White pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae. Black and white peppercorns are both the fruit of the pepper plant, but they are processed differently. Black peppercorns are picked when almost ripe and sun-dried, turning the outer layer black. White pepper is prepared by having the outer layer removed before or after drying, leaving only the inner seed. Peppercorns are widely believed to the most commonly used culinary spice in the world. It has been used throughout history in herbal medicine and to preserve food.
Health Benefits for White Pepper
Here are the 7 health benefits of white pepper:
1. White pepper may help fight cancer.
Research from the Dalhousie University suggests that white pepper treatment may help against colon cancer.
2. White pepper may aid in digestion.
White pepper helps the body secrete more hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for digesting proteins and other food components. Also, white pepper possesses a considerable amount of fiber. Fiber stimulates peristaltic motion and increased secretion of gastric juices, which eases digestion, prevents conditions like constipation, and protects the body from more serious conditions like colorectal cancer. Fiber can also scrape cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels.
3. White pepper can assist in energy production and antioxidant defense.
White pepper possesses a subtle amount of manganese, which is an essential cofactor in some enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, some enzymes disarm free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), which require manganese.
4. White pepper may improve dental health.
White pepper fights tooth decay and provides quick relief from toothache.
5. White pepper may help skin conditions.
Piperine, in white pepper, has shown to be effective against vitiligo, a skin disease that causes areas of the skin to lose their pigmentation.
6. White pepper may help with weight loss.
It is suggested that piperine in white pepper battles fat by blocking the formation of new fat cells. Researchers from the Sejong University in Seoul, South Korea, mentioned this result in their paper, Piperine, an LXRα antagonist, protects against hepatic steatosis and improves insulin signaling in mice fed a high-fat diet.
7. White pepper is helpful for improving bone health.
White pepper contains minerals, such as manganese, copper, and magnesium, which are essential for healthy bone development and strength, particularly as people begin to age, and their bones gradually weaken.
Side Effects and Risks of White Pepper
- For a start, it may cause a burning aftertaste in your mouth.
- Taken in large amounts, white pepper may accidentally get into the lungs, which has been reported to cause death. This is especially true in children.
- It is not known if white pepper is safe to be applied on children’s skin.
- White pepper may cause redness and burning if they get into the eyes.
Is It Safe to Consume White Pepper During Pregnancy and Breast-feeding?
It is recommended to limit white pepper intake to food amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. While it is unknown if taking large amounts of white pepper during pregnancy and breast-feeding will cause any harm, it is not worth it to risk it. Also, avoid putting pepper on your skin.