Whole black peppercorns were once considered so valuable they were used as currency in Europe and traded for gold. Today, peppercorns are nearly everywhere and valued for their nutritional properties, in addition to spicing up recipes.

Available in whole and ground varieties, dried black peppercorn contains vitamin K, iron, and manganese. Peppercorn’s spicy flavor is also a source of the compound piperine, which is used to relieve itching, aid digestion, and strengthen the respiratory system in natural medicine. Piperine has also been shown to improve antioxidant response and contain anti-diabetic properties

Piperine is currently being studied as a therapeutic cancer agent when administered as a dose. There haven’t been clinical trials in humans yet, so it’s recommended to simply consume peppercorn in its whole form to get its full nutritional value.

Chef Tips

Whole peppercorns keep their taste and aroma more than twice as long as ground. Freshly ground peppercorns will contain more aromatic oils, making them more flavorful than pre-ground pepper.

Pepper is a versatile and widely used spice that can spruce up any recipe. Ground white pepper is often used in Asian cuisine, and has a drier, muskier taste than black pepper.

A couple of pinches of freshly ground black pepper can be added to everything from unctuous risottos to hearty soups, and even add depth to fruity desserts.

Registered Dietitian Approved

There are many misconceptions about nutrition and cancer in widespread media. By using current scientific literature, plus recommendations of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society, our Registered Dietitian, Kate Ueland, MS, RD, and our team of editors work to help our readers discern truth from myth.

The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always consult your physician or registered dietitian for specific medical advice.

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