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Black pepper has long been a part of the Indian diet—a rather essential one at that. This spice is loaded with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep infections at bay and also provide relief from discomfort caused due to wounds and swellings. In fact, it is considered to be one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for immunity, as it is enriched with vitamin C, which naturally boosts immune system function and works as an excellent antibiotic.
As per a research published by the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, black pepper is a rich source of the plant-based compound piperine which is said to be high in antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals in the body, controlling blood sugar cholesterol levels.
While black pepper is used in a number of recipes, we bring to you three easy ways to include it in your diet to give your immunity the boost it needs:
1. Tomato and black pepper soup
Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, tomatoes help prevent free-radical activity and reduce oxidative stress that takes a toll on your immunity. When mixed with black pepper, this soup will not just give you warmth and comfort, but also help in strengthening immunity.
2 to 3 medium tomatoes
1 tsp Crushed black pepper
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-inch ginger (crushed)
1 inch cinnamon stick
20 gms onions, chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1. Boil the tomato, ginger, cinnamon, and crushed black pepper in 250 ml of water.
2. Wait for tomatoes to get pulpy. Allow the boiled stock to cool and then mash it. Sieve the boiled and mashed stock.
3. Heat the oil, fry the garlic and chopped onions till golden brown on a slow flame.
Add the tomato stock and salt to taste. Allow it to boil for a few minutes.
4. Serve hot with a sprinkle of black pepper powder and garnish with mint leaves.
2. Black pepper tea
Rev up your metabolism, fight indigestion, manage weight and boost your immunity, all over a cup of black pepper tea.
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped ginger
1. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan and turn off the gas.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger to the water.
3. Allow it to steep for about five minutes.
4. Strain the tea in a mug and consume it warm.
3. Black pepper kadha
We are right in the middle of the monsoon and what could be better than a warm cup of wholesome goodness laced with immunity-boosting and infection-fighting properties?
1 inch ginger, peeled
5-6 black peppercorns
5-6 fresh basil leaves
½ tsp honey
2-inch cinnamon stick
1. Boil some water in a deep saucepan.
2. Crush the ginger, cloves, black pepper and cinnamon using a mortar and pestle.
3. Once the water is boiled, add all the crushed ingredients along with basil leaves to the saucepan.
4. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or till the concoction is reduced to half.
5. Add honey to the mixture and consume it hot.