Nutrition of Capers

Nutrition of Capers
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What Are Capers?

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Capers are the still unopened flower buds from the Capparis spinosa plant. Because it thrives in hot, humid climates, this perennial is native to the Mediterranean region, specifically southern France, Cyprus, Italy, Greece, Algeria and some parts of Asia and northern Africa. These plants are also being cultivated in the more humid regions of California. But what is the history, significance and nutrition of capers?

Historical Significance of the Caper

A fascinating fact about this unique food is that its recognition dates back to the stories of Gilgamesh where it is described in detail. This puts the use of the caper as a food product to approximately 3000 B.C.E.

How Are Capers Harvested?

Capers must be manually harvested. This time consuming and labor intensive process has to occur in the early morning hours, before the still unripened buds have had the opportunity to bloom. Care must be taken to pick these tender buds without damaging them and then immediately dry them on special racks in the sun. This labor intensive process makes for costly harvesting and is a primary cause for a more expensive product at the supermarket. Buds can be as small as a centimeter and as large as a small grape. The smaller the bud, the more flavorful the caper.

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Nutritional and Health Values: Vitamins, and Minerals

Capers have wonderful nutritional value. Capers are naturally high in both rutin and quercetin. Rutin and Quercetin are known for their anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits. These benefits aid in maintaining, as well as cleansing the body, and relieving the body from pain and discomfort. Additionally, studies show rutin aids in maintaining blood health. Capers also serve as a source of vitamins A and K, as well as calcium, copper and iron.

Calories for One Serving

All the fabulous added flavor that a 1 tablespoon serving (canned) provides adds no significant caloric value.

Fat, Carbohydrate, Protein and Fiber Values Per Serving

Capers provide no added fat for a single serving portion. Additionally, there are no additional carbohydrates, protein, and fiber values either.

What About Cholesterol?

There is no cholesterol in a single serving of capers.

Some Sodium, Though

One serving of capers can include approximately two hundred and sixty milligrams of sodium. This seemingly disproportionate sodium content comes largely from packaging and can be reduced by rinsing the capers prior to use.

How To Buy Capers

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Capers can be found canned or in jars and are usually in a brine or salted. They are best in dishes after rinsing if salt content is a concern. They are generally imported, however domestic capers from California are also available. The smaller the caper, the more flavorful, and the more expensive.

How To Use and Enjoy Capers

Delicious added to fresh salads, capers offer a unique, slightly tangy burst of flavor. They can be cooked into sauces or added to fish or meat dishes for a complimentary bite of taste. They have what can be termed a lemony and tangy flavor that offers a unique addition to hearty soups and stews. You will often find them in supermarkets as a flavor enhancer to your favorite jarred or specialty olives and other condiments.

Add a wonderful, unique flavor to your food. When you consider the fantastic health and nutrition of capers, why not try them today?


Capers: What Are Capers? -

Nutrient Facts: Canned Capers Nutrition Facts -

Capers: Capers Nutrition Facts -