Salt and pepper are among the most common spices you will find. Look at any table in a restaurant or any counter-top in a home. You're almost guaranteed to find those recognizable chrome-topped shakers. There's no need to guess what the contents are, as these icons have become ubiquitous in American culture.
It’s well known that salt is a vital ingredient in the human diet, but how much does it impact our health? What are the specific benefits? Furthermore, what can pepper provide for us that warrants its place at the dinner table?
Salt serves as more than a flavor enhancer and food preserver. Sodium specifically, one of the components found in salt, is essential for proper biological function. It’s primary role is to regulate the body’s water concentration around cells and allow for proper electrical flow for things like muscle contractions.
In excess, too much sodium can be detrimental to health, showing a correlation to high blood pressure when not balanced with sufficient potassium according to the CDC. Most processed foods contain more than enough sodium per serving, so limiting your intake can be healthy in many ways.
In eating a diet consisting of non-processed foods, a lot of excess salt can be avoided. Thus, using salt as a flavor enhancer should be providing you with more than the necessary dietary amount.
Pepper, specifically black peppercorn, has been shown to have a bit more interesting health impacts you wouldn’t expect. Studies on this common spice uncover some great benefits.
You may have heard the term antioxidant thrown around when it comes to health foods. Pepper is no exception. As an antioxidant, it can neutralize free radicals throughout the body, protecting cells from damage.
Another interesting benefit is the way it promotes nutrient absorption and digestive efficiency with its pepperine compound. The amount of time to completely process food by the digestive system is reduced. With the growing research about the importance of gut health, pepper may soon be considered a superfood.
Preground pepper may lose some of its flavor and nutrients during processing and packaging. To get the best benefit, consider using freshly ground peppercorns. We offer electric salt and pepper grinders that do the trick with the press of a button. They’re also fun to use. As a result, you’ll want to have pepper in your diet more often.