Can You Eat Pepper Seeds?

Can You Eat Pepper Seeds?

Pepper seeds come from whole peppers such as bell peppers, black pepper, and hot chilies. You may have encountered a bad reputation for pepper seeds when it comes to hot peppers. Different people can make a dish too hot according to preferences. 

Although researchers have not found a lot of information on the nutritional value of the pepper seeds, some studies have found them to be rich in minerals such as potassium and provide protein and linoleic acid. They are also a source of fiber but contain anti-natural compounds such as phytic acid and tannins.

So, can you eat pepper seeds? Yes, you can. Pepper seeds are not toxic, but they can be unpleasant to eat, especially bell pepper seeds when used in large amounts in your meal. 

Is Eating Pepper Seeds Safe?

As a lover of pepper, you may wonder from time to time whether eating pepper seeds is safe for you. Yes, they are. Pepper seeds are not toxic, although you might still feel the urge to remove them before eating. They tend to be a bit bitter but not enough to ruin your dish. 

Besides being bitter, they do not add any value to your meals, thus requiring most chefs to leave them out. The most important thing to consider is the mouth-feel. Moreover, having small, hard bits of pepper seeds in your dish can be extremely annoying. It is even worse when incorporated into a supposedly smooth dish such as purees and soups. 

Therefore, you should consider removing seeds before cooking or straining them after your dish is ready. You can achieve this in dishes such as soups, sauces, and purees.

If you are worried about your chilies’ spiciness, the seeds in the peppers do not contain capsaicin which contributes to the heat of peppers. The whitish pithy innards of your pepper, also known as the placenta, contain capsaicin, which you can remove to lessen the heat. 

However, the seeds are coated with oils from the pith, so if you detect heat in your seeds, it will be from the placenta and not the seeds themselves.

Reasons You May Want to Remove Seeds Before or Cooking with Chili Peppers

Even after all is said, the following are reasons you may want to remove the chili pepper seeds before cooking them. 

  • Most pepper seeds can have an unpleasant bitter taste which may emit subtle flavors that may affect your recipes. Hotter peppers are rarely used in recipes requiring subtle flavors, as many of them welcome you with a wave of heat. As you cook more and more with peppers and appreciate how nuanced they can be, removing them may benefit the overall flavor.
  • When removing the peppers’ pith, which helps reduce the heat, you will end up getting rid of the seeds. Some myths state that removing the pepper seeds helps reduce your final dish’s spiciness, which is inaccurate. The pepper heat resides in the pith, which holds the seeds.
  • The most crucial factor that may lead you to remove the pepper seeds before cooking or eating is the texture. In soup, puree, or sauce recipes, you will notice the seeds floating all over your dish. The seeds tend to escape processing hence throwing your smooth dish off balance. 

If your ultimate plan is to prepare a smooth dish, you can either remove the seeds before cooking. Alternatively, strain the final cooked product after processing to remove the solids, including the seeds. 

What are the Benefits of Eating Black Pepper Seeds?

Black pepper falls under the pepper category, where the seeds are bigger than chili or bell pepper seeds. The seeds are eaten when grounded to add spice to your dishes. They are beneficial to your health since they contain nutrients such as piperine which protect against cell damage, aid in digestive issues, and improve nutrient absorption.

The following are some of the benefits of eating black pepper seeds:

Benefit #1: Black Pepper Seeds Act as a Powerful Antioxidant

Studies show that black pepper seeds act as a powerful antioxidant in your body. They fight cellular damage caused by free radicals. They are a result of low diet, smoking, or pollutants. Besides piperine, black pepper contains other anti-inflammatory compounds such as essential oils and beta-caryophyllene. 

Benefit #2: Helps in Boosting Nutrient Absorption

Black pepper enhances the absorption and function of certain nutrients and beneficial compounds. It also helps improve the absorption of beta-carotene, which is found in vegetables and fruits converted into vitamin A. 

Benefit #3: Helps in Digestion and Prevent Diarrhea

Black pepper seeds help promote proper stomach function since it stimulates the release of pancreatic and intestinal enzymes that help in fat and carbs digestion. It also prevents diarrhea by slowing food digestion.

What are the Possible Side Effects of Eating Black Pepper Seeds?

Black pepper is safe for human consumption in average amounts of food. However, there are adverse effects of eating large quantities of black pepper, such as burning sensations in your stomach and throat. 

Therefore,if you’re interested in increasing your black pepper intake or taking piperine supplements, make sure you check with your healthcare provider about possible drug interactions.

Final Thoughts

  • Pepper seeds are not toxic though they can be unpleasant when eaten, especially bell pepper seeds when consumed in large amounts in your meal. 
  • Pepper seeds are often bitter but cannot cause any harm to your body. However, they do not add any value to your meals, which is why most chefs take them out while cooking.
  • There are numerous reasons why you should remove pepper seeds before cooking. They include the fact that they are bitter and may interfere with the texture of smooth dishes.
  • Black pepper seeds provide several health benefits, such as acts as a powerful antioxidant, boosts nutrient absorption, help in digestion, and prevents diarrhea. 
  • Large consumption of black pepper seeds may affect you negatively by causing burning sensations in your stomach and throat.