When we talk about capers, we’re referring to the flower buds of the Capparis spinosa (caper bush) perennial plant (ie. living longer than 2-years) that are usually salted, pickled and used to garnish and season dishes. Capers are native to the Mediterranean basin. They are produced mainly in Morocco, Spain, Turkey and Italy with its famous capers from Sicily and Pantelleria. According to researchers in Italy capers are, among other things, rich in antioxidants and appear to have cancer and heart disease-fighting properties especially when added to meat-containing meals. Read on to find out more in our Top 5 Health Benefits of Capers!
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Capers are extremely rich in antioxidants, in particular they contain flavonoid compounds such as quercetin (useful to a degree, for heart conditions and blood vessels) and rutin (useful in treatment of varicose veins, hemorrhoids and internal bleeding).
Capers are also used topically to treat skin conditions such as pimples, irritation, and rosacea (skin redness). It also helps to reduce the effect of aging on your skin. They also seem to provide moisture to the skin and relief from dryness and other skin conditions.
3. Vitamin K
A tablespoon of capers contains about 31% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K. Vitamin K is known as the “blood clotting vitamin”; low levels of vitamin K might lead to unusual bleeding patterns. In addition, vitamin K helps to keep your bones healthy reducing the risk of osteoporosis (decreasing bone density).
An absolutely necessary mineral for your body as it helps red blood cells transport oxygen in your body. Iron is also important since it aids your cells to produce sufficient energy for your daily life. Since capers aren’t usually eaten in large quantities you probably won’t rely on them as your sole source of iron. 100g yields approximately 9% of your daily recommended intake.
5. UV Protection
Compounds found in capers seem to have photo protective properties which might well help protect you against from UV (ultraviolet) rays therefore reducing the risk of erythema and redness caused by UV rays.
The unique, tangy, piquant flavour of capers might not be to everyone’s palate when eaten alone but make an excellent accompaniment when added to your pizzas, salad vinaigrette or pastas dishes! What kind of caper did you engage in after eating well…capers? What health benefits have you noted? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. Check out our other health food and fitness articles to help you get YOUR Fit back on track!