You probably know Capers as a small and tangy condiment often used in Mediterranean cuisine. These little flower buds are packed with flavor and have a long history of culinary and medicinal use. Here are some interesting facts about capers and why you should consider adding them to your diet.
What Are Capers?
First of all, capers come from the caper bush, a plant native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. The buds are usually harvested before they bloom into flowers and are then dried and pickled in vinegar or brine. Capers are commonly used in Italian, Greek, and French cuisine to add a salty, tangy flavor to dishes like pasta, salads, and sauces.
Today, capers are widely used in Mediterranean cuisine and are enjoyed for their unique flavor and versatility. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta sauces to salad dressings, and can even be sprinkled over pizza or used as a garnish for cocktails.
How Are Capers Used?
One of the most popular dishes featuring capers is the classic Italian dish, chicken piccata. This dish features chicken breast cooked in a lemon-caper sauce, which is made by sautéing capers, lemon juice, butter, and white wine. The result is a tangy and flavorful sauce that perfectly complements the chicken.
Capers are also commonly used in salads, particularly in the famous French salad, salade Niçoise. This salad features lettuce, boiled potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, and – of course – capers. The capers add a tangy and salty flavor to the salad, which is then dressed with a vinaigrette made with olive oil, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Capers?
One of the reasons capers are so flavorful is because they are high in quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Additionally, capers are a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium.
But capers aren’t just good for your health – they also have a fascinating history. In ancient times, capers were used for medicinal purposes, and were believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties. In fact, the famous Greek physician Hippocrates recommended capers as a remedy for scorpion bites.
Capers are a small but mighty food, packed with a surprising array of health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids and carotenoids, which can help protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Additionally, capers are a good source of fiber, which can help support healthy digestion and promote feelings of fullness. They also contain vitamin K, which is important for bone health, and vitamin C, which plays a role in immune function and skin health. With their unique tangy flavor and impressive nutritional profile, capers are a delicious and healthy food choice.
What Makes Capers An Anti-cancer Food?
Capers also possess potential anti-cancer properties due to their high content of flavonoids and quercetin, which have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent the formation of tumors. Quercetin, in particular, has been found to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may help protect against cancer.
Additionally, capers are a natural source of rutin, a flavonoid compound that has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. While more research is needed to fully understand the anti-cancer properties of capers, incorporating this flavorful food into your diet may offer some protective benefits against this disease.