Traditionally, pepper was used as a carminative agent to help relieve gas as well as to stimulate gastric secretions. This “king of spices” was also valued for gastrointestinal purposes, including to relieve vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Emerging research hints that its health benefits extend far beyond this, including offering anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiobesity and antidiabetes properties. Black pepper is also protective of the heart, brain and liver and can be combined with other nutrients to increase absorption. For best results, flavor and freshness, choose whole peppercorns and grind them fresh when you need them.
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