Capers represent the undeveloped flowers of the bush of the same name /caper bush/. This plant is of the genus Capparis spinosa and belongs to the Cruciferous family.

The diameter of the undeveloped flowers, which are used for food, is about 1 cm. The shrub or herb is distributed in the Mediterranean region, in Asia, India and North Africa.

The original taste of capers and their low caloric content are the reason why they became a very valuable food for humans 2000 years ago, and maybe even earlier. Originally, they were used as food by the ancient Greeks.

It is believed that the name of capers originates from that of the island of Cyprus.

Nutritional value of 100 grams of capers

• Proteins – 0.8 grams;
• Fats – 0.1 grams;
• Carbohydrates – 2.5 grams;
• Mineral salts – 0.1 grams;
• Water – 85 grams;
• Energy value – 14 kilocalories;

Capers are a low-calorie and dietetic food, because in 100 grams, when they are raw, they contain 14 kilocalories per 100 grams.

The calorie content of 100 grams of canned capers is 23 kilocalories. They can be used by everyone, including people suffering from obesity.

Beneficial properties

Capers contain the alkaloid caparidin. Their fruits contain up to 12% sugars, up to 0.32% rutin. And also ascorbic acid, thioglycosides, steroid saponins, the enzyme myrosin, red pigment and iodine.

The undeveloped flowers of the caper bush contain 21-29% proteins, 3-4.6% fat, 0.32% rutin, ascorbic acid, essential oil, pectin.

The seeds contain up to 18% protein and between 26 and 36% high-fat oil.

Capers have been used since ancient times as a means of lowering blood pressure. Their main healing properties are:

• Analgesic;
• Antiseptic;
• Anti-inflammatory;
• Diuretic;

The beneficial properties of capers are determined by their rich composition. Their seeds contain vegetable fiber and a wide range of vitamins – A and group B – B1, B2, B4, B5, B6, tocopherol, vitamin K and nicotinic acid.

In addition, the health benefits of capers are also due to the wide range of trace elements included in their composition – sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, calcium.

Despite all the beneficial properties of this food and its low calorie content, it remains largely unknown to most people that it has been found to contain high levels of sodium.

Excessive intake of this trace element through food can have a negative impact on human health. In order to neutralize the sodium, capers need to be soaked in water before use.

But they would be most useful if they were immersed for a while in olive oil. The caloric content of capers preserved in any oil does not change significantly, so even in this case they remain a dietary food.

In folk medicine, the use of capers has long been recommended in order to reduce and even completely eliminate joint pain due to the disease arthritis.

But they are also applied to other health problems such as:

• Flatulence;
• Various diseases of the thyroid gland;
• Toothaches and inflammation of the gums;
• Cardiovascular pathologies;

All parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes in:

• Itching all over the body;
• Jaundice;
• Neuroses;
• The severe infectious disease brucellosis;

All kinds of manifestations of allergies and rheumatism were already treated by the ancient Arabs with the roots of the caper bush. Unripe buds of capers are an excellent remedy for a weak and absent appetite.

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