Surprising Health Benefits Of Black Pepper

Black pepper is a staple found in most kitchens, and you can't go to a restaurant without seeing a shaker of it paired with salt on tables. You might think it is just a spice that adds a little extra flavor to your meal, and while that is true, pepper actually has some surprising health benefits you may not know about. 

Your gut health is important, and black pepper assists your digestive system in several ways. It stimulates the release of hydrochloric acid, which is one of many acids that break down the foods you eat. It also kills any bacteria that may be in your food (via Verywell Health). Pepper is a gas reliever, which can ease discomfort caused by bloating (via WebMD). In addition, it may also help the body absorb nutrients like calcium and selenium. Moreover, studies suggest that it may raise levels of good bacteria in your intestines (via Healthline).

Black pepper may help fight certain diseases and health conditions

Along with keeping your digestion on track, black pepper supports your body's ability to combat certain illnesses and diseases. It contains bioactive compounds, namely piperine, which is an antioxidant. Piperine boosts your body's ability to fight conditions such as heart disease and some neurological disorders (via WebMD). Piperine is also antibacterial, meaning it can help your body eliminate harmful bacteria. One review noted that the spice could play a part in combating foodborne pathogens and even infectious diseases (via Medical News Today).

Additionally, researchers think black pepper might contribute to fighting cancer and lowering cholesterol. Although more research is still needed, test-tube experiments showed that pepper hindered the growth of breast, colon, and prostate cancer cells (via Healthline). Furthermore, one study involving rats showed a decrease in their overall cholesterol, including their lower-density cholesterol.

So go ahead and add pepper to your favorite foods knowing that you're not only adding a bit of spice to your dishes, but that you're also giving your health a boost in the process.