Capers are the unripe flower buds of Capparis spinosa. They are also called Flinders rose. Capers are perennial winter deciduous plants which are native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia and South Africa.
These are an integral ingredient in Mediterranean cuisines.
After these pea sized buds are cultivated, they are dried in the sun and used in pickles due to their tangy lemony flavor. Ancient history says capers were used in Sumerian food.
Capers range in size from that of a peppercorn or nonpareil up to the size of a small green olive.
Larger capers are stronger in flavor but if you want to enjoy its aroma go for the tiny ones.
Caper buds are picked by hand. They not only add some vibrant flavor to your meals, they are also known for their immense health benefits.
One tablespoon of capers contain just two calories. Hence capers can be a good option if you are following a low calorie diet. Apart from its low calorie benefit, they also contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins essential for optimum health.
pickled capers are 84% water, 5% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. Preserved capers are often particularly high in sodium content. In a typical serving of 28 grams (one ounce), capers supply 6 calories and 35% of the Daily Value (DV) for sodium, with no other nutrients in significant content. In a 100 gram amount, the sodium content is 2960 mg or 197% DV, with vitamin K (23% DV), iron (13% DV), and riboflavin (12% DV)
Side Effects of Capers
If you are on a low sodium diet you should avoid capers since they are a rich source of sodium.
A common sign of eating excess capers is extreme thirst. So try to consume it in moderate amounts.
Capers retain water naturally since they contain a high amount of sodium. Hence this water retention can make you feel bloated. Be careful about eating excessive amount of capers.
If you suffer from high blood pressure you should avoid eating capers. Excess sodium increases blood volume since it retains water. Excess sodium intake could put the body at risk for heart diseases.
Another side effect of eating too much capers is the risk of developing osteoporosis. Sodium decreases your bone density which causes them to lose strength. It also prevents your body from absorbing calcium, which is crucial for building and retaining bone health. The weak bone condition often leads to osteoporosis. And if you already have osteoporosis, better stay away from capers.
Capers should be avoided when you are pregnant or are undergoing any surgery .