Black pepper is often referred to as piper nigrum and has been used for centuries. You probably know it as a flavor enhancer. You may not know it has a significant impact on your absorption rates. This makes it a powerful but inexpensive nutritional tool.
Flavor of History
You can find black pepper on just about everyone’s dinner table. It is also an extremely common ingredient used in many types of supplements. There are numerous, proven benefits for increasing your black pepper intake.
Black pepper is found in history pages dating back to the 13th century. It was used in Egyptian mummification rituals. You can find the spice in folk medicine and ancient medical texts. Black pepper was the only remedy allowed to Buddhist monks.
The pungent compound it has a restorative history in Ayurvedic medicine. Scientists know today this is due to its ability to increase the bioavailability of everything you eat. It offers microbial properties and heals your body fight inflammation.
Piperine is one of the main properties of black pepper. It has been thoroughly studied for many modern medical reasons. Findings show that piperine is good for you from your head to your toes.
Peppery Health Benefits
Black pepper contains amides, safrole, and pyrrolidines which are phytochemicals. Piperine, mentioned above is often studied for its physical and mental benefits. Black pepper also bombards your body with antioxidants. This boosts the immune system by reducing oxidative stress.
The National Institute of Food and Science Technology found that piper nigrum may be chemo-preventive as a co-therapy. The university report stated it promotes gastrointestinal function and heightens cognitive abilities. (1)
Another group of scientists it slows the process of certain enzymes within your digestive system. This impedes specific mechanisms of metabolism, so your body has more time to increase the number of nutrients you absorb (2).
Another trial examined specific properties from a select group of spices. It discovered that piperine stimulates pancreatic enzyme activity. This compound also improves lipid use. This means it reduces triglyceride accumulation in your liver. Piperine also downgraded the creation of fat cells. Piperine downgrades the process of storing body fat while increasing its energy expenditure (3).
Companion Ingredients for Bioavailability
Supplement makers often add piperine because experts have known its digestion and absorption enhancing abilities for decades (2). They have been studying its bioavailability impact on companion spices for several years. Piperine helps your body retain more nutrients within tissues. This is in a range of test subjects with no adverse outcomes (4).
Turmeric is another ancient Asian medicine. It offers a health beneficial compound called curcumin. Turmeric can be difficult for your body to digest to access this property. This makes curcumin and piperine the perfect combo. It has been used to treat inflammatory conditions such as joint pain and arthritis for thousands of years. Turmeric is also said to improve your digestive health (5).
The Division of Applied Physiology that curcumin enhanced the body’s ability to repair muscle damage after exercise (6). Pairing turmeric and pipeline helps your body recover faster and more efficiently. Consider having turmeric gingered pepper steak stir fry for dinner tonight.
There are several ways you can add piperine to your diet. Get a peppermill for your dinner table and use it generously. You can find it as a single ingredient supplement. Many herbal formulas also include it to increase its effectiveness. Turmeric and piperine are a common combination. These generally fall into fitness, nutrition, and cognition-boosting.
There are only a handful of natural piperine sources available. The property is derived from plants in the Piperaceae family. Black pepper is the most frequently found, but both white and long pepper offer piperine as well.
If you decide to start adding pepper to all your favorite recipes, take just a bit of precaution. This is especially true for those who intend to opt for the supplement route. It is important to know your piperine source. It should only come from a reliable manufacturer who uses only high-quality ingredients.
You should also implement small amounts at a time. Increase your dosage in increments. This will allow your body to adjust and prevent any rare side effects. People diagnosed with digestive issues should consult a doctor first. While piperine can enhance absorption, it can also cause upset stomach and heartburn in some patients. In most cases, black pepper and piperine are perfectly safe for healthy individuals.
You can also buy snacks filled with piperine which meet other dietary goals. Peppered jerky is an excellent source of protein and piperine. Black pepper is a popular bioavailability enhancer, but it isn’t the only one. Keep this in mind while grocery shopping or perusing online for recipes.
Ginger is another warm herb which enhances the bioavailability of other nutrients. It has been used to treat a range of stomach issue for hundreds of years. Grandma’s go-to ginger ale for nausea is only one of many examples.
Capsicum is also a bioenhancer but should not be confused with black peppers. This property is obtained from sweet and spicy peppers. It has several other health benefits as well. Bell peppers also offer antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene.
The spicy the pepper, the high the level of capsicum it contains. It is another ancient remedy with a long list of folk uses. Capsicum has recently been studied for its pain-fighting qualities. Many muscle rubs contain this potent property, but it may also be useful for certain types of migraine headaches.
It is always good to look into new methods and research to meet your health goals. Above all, it’s essential that you take your current condition into consideration. Don’t go making drastic changes without first consulting your physician, especially if you’re under his care.