If you love Italian food, chances are good that you know what capers are. However, if you don’t regularly prepare such dishes, capers may be a new concept to you, but one you should definitely invest the time in getting to know since they stay have several beneficial effects on health.
Wondering what some of these benefits are? In this article we will explore what capers really are and how they can improve your health.
What Are Capers?
Known binomially as Capparis spinose, capers are allegedly native to the Mediterranean region, though this is disputed as they could have also originated in a tropical region and subsequently naturalized there.
Simply put, capers can be regarded as flower buds that are usually harvested from a specific type of Bush. The plant is also known as several things depending on where you are from.
The plant can be found growing abundantly around the Mediterranean regions, including North Africa and parts of Asia. It grows exceptionally well in dry climates and does not require frequent water. This makes it excellent for growing in desert climates.
Nutrition Info (per 100g) % RDI
Total Carbohydrate 4.9g
Dietary Fiber 3.2g 13%
Protein 2.4g 5%
Vitamin A 138IU 3%
Vitamin C 4.3mg 7%
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) 0.9mg 4%
Vitamin K 24.6mcg 31%
Riboflavin 0.1mg 8%
Folate 23mcg 6%
Calcium 40mg 4%
Iron 1.7mg 9%
Magnesium 33mg 8%
Zinc 0.3mg 2%
Copper 0.4mg 19%
Manganese 0.1mg 4%
Selenium 1.2mcg 2%
12 Amazing Benefits Of Capers (Kachra)
1. Can Assist With Diabetes Management
Capers were not some miraculous discovery, but have actually being used for centuries throughout parts of the Middle East, including Israel, Iran and Morocco, where it was found to help balance blood sugar levels. Best of all is the fact that it does not seem to significantly affect insulin levels, but rather can help improve the utilization of glucose.
In addition to short-term blood glucose management, studies have also indicated that it can help enhance HbA1c management, which is a measure of blood glucose control over time.
2. Supports The Health Of The Skin
Capers can do much more than people often think it is capable of, including helping to safeguard the skin against the impact of excessive UV damage by the sun. Compounds found in capers act primarily by reducing the impact of UV mediated oxidation and inflammation, which in turn help safeguard the health of your skin.
3. May Help Regulate Blood Pressure
Capers may also help manage blood pressure, thanks to its effect on balancing electrolyte levels.
Minerals such as sodium, potassium and chloride are closely related and regulate blood and fluid volume. In the event of excessive retention of sodium or chloride ions, water volume increases in turn leading to more work on the heart and blood vessels.
Capers helps reduce blood pressure by increasing the elimination of these minerals in the urine. In turn, it is considered a natural diuretic of sorts since it can helps remove excess fluid and support normal blood pressure.
4. Helps Support Liver Function
Your liver is a very resilient organ, capable of regenerating itself following damage or excessive strain. However, consistently causing elevation of the enzymes found in the liver can increase the risk of liver damage occurring, along with other comorbidities such as fatty liver disease.
Previously, fatty liver disease was believed to solely occur in alcoholics, but the shift in dietary patterns over the past half a century has led to the diagnosis of more and more cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can have the same dire consequences of cirrhosis.
Consumption of capers can help reduce inflammation within the liver, and mitigate possible liver damage and subsequent cell death.
5. Reduces Seasonal Allergies
When thinking of allergy management, capers may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it is a very promising natural remedy for reducing the impact of seasonal allergies, and may prove a very useful adjuvant in people with asthma who suffer from hyper responsive airways that cause inflammation and narrowing of the bronchioles within the lungs.
In addition to being used systemically, extracts of capers can also be applied to the skin as a type of topical antihistamine in order to suppress the subsequent inflammation usually triggered by this chemical mediator.
6. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
It is important to realize that a reduction in cancer risk does not equate to absolute prevention, since this is unlikely, but every little bit helps when trying to avoid this behemoth of a disease.
Extracts made of capers has been shown to help promote the programmed death of specific cancer cells, especially when involving the stomach or liver. Other promising findings indicate that it may suppress the ability of cancer cells to divide and replicate, and may even help suppress the effect of carcinogens from causing cancerous changes in the body.
7. May Help Accelerate Recovery Following Fractures
While fractures usually heal on their own over time, the fact of the matter is that bone is unlikely to ever assume it’s 100% anatomical shape, owing to defects during the regeneration phase. Use of capers can help support the formation of new bone tissue, as well as that of supporting connective tissue types, by increasing the rate of production of specific cell types.
It is still important to supply the body with the necessary raw materials in the form of minerals and other amino acids that are critical to the rebuilding process.
8. Can Help Prevent Constipation
Consumption of the entire capers fruit can significantly reduce your likelihood of experiencing constipation, owing to the presence of significant fiber. Although you are unlikely to eat a large amount of capers at any one time, when trying to meet your daily intake goals every little bit helps.
9. Can Reduce Arthritis Pain
One of the reasons why arthritis gets progressively worse is owing to the fact that chronic inflammation accelerates the wear of connective tissue surrounding the joint, in turn triggering even more pain.
Extracts made of capers can help block inflammatory mediators which accelerate breakdown and worsen pain, and when combined with a collagen supporting diet can even lead to a net increase in production of connective tissue.
This is the goal of arthritis management, but it is scarcely achieved.
10. Supports Healthy Hair Growth
Capers is sometimes included an all-natural hair growth formulas, since being a good source of B vitamins and iron, it can help to support the active growth phase of hair. In addition to helping to support red blood cell synthesis, adding direct nourishment for hair follicles will also support their growth.
11. Can Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Being a rich source of fiber, capers exerts the usual benefits you would expect to see on cholesterol. Fiber acts as a sort of natural sponge for excess dietary fat, helping to remove them from circulation and also promoting the excretion of bile. In turn, fat stores are recruited and effect is a net drop in cholesterol.
In addition to this common trait, capers also helps actively reduce levels of circulating triglycerides, LDL and VLDL, but does not actively suppress HDL levels.
12. Effective Natural Mucolytic
Capers is able to break up mucus within the chest cavity, helping with its expulsion. This, of course, leads to improvement in breathing and can be of great benefit to people dealing with respiratory tract infections.
If you live in an area where capers are considered exotic, you may be wondering where you can get them. The good news is, they are usually sold soaked in a brine solution, the way most olives are. This is necessary for preservation and retention of the moisture properties.
You hardly have a reason not to get these. Get yours now, add some to your meals and benefit from their health prowess in the process.