Black pepper originates from India where it is obtained from peppercorn plants and has been cultivated before the beginnings of its first empire. This spice has been used as seasoning since its discovery which made it an essential part of Asian cuisine over the centuries. It has been dubbed “king of spice” since trading increased its popularity immensely, in its long history the pepper was used as currency and by Ayurvedic doctors for medicinal purposes that included: antiseptic, digestion problems, and colds. Currently one of the most traded spices in the world; it took a long time before the peppercorn could be cultivated to this scale.
Black pepper can be fully enjoyed by anyone that is restricted by diets (diabetics or overweight individuals) and has no known side effects. 1 tablespoon has 16 calories, 0.21 grams of fat, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 0.04 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. The pepper brings a myriad of health benefits that provide the following:
- Antioxidants (mainly polyphenols) that protect against cell damage caused by free radicals, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
- Piperine (which gives the black pepper its pungent smell) is known to help alleviate pain, increase digestion by improving secretions that will allow your body to absorb nutrients more efficiently, and protects from intestinal conditions (indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation).
- Diets that are black pepper heavy have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides that can greatly benefit diabetics due to the higher chance of obesity.
- Minerals that include potassium and iron help control heart rate, blood pressure, cellular respiration, and increase blood cell production.
While black pepper is readily available in any supermarket please try to buy organic pepper as the nutrients are increased. Peppercorn can be stored at room temperature, but to keep its taste put powdered pepper in a refrigerator. The spice can be used to add flavor to any meal and will not affect the nutritional properties of the dish. It cannot affect any diabetic’s blood sugar levels but if concerned always contact a professional.