Health benefit – the humble peppercorn !

Health benefit – the humble peppercorn !

 

A pinch of black pepper is added to almost every type of recipe imaginable. Once used as currency and presented to the gods as a sacred offering, it is fortunate that this most popular of spices is available throughout the year.

Black pepper comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates. They begin to bear small white clustered flowers after 3 to 4 years and develop into berries known as peppercorns.

Ground peppercorns produce the spice we call pepper.                                                                          blackpepper

History

Native to India, pepper has played a very important role throughout history and has been a prized spice since ancient times. Since ancient Greece, pepper has held such high prestige that it was not only used as a seasoning but as a currency and a sacred offering. Pepper was used to both honor the gods and to pay taxes and ransoms. During the fall of ancient Rome, the invading barbarians were even honored by being given black pepper. Additionally, in the Middle Ages the wealth of a man was oftentimes measured by his stockpile of pepper.

The reason that pepper was so cherished is that it served important culinary purposes. Not only could its pungency spice up otherwise bland foods, but it could disguise a food’s lack of freshness, the latter being an especially important quality in the times before efficient means of preservation.

Pepper became an important spice that catalyzed much of the spice trade.

This not only led to exploration of many undiscovered lands, but also to the development of major merchant cities in Europe and the Middle East.

Today, the major commercial producers of pepper are India and Indonesia.

Description

Black pepper comes from the berries of the pepper plant. Black pepper, green pepper and white peppercorns are actually the same fruit (Piper nigrum); the difference in their color is a reflection of varying stages of development and processing methods.

Black peppercorns are made by picking the pepper berries when they are half ripe and just about to turn red.

They are then left to dry which causes them to shrivel and become dark in color.

Alternatively, green peppercorns are picked while still unripe and green in color, while white peppercorns are picked when very ripe and subsequently soaked in brine to remove their dark outer shell leaving just the white pepper seed.

Pink peppercorns are actually from a completely different plant species (Schinus molle) that is related to ragweed.

Black pepper is the most pungent and flavorful of all types of peppers and it is available as whole or cracked peppercorns or ground into powder.

Health benefits

Improves digestion and promotes intestinal health

Black pepper (Piper nigrum)stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion.

Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body’s production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn or indigestion, or it may pass into the intestines, where it can be used as a food source for unfriendly gut bacteria, whose activities produce gas, irritation, and/or diarrhea or constipation.

Black pepper has long been recognized as a carminitive, (a substance that helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas), a property likely due to its beneficial effect of stimulating hydrochloric acid production.

In addition, black pepper has diaphoretic (promotes sweating), and diuretic (promotes urination) properties.

Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects–yet another way in which this wonderful seasoning promotes the health of the digestive tract.

And not only does black pepper help you derive the most benefit from your food, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.

Black pepper is an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of iron and vitamin K, and a good source of dietary fibre and copper. exerpts taken from whfoods.org

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  • Black pepper fruit extract — Dried ground pepper has been used for centuries for its flavour and is one of the most commonly used culinary spices in European foods.
  • The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine.
  • Interestingly it has been noticed that piperine may increase the bioavailability of other compounds founds in foods.

This is one of the ingredients of   FitChoice PEP PEP 4568GB

It’s a delicate balance of making sure that what you burn isn’t outdone by what you take in.

It’s all about energy – energy in, energy out.

Lifestyle, age and genetics all play a part in determining our metabolic rate.

A low metabolic rate helps the body to conserve energy supplies but unless those supplies are expended, weight gain may occur. Whether your metabolic rate is slower due to genetics or age you may find it harder to control your weight in the long term.

The most effective strategy to increase your metabolic weight is a daily dose of moderate exercise – just enough to increase your heart rate and make you out of breath.

This won’t just burn up extra calories but can keep your metabolism revved up for some hours afterwards, as the muscles burn calories to repair themselves.

Your diet is an important aspect of a healthy exercise programme.

It’s not simply about counting calories but also about making sure you have the right nutrients to support an exercise programme as well as a mental commitment to that routine.

Thermogenesis is the term used to describe the process of heat production in organisms – and supports calorie expenditure.

Most commonly it takes place during and immediately after exercise and also manifests itself as shivering where the body is actually maintaining its core temperature by burning additional calories.

To find out more about FitChoice go to http://pleine-vie.ineways.eu , click on the FitChoice logo ,select language and start exploring the weight management path !

Or if you’d rather contact me via maggie@pleine-vie.com and I’ll aswer any questions.

My help is only a click away !

Author:Maggie Pascoe (G+)

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About Maggie Pascoe

By helping enough people achieve what they want to achieve, you will achieve your goals !l My aim is to help people get what they want in life, to improve their health & life & have the same satisfaction by helping others.

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