We’ve all been there: you’re hungry for some black pepper-infused food, so you throw on some ground peppercorns and end up regretting it later when your stomach starts to grumble. Black pepper is a wonderful spice to add a little kick to your dishes. Cooking won’t be the same without pepper, the sovereign of spices. Among all the assortments, black pepper (Piper nigrum) is everywhere in kitchens worldwide, either in peppercorns or as ground pepper. This Indian-native culinary spice is the unripe, dried fruit of a climbing plant, Piper nigrum. When appropriately preserved, black pepper can give us exceptional essential nutrients, including vitamin K, manganese, iron, copper, and magnesium. The nutrition profile of black pepper is extensive; however, its antioxidant effects are not as strong as other spices like turmeric or cinnamon.
Still, wondering about black pepper nutrition? Read on!
Some Introductory Notes: Black Pepper Nutrition
The family Piperaceae is cultivated for its fruit, “Piper nigrum (flowering vine).” Its fruit is known as a peppercorn, generally dried and used in the form of spice and seasoning. This stonefruit in fully mature form is almost 5 mm in diameter. Also, it has a stone that surrounds a pepper seed in it. Peppercorns or the ground pepper sourced from them may be defined as pepper, or more just as black pepper (dried unripened fruit), green pepper (dried unripened fruit), or white pepper (ripe fruit seeds).
Cultivation Region: Black pepper is born on the Malabar Coast of India, and the Malabar pepper is broadly grown there and in other tropical territories. About 39% of all black pepper production comes from Vietnam. Indonesia is responsible for 15% of production, and both India and Brazil share nearly 10%.
Traditional Versatility: Black pepper is the world’s most-sold spice and one of the most everyday spices added to cooking worldwide. Ground, dried, and cooked peppercorns have been used for flavoring and as traditional medicine since ancient times. Piperine is a compound that gives it a spiciness. It is versatile in the Western world as a condiment. It is often paired with salt and is functional on dining tables.
Black Pepper Nutrition
1 tablespoon (6 grams) of ground black pepper has intermediate portions of vitamin K (13 % of the daily value or DV), iron (10% DV), and manganese (18% DV), with trace quantities of other vital nutrients, protein, and dietary fiber.
Vitamin K: 11.3mg
1 tbsp. of black pepper has 4.4 grams of carbohydrates. In cooking, generally, you use less than 1 tablespoon. So you are not going to have beneficial impacts on blood sugar levels. Nearly 2 grams of fiber in 1 tablespoon of black pepper can contribute to the glycemic effect and mini effect on blood sugar.
It has no fats and is cholesterol-free.
This seasoning has a meager amount of protein. Be sure to incorporate other sources of protein in your diet.
Black pepper is not a chief source of calories; it provides 17 calories per tablespoon.
A Glance at Vitamins and Minerals:
This aromatic spice retains a host of active compounds, especially ‘oleoresins and alkaloids like piperine and chavicine. It has antioxidants, flavonoids, and other phenolic chemicals that help defend your cells and boost digestion-linked issues. It has the following nutrition facts per 100 grams.
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Thiamine (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Pantothenic Acid (B5)
- Vitamin B6
Biological Benefits of Black Pepper (Piperine) & Black Pepper Essential Oil
Oxidative stress is the primary factor for forming different degenerative and chronic diseases in your body, such as cancer, immune dysfunction, diabetes, and Parkinson’s. Antioxidants are natural or synthetic elements that can inhibit the free radical build-up by scavenging and repressing degenerative and chronic conditions.
Black pepper is known for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body from free radicals and their damaging effects on cells and tissues. Free radicals are produced from bodily metabolic processes, exposure to sunlight, and toxins or carcinogens in our environment. They can cause damage to cells, which may lead to cell death or mutations that could lead to cancerous tumors. It contains piperine, which has proven antioxidant properties that can help fight the effects of free radicals on our bodies by neutralizing them before they do any damage.
