One of the simplest seasonings in your spice rack reaps significant rewards. "Black pepper provides zero calories and adds a lot of punch to meals," notes Elisa Zied, M.S., R.D., author of "Nutrition at Your Fingertips." But that's not all. Considered so precious in ancient times it was used as currency, black pepper has been valued for its culinary properties, which include enhancing flavor as well as preserving freshness. And capsaicin, the substance that gives pepper its heat, has anti-cancer effects and works to reduce inflammation, a root of chronic disease.
Photo by Bob Fila
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