Health Benefits of Black Pepper
What an ounce of this spice offers is a lot: 79% of the daily recommended value of the manganese; 57% of the vitamin K; 45% of the iron, and 30% of the fiber. It’s true that one would never have that much pepper in a day, but this helps calculate the nutrients you’d get in a teaspoon: 6% of the manganese needed for an entire day, for instance.
Black pepper is produced from the still-green, unripe drupes of the pepper plant. The drupes are cooked briefly in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying. The heat ruptures cell walls in the pepper, speeding the work of browning enzymes during drying. The drupes dry in the sun or by machine for several days, during which the pepper skin around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer. Once dry, the spice is called black peppercorn. On some estates, the berries are separated from the stem by hand and then sun-dried without the boiling process.
Once the peppercorns are dried, pepper spirit and oil can be extracted from the berries by crushing them. Pepper spirit is used in many medicinal and beauty products. Pepper oil is also used as an ayurvedic massage oil and in certain beauty and herbal treatments.
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