Chemical Composition and Other Nutrition in Black Pepper:
Proximate minerals, vitamins, and bioactive metabolites
Black pepper is wealthy in minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. The chemical design of 100 g of black pepper seeds contains the following:
- protein 10 g
- fat 10.2 g
- carbohydrate 66.5 g
Also, 100 grams have a relatively high concentration of minerals such as;
- calcium (400 mg)
- magnesium (235.8-249.8 mg)
- potassium (1200 mg)
- phosphorus (160 mg)
Black pepper has a lower concentration of sodium, iron, and zinc. These minerals are essential components for the everyday activities of humans.
IRON in Black Pepper
As a rich iron source, black pepper is also suggested for those living with anemia. Not only will it help with sufficient tissue oxygenation, but it is a savory means to fight anemia. Women, teenagers, workout lovers, and devoted coffee drinkers should consider supplementing iron-rich foods, not only black pepper. Iron is vital as it helps generate energy from our food by releasing oxygen from red blood cells to tissues all over our bodies. In addition, iron deficiency has been linked with heart disorders and other health problems such as depression or cognitive impairment, so you must have enough iron levels in your diet! Calcium is another nutrient found in black pepper, which helps strengthen our bones and teeth!
Manganese, Copper, and Potassium
With such an eminent manganese range, black pepper presents exceptional antioxidant protection against free radicals. It may prove helpful in preventing chronic diseases linked to cell damage, such as cancer. Manganese also helps in the metabolism of fatty acids, carbohydrates, and proteins. It also plays a vital role in synthesizing glycosaminoglycans (sugar-containing compounds that form connective tissue) and chondroitin sulfate (a component found in cartilage). Manganese deficiency can cause poor growth, hypoactivity, anemia, and weak bones. The copper content of the spice helps discourage depigmentation of the iris and premature hair graying. Moreso, it preserves immunity and thyroid gland activity. Also, a fair amount of potassium in black pepper makes it helpful in lowering blood pressure, thus contributing to heart health.
The Vitamin Profile of black pepper is extensive.
Black pepper contains the following vitamins:
- Vitamin B6 is essential for maintaining healthy nerves and muscles. It also helps to convert carbohydrates into energy.
- Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, helps your body digest food properly and convert calories into energy.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) helps your body absorb energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Spice is an acceptable source of many vitamins and minerals. It is also an amazing origin of manganese, which is necessary for bone health, wound recovery, and a healthy metabolic system. Vitamin K in ground pepper is vital for blood clotting, bone support, and regulation of blood calcium levels. Further, black pepper possesses vitamins C, E, A, and B vitamins, calcium, and potassium. Similarly, black pepper has notable vitamin concentrations like C, B1, B2, and B3.
B Vitamins (Thiamine -B1, Riboflavin-B2, Pantothenic Acid-B5, and Vitamin B6)
B vitamins are hearty for digestive health because they contribute to protein, carbohydrate, and fats synthesis and help support gut microbiota’s health. So good bacteria in our intestines move food by synthesizing specific vitamins and dietary minerals. Further, these bacteria absorb nutrients from digested food and develop an immune response. By enabling B vitamins absorption, the piperine in black pepper helps maintain digestive health and immune system function.
Vitamin K and Vitamin C Content in Black Pepper
Take a glance at the black pepper nutrition table above. You will see that black pepper is an excellent source of vitamin K, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and calcium and a good source of B vitamins as well as vitamin C. As per its nutritional profile, it significantly supports bone health. Black peppers retain excellent anti-inflammatory features due to their notable vitamin C and K content.
The high percentage of vitamin K means it can improve calcium absorption in bones and prevent bone deficiency, osteoporosis, and atherosclerosis (calcium and plaque deposits in artery walls). A diet comprising vitamin-K-rich foods like black pepper may help boost cardiovascular health.
Metabolites & Flavanoids Found in Black Pepper.
