6 Reasons To Include White Pepper In Your Diet
Pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world. The outer layer of black peppercorns is removed before or after drying, leaving only the inner seed to produce white peppercorns. The much-ignored white pepper possesses some incredible health benefits. White pepper can help you with digestive problems, dental issues, diabetes, mild headaches, flu and even weight loss. Read on to know more about its health benefits!
White pepper, also known as “safed mirchi” comes from the dried fruit of the pepper plant, piper nigrum. White pepper has a different flavour from black pepper; it lacks certain compounds present in the outer layer of the drupe.
White pepper is mostly used in light-coloured dishes like white sauces and mashed potatoes for aesthetic reasons. It is commonly used in Chinese and Thai food preparations as well as in aromatic Vietnamese soups and pork dishes and in many Swedish preparations.
Did You Know?
– Pepper is native to South and South-East Asia, most notably India
– Vietnam, the world’s biggest producer of pepper, produces 34% of the world’s pepper products
– Pepper vines can grow up to 13 feet in height
White pepper is great for skin, hair, eyes and overall health. It relieves pain, aids in arthritis treatment and even protects against cancer. It contains capsaicin, vitamin A and vitamin C, flavonoids and other bioactive compounds which promote heart health and confers antioxidant properties. Studies show that white pepper is effective in killing several types of cancerous cells in the body, especially that of prostate cancer.
Health benefits of white pepper
The health benefit of white pepper are as follows:
Reduces Blood Pressure
Higher levels of Sodium intake, usually done to increase the flavor of the food consumed, increases the water retention in blood vessels, thereby increasing the blood pressure in the body. This excess fluid in the body can cause a strain on heart and deteriorate its health. Increasing (White) pepper intake, virtually having no Sodium in it, not only reduces hypertension but also maintains the flavor profile of your dish. Moreover, the heat generating property of white pepper leads to the expulsion of excess fluids from the body, further reducing the overall blood pressure. Another effect of increased White Pepper intake is its effect on heart muscles. Studies have found that regular intake of White pepper increases the cross-sectional area of aorta, media thickness, and synthesis of elastin, all aiding in higher levels of blood flow movement in your heart, thus negatively affecting hypertension.
Capsaicin present in white pepper generates heat in the affected areas and helps in reducing pain during spasms and sprains. Capsaicin also has anti-inflammatory properties which can be effective for treatment of arthritis and muscular pain. It also serves useful in getting relief from toothaches and headaches as well.
White pepper has a unique ability to stimulate the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which aids in proper digestion, prevents stomach ulcers and enhances nutrient absorption. White pepper is also termed 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.
Since it plays a quintessential role in metabolism, it also helps in controlling the blood sugar levels. This is especially beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
Due to the heat generating ability of capsaicin, most weight-loss medicines contain white pepper in their composition. The heat generated burns up excess fat in the body which aids in weight loss.
White pepper provides relief from nasal congestion by curing nasal tract infections. It clears the air ducts and helps one breathe properly. People suffering from a bad cough and sore throat can also consume white pepper as a natural remedy.
Maintains Skin, Hair and Eyes
White pepper is excellent for curing vitiligo, a condition in which the skin loses its pigment and turns white. It contains piperine which stimulates skin pigmentation. People with fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots can benefit from white pepper due to its high content of antioxidants. It can also be used as a hair revitalizer and help remove dandruff from the scalp. Additionally, it can improve eyesight and prevent cataract.
How to Have it?
For improving eyesight, you can use white pepper with almond powder, sugar crystals, aniseeds and Triphala powder. For treating cataract, you can combine white pepper with almonds in a 1:5 ratio and then mix it with brown sugar and ghee. Unwanted hair on the skin can be removed by mixing camphor with white pepper and almond oil and allowing the mixture to stay on the skin for 10-15 minutes. To get rid of dandruff, combine white pepper with curd and apply the mixture on your scalp. Wash off the mixture with water after half an hour of application.
White pepper also serves as a great hair revitalizer when used in combination with lemon seeds. Apply the mixture on the hair and leave for 10-15 minutes. Then wash it off to make your hair shiny, lustrous and soft. A mixture of fenugreek seeds powder with white pepper and turmeric when consumed with a glass of milk each day can help you maintain sugar levels to a considerable extent.
100g of white pepper provides 296 Calories, Carbs – 69g (Dietary Fiber – 26g), Protein – 10g, Fat – 2.1g, Sodium – 5mg
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 0%, Vitamin C – 35%, Iron – 80%, Calcium – 26% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).