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Today we're going to talk about the good and bad side to "pepper'.

Did you know there are 20 different types of pepper in the world? And that each origin of the world produces pepper with different aromas and flavors?

And did you know that all peppercorns start out "green"? How about that white pepper and black pepper are the same and come from the same peppercorn plant?

Well they do . . .

The difference in peppers is this . . . when they dry these "green" peppercorn in the sun . . . they turn "black". And "white" peppercorn they just remove the "green" outer layer either before or after drying, which leaves the white seed.

Peppercorn has a component that's called "piperine" and piperine is the alkaloid responsible for its pungency.

Interesting isn't it?

So why is peppercorn so "good" for us?

Well . . . curcumin in turmeric, that we spoke of the other day, has digestive properties and "piperine' in peppercorn also "enhances" the activity of digestive enzymes in the stomach which helps the body process food more quickly and easily.

So pepper and its piperine . . . are an "enhancer"!

Plus not only does "turmeric" have anti-inflammatory properties which reduce gut inflammation . . . so does "pepper"!

And "black pepper" is known as the "King of Spices" due to its antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

And rightly so . . . because "black pepper" and its "piperine" have amazing effects on the body such as reducing pain, improving breathing, preventing constipation, treating skin problems, aiding in weight loss, treating depression and added with "turmeric" . . . the mix has been known to prevent cancer.

Okay . . . so if that's not good enough . . . how about this . . .

You know that "bad" bacteria I'm always talking about . . . well, studies show that the growth of several bacteria types were "inhibited" when "black pepper" was introduced in the diet. And why?

Because "black pepper" also has antibacterial properties and "immune system" enhancing properties that can help kill "bad" bacteria.

Okay . . . now let's talk about the bad part of "pepper" for some people.

Studies have shown that sufficient amounts of black pepper can "increase" free-radical "production". It's this oxidative effect that may trigger intestinal irritation. Therefore, higher doses of black pepper may be comparable to the harmful gut effects of a single dose of aspirin which causes mild intestinal bleeding.

So no more than 1 teaspoon of black pepper per day.

If you have calcium oxalate kidney stones . . . again foods such as black tea, chocolate, nuts, potatoes, soy products and "black pepper" all contain higher amounts of "oxalates", therefore increasing this risk.

And for anyone taking prescription drugs . . . "black pepper" may significantly increase the absorption of some drugs and should be used with caution in these cases. As always consult your own healthcare provider with these concerns.

As always, feel free to contact me here

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