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Black Pepper

Black pepper is the most flavorful and pungent of peppers, it is also the most widely used and easily available. In fact, you'll find it on the table at most restaurants in the United States. But don't let that ease of access diminish it's importance in your diet. Black pepper can be a powerful tool in your nutritional planning!
  • Prevents Cancer: Separate studies conducted by Dalhousie University in Canada and the University of Michigan Cancer Center, found that black pepper prevents the development of cancer tumors. The University of Michigan Study also found that black pepper's antic carcinogenic properties are heightend when combined with turmeric. Black pepper is also a source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenes and other anti-oxidants which remove free radicals and protect the body from cancers and diseases.
  • Supports Digestion: Piperine-- a compound found in black pepper aids digestion by stimulating taste buds which signal the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid. Hydrocloric acid is required for the digestion of foods in the stomach, preventing flatulence, indigestion, and acidity.
  • Aids Weight Loss: The outer layer of black pepper contains phytonutrients that help breakdown of fat cells and promotes sweating which helps the body rid itself of excess water and toxins.
  • Reduces Gas: Known for its carminative properties (a substance that prevents the formation of gas) black pepper is great to relieve discomfort caused due to flatulence and colicky pain. Adding pepper to your meals instead of chili powder will help relieve flatulence.
  • Relieves Nasal Congestion: Black pepper has strong antibacterial properties that make it a natural remedy for colds and coughs. It helps relieve a stuffy nose by irritating mucous membranes and clearing out nasal passages.
  • A Natural Anti-depressant: In September, 2013, The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology reported piperine increases the cognitive functions and fights depression.
  • Enhances Bioavailability: The piperene in black pepper also heightens the efficient use of nutrients by the body.
Remember, black pepper is a spice that is and should be used in small quantities. Too much of this good thing can pose health risks that may include gastrointestinal discomfort, respiratory irritation-- particularly for  sufferers -- and edema. People with ulcers, IBD or who have recently had abdominal surgery should avoid black pepper!  It may have irritating effects on the intestines.

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