Nine obtainments of Nigeria-grown black pepper had a tannin concentration ranging from 2.11 to 2.80 mg /100 g. In a current study on black pepper, Ashokkumar et al. 10 documented flavonoids in a notable concentration such as:
- carotenoids (lutein and β-carotene)
Description of Nutrition Found in Black Pepper
Piperine is a compound in the black pepper fruit that gives its hot spicy zest. Other flavor-giving compounds in black pepper are “hydrocarbon monoterpenes” such as:
Besides giving taste, these volatile oils actively donate the health benefits of black pepper if consumed.
Continuous research shows that piperine can greatly improve selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamin B absorption. All of which are essential nutrients required to support good health. For instance, selenium is vital for thyroid health. Insufficient dietary intake can harm normal thyroid function and stimulate thyroid hormone production, increasing the risks for hypothyroidism or even an underactive thyroid.
Beta-carotene is a pigment and antioxidant that benefits eyesight. Its antioxidant effects help scan toxic free radicals from light and protect against retina damage that could sometimes result in cataracts, macular degeneration, or loss of central vision due to old age. Our body can also transform beta-carotene into vitamin A to satisfy its needs, the nutrient mainly needed for immunity. Thus, the truth that piperine improves beta-carotene absorption makes pepper a beneficial spice in terms of the eye and immune system.
ADVERSE EFFECTS OF OVEREATING
Black pepper can have adverse side effects when consumed in large amounts or if you have an existing health problem such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or ulcerative colitis (UC). In fact, many physicians avoid recommending black pepper to their patients because of these potential problems; instead, they opt for white or green peppercorns. According to the 2012 book Herbs and Spices: The Cook’s Reference by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (Workman Publishing Company), black pepper has been used since antiquity as both a culinary spice and medication. Pepper contains piperine, which gives it its spicy flavor; this chemical can also increase the absorption of other nutrients that are eaten with it. For example, turmeric is a spice that is always coupled with black pepper to enhance absorption. Both black pepper and turmeric have beneficial impacts on your health.
What happens when you eat it in bulk?
There’s no denying that black pepper is one of the most well-known spices in the world. Whether you use it as a garnish, add it to your coffee, or sprinkle it over your meal, you will enjoy its pungent taste and unmistakable aroma. But what happens when you overeat? Too much can mainly upset your stomach, causing heartburn or indigestion.
How much black pepper should you eat?
Black pepper is a handy way to add flavor to your meals. It’s important not only because it adds different flavors but also because it’s been shown that there are health benefits associated with consuming minimal amounts daily, so increasing this amount may provide additional benefits such as helping digestion and reducing inflammation, which means less pain caused by overeating junk food during those times when we all need something quick.”
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper per day – If you don’t use black pepper much, add 1/4 teaspoon of ground or cracked black peppercorns to each meal. This will be enough to add some flavor without being too strong. You can always increase the amount later on if you want more heat in your food.
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper per day – If you’re an average user, try adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground or cracked black peppercorns daily. This amount will provide enough space for most people’s palates while still being easy to incorporate into most dishes without overpowering them with heat or bitterness.
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper per day – If you like spicy food, try increasing the amount slightly so that your meals have a little more heat from the spiciness provided by this ingredient. In addition, it has other spices added as well (like cayenne powder).
While black pepper may seem low in calories, it can quickly add up.
Black pepper, like all spices, is not a food. It’s categorized as an edible herb, and it’s used to add flavor and taste to foods. While it may seem low in calories, black pepper can quickly add up. A 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper contains about 5 calories. White pepper has fewer calories because its fat content is lower than black pepper’s (1/4 teaspoon of white pepper contains 2 calories).
Black pepper is an excellent spice to add to your diet. It has a wide range of health benefits and can flavor almost any dish. Just remember that overindulging in black pepper can cause discomfort, so limit yourself to small amounts or avoid it altogether if you have a sensitive stomach! Black pepper has safe nutrition facts, as discussed above. People suffering from certain health conditions should always ask their health provider to add this spice to their diet.