expectorant. It soothes your mucous flow, respiratory tract, and gets you rid of congestion, making breathing easier.
Bonus Tip: Freshly crush some peppercorns, sprinkle them in a spoon of honey, and take it. You can also consume it in a cup of warm water.
Black pepper with honey will have pronounced effects in combating cough-cold and melting phlegm. It works as a natural cough suppressant and Indians have been using and benefiting from this for years.
4. May Help Quit Smoking or Tobacco
A Study done in 2013 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that when smokers inhaled the aroma of black pepper oil, their cravings reduced. They reported a slight burning sensation in the throat, which mimicked the sensation they used to get while smoking. (7)
Scientists proposed smokers smelling a drop of the oil on a cotton ball when the craving spikes up.
Bonus Tip: Try chewing 1-2 peppercorns whenever you crave cigarette or tobacco snuff.
Pepper has excellent anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. This protects your skin from free radicals and damages. It helps your body to get rid of dead cells that can make your skin appear dull & wrinkled. Pepper also works as an exfoliant and a natural scrubber which can improve circulation.
This amazing spice can prevent white spots and skin pigmentation, a condition called as ‘Vitiligo’.
Now you know why many of the so-called detoxifiers and detox drinks have black pepper included.
Black pepper is also rich in glutathione which can be an excellent aid for your skin tone and skin health. You can check out a turmeric milk & black pepper recipe at the end of this article.
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6. Might Work as a Natural Pain Killer
Preliminary research has shown that piperine has analgesic effects and may work as a natural pain killer. This study was conducted on rats and human trials are needed to conclude this claim that whether it works the same way on humans. (8)
But we can still assume it might provide similar analgesic effects in humans too. It’s been also used in the ancient medicine system for pain-relieving purposes.
7. Supports Mental Health
Piperine in many studies showed to relax the neurotransmitters of the brain and release positive hormones like serotonin – ‘feel good hormone’ and dopamine. It has a calming and anti-depressant effect on it. This effect also resulted in decreasing anxiety, improving mood, and brain memory.
Piperine works as a powerful mood enhancer and can even change the mood of a depressed person. Test it yourself, try chewing 1-2 peppercorns yourself.
Research has also found piperine to be as effective as the anti-depressant called “Prozac” (fluoxetine).
Piperine also increased the bioavailability of Resveratrol. Resveratrol generally has poor bioavailability and solubility.
They together resulted in the reduction of oxidative stress, inflammation, and provided cognitive protection.
The combination of Piperine & Resveratrol can be called a natural anti-depressant aid that does not provide any side effects, unlike chemical drugs.
8. Health Benefits of Black Pepper for Better Digestion
Piperine stimulates the stomach to secretes more hydrochloric acid which helps in the digestion of protein. Hydrochloric acid also purifies your gut and intestines keeping you away from gastrointestinal (gastric) problems. It also releases enzymes in your pancreas and intestines that help in the digestion of fats and carbs.
So it increases the uptake of carbs, proteins, and fats too along with micro-nutrients & vitamins.
Bonus Tip: Want better absorption of protein and other nutrients? Throw in some black pepper in your chicken, eggs, salads, and foods.
Inflammation is known to be a responsible factor for heart diseases, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, etc. Piperine has been shown to reduce inflammation.
A combination of turmeric and black pepper together has been proven to show pronounced effects in terms of inflammation and other benefits.
Recipe for a Magical Fat-Burning Drink – जादुई प्याला
- Take a container and add little more than one cup of water. Keep it on the gas flame.
- Drop a bag of green tea.
- Add 1-2 pinches of turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper to it.
- Put some fennel seeds (saunf).
- Grate some ginger in it.
- Add some tulsi leaves or tulsi drops.
- Let it boil nicely. And here you go. A super-healthy hot beverage is ready. Enjoy!!
Note: Fat loss is a result of energy balance i.e the overall calories you consume and burn. Don’t fall prey to any such click-baits. None of the drinks in the world would help you to lose fat if you aren’t eating a well-structured calorie deficit diet.
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