I use Black Pepper a lot in my cooking, it isn't merely something that adds flavour but also has numerous health benefits. Black Pepper is used for its aroma, nutritional and medicinal benefits making it surprisingly nutrient rich.
Black Pepper - Piper nigrum - is from a perennial flowering vine from the Piperaceae family. Black peppercorns are made by picking the pepper berries when they are half ripe and just about to turn red. They are left to dry which causes them to shrivel and become dark in colour (there are other peppercorn colours but these are from the same plant, either picked earlier or processed).
Black Peppercorns are a good source of potassium, zinc, manganese, iron, calcium and magnesium. They are also an excellent source of many of the B-complex vitamins such as B1, B2, B3 and B6.
Peppercorns are a good source of vitamin A, C, E and K and are also rich in flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants which help the body to remove harmful free radicals.
Black Pepper is a great digestive, the piperine content stimulates the taste buds to signal the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid. This acid is essential to digest proteins and other foods in the stomach,