Surprising Health Benefits of Caper

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Capers are also called Flinders rose.
  • Caper parts have been used to relieve rheumatic pain in traditional medicines.
  • Capers are rich in minerals like iron, calcium, copper and high levels of sodium.
  • Capers may possess anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Capers can help fight the risk of anemia.
  • Capers are an integral ingredient in Mediterranean cuisines.
  • Pickled caper fruits are more rarely traded. Their flavor is very intensive.


ORIGIN
Capers are the edible, unripened flower buds of Capparis spinosa. The bush of Capers can be found in the Middle East, Central Asia, East Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Australia although the origin remains uncertain. Capers are Dark green buds that are sun-dried and then packed in a vinegar brine.
Grown in India: Ishka Farm is the first organized commercial farm in India to grow Capers. The family-owned farm has started caper cultivation after importing the first saplings from Argentina. Capers are grown in Niravi Pudhupatti’s soil in Tuticorin District, Tamil Nadu which is a deep black cotton soil with a thick layer of calcium rocks. The capers produced here are pungent, intense, deep and rich in flavors. In Tamil, it is called as “Kareer/Kabra”.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

NUTRIENT
UNIT
VALUE (Per 100g)
Proximates
Waterg83.85
Energykcal23
Proteing2.36
Total lipid (fat)g0.86
Carbohydrate, by differenceg4.89
Fiber, total dietaryg3.2
Sugars, totalg0.41
Minerals
Calcium, Camg40
Iron, Femg1.67
Magnesium, Mgmg33
Phosphorus, Pmg10
Potassium, Kmg40
Sodium, Namg2348
Zinc, Znmg0.32
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg4.3
Thiaminmg0.018
Riboflavinmg0.139
Niacinmg0.652
Vitamin B-6mg0.023
Folate, DFEµg23
Vitamin B-12µg0
Vitamin A, RAEµg7
Vitamin A, IUIU138
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)mg0.88
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)µg0
Vitamin DIU0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)µg24.6
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturatedg0.233
Fatty acids, total monounsaturatedg0.063
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturatedg0.304
Fatty acids, total transg0
Cholesterolmg0
Other
Caffeinemg0
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference


HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAPER
1. Weight control
Caper is very beneficial in the process of weight control. They tend to provide a high level of nutrition while at the same time are very much low in calories. So diabetic patients can consume Caper without any issues and hence they no longer need to compromise on their nutrition content.
2. Antioxidant Powers
This is known to contain high levels of an antioxidant known as quercetin. These antioxidants act as prevention for dangerous diseases such as cancer. Also, this quercetin is known to possess anti-viral as well as anti-carcinogenic properties.
3. Controls Cholesterol
Capers contain an antioxidant compound called Rutin which in turn helps in circulation of the blood while at the same time it tends to assist with the control of cholesterol. It helps in removing the levels of bad cholesterol and one of the other compounds present in Caper called niacin helps it in this process.
4. Diabetes Buster
Capers are known to keep diabetes under control. Caper contains certain chemicals which tend to keep the blood sugar levels from rising or falling excessively.
5.Congestion Relief
Capers may fight against stomach aches as well as issues such as flatulence. The spicy buds can be taken to increase the appetite of an individual. Moreover, they are known to cut down phlegm and hence aids in congestion relief.
6. Prevents anaemia
Anaemia is a condition where the individual does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry to the body’s tissues. One common form of anaemia is called iron deficiency anaemia, which is caused by a person not consuming enough iron in their diet. Iron is an essential mineral for the body because it is integral to the compound, haemoglobin, in the red blood cell. The iron in haemoglobin binds to oxygen, which is how oxygen is transported. Without iron, oxygen cannot be attached and carried.
7. Healthy bones
Vitamin K, calcium and magnesium are the minerals present in Caper that helps to maintain the healthy integrity of the bone structure, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
8. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is a defence mechanism in the body when the body tried to remove harmful stimuli and start the healing process. For short periods, inflammation can be a good thing for your body. However, chronic, or long-term, inflammation causes diseases like cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease. A study suggested that caper extracts possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties because of compounds like rutin, ferulic acid, syringic acid, caffeic acid, and catechin.
9. Healthy digestive system
Capers are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which could help reduce constipation and the risk of fecal impaction.
10. Healthy blood vessels
Capers contain an antioxidant compound called Rutin. Rutin in the blood vessels can help in the smooth circulation of the blood and treat strained blood vessels.
IMPORTANT TIPS & FACTS OF CAPER
1. Traditionally, buds washed in the cold water soon after their harvest and allowed to dry in the sun for few hours before being put into tall jars containing vinegar, brine, or olive oil.
2. Capers are usually sold in brine. Store them in the fridge.
3. Caper pickles traditionally added to recipes as an appetite stimulant.
4. They are added to prepare tartare (tuna, venison, salmon, etc.) and tomato sauce.
5. The pickled buds used as a flavouring in antipasto salads and as a topping on pizzas.
6. Capers render distinctive taste to vegetables, meat, veal, and fish recipes.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CAPER
1. Diabetic patients who are on medication should avoid eating too much of capers as they both will lead to highly reduced levels of sugar.
2. The people who are suffering from high blood pressure shouldn’t consume these vegetables much as they tend to contain sodium which will increase the blood pressure further.
3. If you are on a low sodium diet you should avoid capers since they are a rich source of sodium.
4. A common sign of eating excess capers is extreme thirst. So, try to consume it in moderate amounts.