In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How hot is black pepper?”, discuss how black pepper works, and what are the health benefits of black pepper.
How hot is black pepper?
Black pepper is 100000 Scoville heat unit hot. This heat level is comparatively low than the heat level of other hot peppers.
What is black pepper?
Black pepper, also regarded as the king of spices, is incredibly popular among spices since ancient times. Its source is peppercorn that botanically belongs to the family Piperaceae, in the genus of Piper. It is scientifically known as Piper nigrum.
Peppercorn is native to the tropical evergreen rain forest of India, from where it spread to the rest of the world through Indian and Arab traders.
What gives black pepper its heat?
The heat level of black pepper is incredibly mild compared to any other chili on the Scoville scale, but it does have a level of pungency to it. That spiciness doesn’t come from the capsaicin, rather it is from a chemical compound named piperine that gives black pepper its heat.
How does black pepper work?
Black pepper works due to its chemical piperine. This chemical seems to have many effects on the body including pain reduction, reduction in inflammation, and improvement in breathing. Black pepper is also involved in dealing with conditions that are related to better functioning of the brain, however, the exact function is not yet known in this regard.
What is the nutritional profile of black pepper?
According to the USDA National Nutrient database, the nutritional profile of black pepper per 100g (255 kCal) is given as:
|Nutrient/ mineral||Amount||%age of RDA||Nutrient/ mineral||Amount||%age of RDA|
|Total fat||3.26g||11%||Dietary fiber||26.5g||69%|
|Vitamin A||299 IU||10%||Vitamin E||4.56mg||30%|
|Vitamin K||163mcg||136%||Vitamin C||21mg||35%|
*RDA= Recommended Dietary Allowance
What are the health benefits of black pepper?
Black pepper, while used in cooking and garnishing in cuisines the world over, comes with lots of health benefits. Some of these health benefits are as follows:
- Prevents cancer
The piperine present in black pepper is a potential source of preventing the consumer from cancer. When combined with turmeric, the results become twice potent.
The presence of other antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenes also help in removing free radicals and protect the body from cancers and other diseases.
- Stimulate digestion
The piperine in black pepper also eases the digestion process and stimulates the stomach. As a result, there is more secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCl), which helps to digest protein in food.
- Relieves cold and cough
Being rich in vitamin C, black pepper works best as an antibiotic. This antibacterial nature of the black pepper helps to cure a cold and cough. It also helps to alleviate chest congestion, often caused due to pollution, flu, or a viral infection. A teaspoon of honey with freshly crushed black pepper does the trick!
- Encourages weight loss
Black pepper is brilliant in extracting nutrients from the food. It contains phytonutrients in its outermost layer, which help to breakdown fat cells and also increase metabolism.
- Improves skin
Crushed black pepper is one of the best exfoliators that nature has provided us. But do not use it directly, though you can add a bit of honey, curd, or fresh cream to it. It also enables blood circulation and provides the skin with more oxygen.
Adding black pepper to your food also takes care of unwarranted skin wrinkles. It is also known to cure vitiligo, a condition when the skin loses pigmentation and develops white patches.
- Addresses depression
The piperine in black pepper also helps to deal with depression. It stimulates the brain and helps it to function properly by making it more active.
How can you store black pepper?
To take maximum advantage of black pepper regarding the health benefits, it is very important to store it in the best possible way. The best recommendation in this regard is to buy the whole peppercorn and get it crushed at home. Doing so will help you make sure that the spice retains its flavor, but also that it lasts longer.
Store the crushed black pepper in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry, and dark place.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How hot is black pepper?”, discussed how black pepper works, and what are the health benefits of black pepper.
- Scoville Scale for Peppers and Other Hot Chemicals (sciencenotes.org)
- Is Black Pepper Good For You? | PepperScale
- Black Pepper: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions (rxlist.com)
- Black pepper nutrition facts, medicinal properties, and health benefits (nutrition-and-you.com)
- 6 Amazing Black Pepper Benefits: More than Just a Spice – NDTV Food