What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Black Pepper Every Day

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Black Pepper Every Day

Discover the surprising health benefits of this popular spice and learn how to incorporate it into your daily meals.

One of the most widely used and beloved spices in the world, black pepper offers a trove of health benefits. But where does black pepper come from? And does its nutritional profile actually boost your health? In this article, we’ll answer these common questions and more. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Black Pepper?

What might seem like a simple seasoning found on dining tables worldwide, black pepper, scientifically known as Piper nigrum, is much more than a flavor enhancer. This spice originates from the dried berries of the peppercorn plant, and its benefits extend beyond its culinary use.

Black pepper contains a noteworthy compound called piperine. According to a 2023 study published in Aging and Disease, this natural alkaloid gives black pepper its signature pungent flavor and plays a pivotal role in its health benefits. For example, piperine has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce chronic disease risk. Additionally, piperine has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of essential vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet.

Black Pepper Nutrition

According to the USDA, one teaspoon of ground black pepper contains:

  • 24 calories
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 g fat
  • 2 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g fiber
  • 4 mg magnesium (1% Daily Value [DV])
  • 31 mg potassium (1% DV)
  • 10 mg calcium (1% DV)

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Black Pepper Every Day

It can help your body absorb antioxidants better.

When paired with foods rich in antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables, black pepper can effectively help increase the absorption of these beneficial compounds. A 2019 study found that piperine (the active compound in black pepper) may enhance the bioavailability of antioxidants like curcumin in turmeric by nearly 2,000%, making your meals tastier and more nutritionally potent.

Kelsey Kunik, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and intuitive eating dietitian at Graciously Nourished, tells us, “Black pepper contains a compound called piperine that can help your body absorb other antioxidants like beta-carotene and curcumin.”

It may reduce inflammation.

Piperine’s benefits don’t stop at boosting nutrient absorption. It may also play a crucial role in reducing inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health issues, from arthritis to heart disease. Research suggests that piperine’s anti-inflammatory properties can help manage inflammatory conditions, although more research is needed to understand its potential benefits fully.

“Black pepper could help your body fight inflammation associated with chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and more by interfering with the inflammatory process,” explains Kunik.

It may boost your brain health.

While not a magical brain booster, incorporating black pepper into your diet might offer some brain-supporting perks. According to the Aging and Disease study, the piperine found in black pepper might improve your cognitive health and vitality by reducing your risk of neurodegenerative disease.

“Black pepper has brain-boosting benefits. In a small animal study, rats pretreated with black pepper had fewer Alzheimer’s disease-associated amyloid plaques and improved memory than rats who did not receive the black pepper supplement,” says Kunik.

Tips for Including Black Pepper in a Healthy Diet

Incorporating black pepper into your eating pattern is an excellent choice for supporting your overall health if you enjoy it. Here are some practical tips to help you reap the most benefits:

  • Season Your Salads: Sprinkle ground black pepper on your salads for extra flavor and a health boost.
  • Add to Soups and Stews: Whether making a hearty soup or a comforting stew, a dash of black pepper can enhance the taste while providing nutritional benefits.
  • Pair with Turmeric: Studies show that combining black pepper with turmeric increases the absorption of curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Sprinkle on Veggies: Steamed or roasted vegetables benefit from a dash of black pepper, adding depth to their taste.

Kunik adds, “Black pepper can be used to season foods at various stages of cooking and added to marinades, rubs or spice mixtures. You can also add black pepper to teas for a spicy, chai-like flavor that can help increase antioxidant absorption. Coarsely grind black pepper over fresh salads or add it to salad dressings.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it good to eat black pepper every day?

Eating black pepper in moderation daily is generally safe and can add flavor to your meals without adverse effects—and may offer some health benefits. However, excessively large quantities of black pepper may irritate your stomach lining or cause digestive discomfort.

Is black pepper an anti-inflammatory?

Black pepper contains an active compound called piperine, which has been associated with anti-inflammatory properties. While it may not be as potent as other anti-inflammatory substances, incorporating black pepper into your diet can help reduce inflammation and boost overall health.

Can black pepper detox the body?

Black pepper isn’t a detoxifying agent in the traditional sense, but it does have potential health benefits. The piperine found in black pepper may enhance the absorption of certain nutrients in the body, which could indirectly support your body’s natural detoxifiers: your liver and kidneys. However, it’s more important to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to support organ health and, therefore, natural detoxification.

The Bottom Line

Black pepper, one of the most universally used spices, contains a powerful compound called piperine. Piperine offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, potentially reducing chronic disease risk. Piperine also aids in the absorption of antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Research shows this compound helps reduce inflammation and support brain health. Include black pepper in your daily meals for a solid nutritional boost.

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