3 benefits and 1 side effect of black pepper7 May, 2022
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One of the spices we put on almost all of our food, black pepper is a staple in the kitchen, and contains very few calories per small serving.
Consuming black pepper has great benefits, however, and it can come with some downsides if consumed too much, according to nutritionists who spoke to Eat This, Not That.
1. Helps absorb nutrients
Black pepper can help better absorb nutrients like beta-carotene and iron, says Brittany Dawn. Dawn also says that black pepper is often used in addition to turmeric supplements to help better absorb the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of both. The main active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, gives the spice anti-inflammatory capabilities. However, it should be paired with black pepper to get the full effect.
A 2017 research review in Foods magazine showed that piperine, the active compound in black pepper, was associated with a 2,000% increase in curcumin's bioavailability, meaning that the body's ability to absorb and gain the benefits of turmeric increases when black pepper is taken with turmeric. 2. It can help lower cholesterol
Dietitian Lisa Moskovitz, CEO of the NY Nutrition Group, says black pepper may also help lower cholesterol and fight some types of cancer.
In a study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology, mice were fed a high-fat diet for 42 days. Black pepper extract reduced blood cholesterol levels, including LDL cholesterol.
3. Contains antioxidant effects
"Black pepper is not only a kitchen staple, but it also contains antioxidant properties that can help protect against free radical damage and fight infections," Moskovitz says. According to Dunn, "Free radicals are molecules with separate electrons in the body that can cause cellular damage. They can form in our bodies in response to pollution, malnutrition, smoking, and more."
Antioxidants are chemicals that neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of cell damage.
Black pepper side effects:
May increase acid reflux
"If you have GERD or acid reflux, black pepper may not be your friend because it can cause acid reflux in the esophagus," Moskovitz says.
Since black pepper is a spice, it can lead to acid reflux, so it's important to eat black pepper in moderation, or if the condition is severe, cut it out completely.
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