This is the holiday season for a certain spice and everything nice that comes along with it.
A new study claims that black pepper, the unassuming condiment on almost everyone's kitchen table, may be making people healthier.
Research has suggested people who use black pepper in their meals may be helping the nutrients in foods become more available in their body, HealthNews.com reports. It's thanks to piperine, the major alkaloid in the spice.
Other studies have shown piperine can enhance digestive health, which reduces the time food remains in the body.
That's not all. Piperine may also increase endorphins in the brain and can act as a natural anti-depressant, as well as decrease stomach ulcers, and possibly stop asthma symptoms, according to the website.
The article also states pepper has been known to increase brain functions, which may be good news to Alzheimer patients celebrating the holidays with a special meal.
Unfortunately, some people are allergic or do not like the spice. Those who don't like the black dots on their food can find piperine in natural supplements and vitamins. However, people should consult their doctor before trying over-the-counter supplements.