Black Pepper has been in existence for more than 4,000 years. Today, we casually buy it and use it as a spice for our eggs, cottage cheese, steak, salads, and more. In ancient times, Black Pepper was so highly treasured that it was used as money.
When Christopher Columbus reached Spain on his first voyage in 1493, he didn't take any of the precious spices from the East Indies- Black Pepper, Ginger and Cloves- with him. Columbus wrote in his ship's journal, "There is also plenty of ají, (Chili Peppers) which is their pepper, which is more valuable than black pepper, and all the people eat nothing else, it being very wholesome."
The Amazing Health Benefits of Black Pepper:
Salt and Black Pepper seem to go hand-in-hand when it comes to seasoning our foods. However, many people steer clear of salt because, too much of it and it makes your water retain water. One of the amazing health benefits of Black Pepper is, it actually does the opposite. This spice acts as a diuretic. It also encourages our bodies to sweat and get rid of harmful toxins.
According to the American Spice Trade Association, Black Pepper actually contains sodium. But, it's a minuscule amount. There are about 10 milligrams of sodium in 100 grams of Black Pepper. If you're wondering how much Black Pepper that is, according to the ASTA, it's enough to sprinkle your morning eggs every day for 7 years.
Black Pepper Aids Your Digestion:
Over-the-counter medications like Tums, Mylanta and Pepto Bismol are popular because people are constantly plagued with indigestion after they eat. One of the amazing health benefits of Black Pepper is, it actually aids your digestion. When you eat Black Pepper, your taste buds become stimulated. They send signals to your stomach telling it to increase its production of hydrochloric acid. This acid helps your body digest food so you don't suffer from indigestion. Black Pepper can also help prevent the formation of intestinal gas and reduce stomach upset.
Black Pepper and Anorexia:
For people who suffer from mild Anorexia, Black Pepper can also help them regain their appetite because it stimulates their taste buds.
Black Pepper and Congestion:
Are you suffering from a chest cold? Add Black Pepper to your diet, and this spice will help break-up the congestion, especially if you add it to a strong, steaming hot cup of mint tea.
Black Pepper and Healing Cuts:
Another amazing health benefit of Black Pepper is, that it's a handy spice to have in the kitchen for when you cut yourself. The next time you have a minor cut, sprinkle Black Pepper on it. It will help stop the bleeding. Plus, it's antibacterial properties will promote healing and kill germs.
Storing Black Pepper:
Black Pepper is ground-up Peppercorns (berries) that come from the Piper nigrum L vine. The freshest, most potent Black Pepper you can get is to buy Peppercorns and grind them up as you need them. To keep them fresh, store Peppercorns and ground Black Pepper in airtight containers away from light.