Envision yourself in India during the Mesolithic Era, before Pangaea separated the continents, and cavemen ruled the world. As a caveman (or cavewoman), your main duty was to search for food and to find ways to enhance the flavor of food. You had to forge through giant-fern infested forests and thick underbrush to find nutritious berries and healthy vegetables. With no farmer’s market, grocery chain, specialty market, top chef, Food Network, or restaurant to tempt your taste buds, you were on your own in the kitchen – well, it really was a campfire, but a primitive kitchen just the same. One day you run into a leafy green plant that has a black peppercorn. And whala! The rest is history.
Through fossils, Archaeologists have discovered that the prehistoric people of India used peppercorns as a spice for seasoning. The Malabar region of India – the southern lands between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea – is said to be the source of black pepper. Black pepper is the fruit (or berry) of a flowering vine in the Piperaceae plant family. The berry is cultivated, dried, and used as spice.
Over time, black pepper became known as the king of spices around the world. Not only used for cooking, it was used for its healing properties and mystic vibe. The Egyptians used it in their mummification rituals, inserting peppercorns into nostrils Ramesses II’s mummy. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, was known to use black pepper for medicinal purposes. Through the Middle Ages, black pepper was often referred to as black gold. Peppercorns were treasured for trading and sometimes used for bartering.
According to GreenHealthMatters.com, adding black pepper to your diet could help you lose weight. It is a thermogenic spice that has been shown to decrease belly fat (visceral fat). Boosting metabolism, peppercorn’s outer layer creates an enzymatic reaction that may assist in the breakdown of fat cells, helping you to lose weight. Besides weight loss, black pepper is known for its natural anti-depressant attributes, improving mood. It also contains antioxidants that fight free radicals. Here are a few black pepper concoctions to try to help with your weight loss efforts. Use fresh ground black pepper for best results.
Black Pepper And Lemon Juice Elixir
Everydayroots.com suggests creating a ground black pepper and lemon juice elixir. Black pepper along with the fresh lemon juice is said to interfere with the creation of fat cells. By reducing fat cells, circulation is increased and nutrients are absorbed more quickly. Besides that, you will feel lighter. Pour the juice of ½ of an organic fresh lemon into an eight ounce glass of water. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Take the elixir once daily after a meal.
Black Pepper Martini
Every diet needs at least one cocktail – once a week! A snazzy concoction, try a Black Pepper Martini cocktail this evening. Gently stir one ounces gin, ½ ounce dry vermouth, and ¼ ounce black peppercorn syrup. Add ice if desired. Serve in a martini glass with an olive garnish.
To avoid extra calories, use Skinny Girl Vodka. In a tall cocktail glass, add ice, one ounce vodka, one dash salt, one dash fresh ground black pepper, four ounces Clamato juice, and tabasco sauce to taste. Serve with a lime wedge.
Black Pepper Tea
Try adding fresh ground black pepper to your favorite tea. Be careful, not too much. Create your own black pepper tea by adding 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper to two cups hot water. Add a tablespoon of organic clover honey and a splash of fresh lemon juice for added flavor. Stir and enjoy.
A teaspoon of fresh ground pepper contains a trace of fat, 0.6 grams of fiber, 3.8 micrograms of vitamin K, and only six calories. Coffeetea.com suggests adding black pepper to Masala Spice Tea (my favorite). Some people like fresh ground pepper in their beer. If you do not like adding ground pepper to your teas, water, beer, or cocktails, just sprinkle on top of your daily meals. It’s just that easy. Another option is to purchase black pepper supplements with added curcumin to increase absorption into the body.
Too much ground pepper and you are likely to sneeze in your tea! Achoo! Ground black pepper, like all foods, should be used in moderation, and over consumption has been known to lead to adverse reactions. Consult with your healthcare provider about using black pepper for weight loss.