A good pepper grinder is a must-have for any kitchen. While most people use freshly ground pepper to add taste to their food, you might be surprised that pepper has a number of health benefits that make it an essential addition to your meals.
Freshly ground whole spices are a simple way to flavour food without the need for artificial flavourings, sugar and high levels of sodium. They can also add a great deal of complexity to a variety of dishes – both sweet and savoury. Pepper is one such spice that is used all over the world in many different dishes. Pre-ground pepper comes in black and white varieties, and whole peppercorns come in black, white and green (or pink, which is similar to green in its lighter strength). While ground pepper tastes good, it is the whole peppercorns that offer the most benefits from a health perspective.
Why Should You Use Your Pepper Mill Grinder Every Day?
If you are not already grinding your own fresh pepper in a pepper mill grinder, now is a great time to invest in a good grinder. There are many health benefits offered by this aromatic spice, including the following:
- Potential cancer prevention properties. Studies done at the University of Michagan Cancer Center in the United States showed that a chemical compound found in peppercorns known as piperine may be able to prevent the formation of breast cancer tumours. These studies are on-going, but research to date indicates that this spice’s ability to fight cancer are increased when paired with turmeric – another powerful spice.
- Cold-fighting properties. A natural decongestant, pepper contains chemicals that cause runny noses, which happens when its chemical compounds irritate the mucus membranes. This means that it is effective in clearing blocked noses and stuffy nasal passages. Dr Neil Schachter from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and the author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu advises using a dash of freshly ground pepper in comforting chicken soup when trying to clear a cold.
- Digestion aid properties. Pepper boosts the hydrochloric acid secretion within the stomach, which helps to aid digestion. This in turn prevents tummy bugs, constipation and colic. This spice is also able to prevent intestinal gas, and promote sweating and urination, which helps clear toxins. As it is carminative, forcing gas out from the body downwards instead of upwards where it strains organs and the chest cavity, it also helps gas to be expels more easily and naturally.
- Antibacterial properties. Pepper helps the body to ward off infections and even insect bites. It also helps to clean arteries by scraping excess cholesterol from the arterial walls; thereby aiding heart health. It can even be applied topically to the skin to help remove impurities. Just be sure to use with caution however – some people may have a skin reaction to pepper.
- Antioxidant properties. Pepper is considered a powerful antioxidant, and is able to fight free radical damage that has links to cancer, heart and liver problems. Antioxidants can protect the body and skin from many different health issues, as well as the effects of aging.
Add pepper to your diet, and reap the many rewards that this power spice has to offer. Remember – buying your spices whole and grinding them in good quality spice grinders or pepper mills is the best way to get the full benefit that whole spices have to offer.