Pepper or black pepper is the dried unripe fruit grown in the plant called piper nigrum. Before the introduction of chili pepper, Indians used black pepper as a spice to bring the heat and flavor in curry.

There are six variants to pepper or peppercorns, namely pink, green, two types of black, and two types of white pepper. The most used pepper in cuisine and seasoning is the black pepper.

The dried unripe fruit is cooked to make black peppercorns. Cooking and drying of the ripe seeds make white pepper.

Black pepper is extensively cultivated in Kerala South India. Although, Vietnam is the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 39% of the world’s crop, as of 2016. Besides, India ranks 3rd in production of peppercorns, producing 10% of it.

Commonly known as

The word pepper is derived from the Sanskrit word Pippali for “long pepper.” Popularly known as Kali Mirch in India.

LanguageNameWritten as
BengaliMaricaমরিচ
GujaratiMarīમરી
Hindikaalee mirchकाली मिर्च
KannadaMeṇasuಮೆಣಸು
Malayalamkurumuḷakകുരുമുളക്
MarathiMirapūḍaमिरपूड
TamilMiḷakuமிளகு
TeluguPepparపెప్పర్
Urdukaalee mirchکالی مرچ
SanskritmaricIमरिची

Nutrition Profile

Black pepper nutritional profile as per 100 grams

  • Calories: 251
  • Fat: 5%
  • Cholesterol: 0%
  • Sodium: 0%
  • Potassium: 37%
  • Carbohydrate: 21%
  • Protein: 20%
  • Vitamin A: 10%
  • Vitamin C: 0%
  • Calcium: 44%
  • Iron: 53%
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Vitamin B-6: 15%
  • Cobalamin: 0%
  • Magnesium: 42%

Source: fdc.nal.usda.gov

Black pepper immensely helps bone health because of an incredible manganese content (244%). Black pepper offers antioxidant protection and helps in preventing chronic disease.

Benefits

The benefits of black peppers are mostly due to the active compound piperine present in it.

A Powerful Antioxidant

Studies show that black pepper acts as a very powerful antioxidant in your body due to the presence of manganese in a considerable amount.

Boosts Nutrient Absorption

Black Pepper helps to absorb certain nutrients and beneficial compounds. It might improve the absorption of Curcumin, which is the critical compound in turmeric. Besides, Curcumin is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Improve Digestion and Promote Intestinal Health

Black pepper stimulates the release of enzymes in the pancreas and intestines to help digest fat and carbs. Thus it promotes proper stomach functioning.

Source: tandfonline.com

Anti-Inflammatory

It is suggested that piperine — the main active compound in black pepper — may effectively fight inflammation. Moreover, it helps with chronic inflammation-induced conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

May improve blood sugar control

Studies suggest that piperine may help improve blood sugar metabolism. In one study, black pepper extract had a smaller spike in blood sugar levels after consuming glucose.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

May lower cholesterol levels

Black pepper and piperine are believed to boost the absorption of dietary supplements that have potential cholesterol-lowering effects like turmeric.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

May offer pain relief

Although the studies are limited, it suggests that the piperine in black pepper may be a natural pain reliever.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Side Effects

Black pepper can upset the stomach or can have a burning sensation if taken in large quantities. Also, if it gets into the eyes, black pepper can be brutal and cause damage to the eyes.

It is likely unsafe when consumed large quantities during pregnancy though this statement lacks evidence for support.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of pepper?

Pepper has many benefits like it is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, might improve blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and may work as a pain reliever.

What is the source of pepper?

Pepper or black pepper is the dried unripe fruit grown in the plant called piper nigrum.  Depending on the way it is harvested, processed, and dried, it can produce black, green, or white peppers.

What side effects can one have when overeating black pepper?

Consuming too much black pepper can cause burning sensations in the throat or stomach.

Is pepper good for your stomach?

It can enhance the function of the digestive tract. It also has benefits against bacterial growth, particularly in the intestinal tract.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Is black pepper good for the heart?

Various study shows black pepper helps protect from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Does black pepper cause acid reflux?

Black pepper can cause the amounts of acid in your esophagus to increase, leading to common indigestion symptoms.

Source: medlineplus.gov

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