The Health Benefits of Capers
Nothing says “I’m better than you” like cooking with capers. Most people either love or hate the flavor of those salty little green pellets, but no matter what, if you serve them at a dinner party and someone complains about it you can very aristocratically say “That’s okay, not everyone has refined enough tastes to enjoy the delicate nuances of capers” while gracefully adjusting your tiara. This is especially helpful when the dinner party consists only of you, your husband (who does not appreciate capers, by the way), and your toddler. Here are just a few of the health benefits to justify cooking like a princess:
- Stachydrine, a phytochemical found in capers, has been found to be a “potent anti-metastatic agent” in regards to prostate cancer and seems to work at the genetic level to keep prostate cancer cells from reproducing. So you are actually cooking with capers to keep all the prostates at the dinner table healthy!
- Bioflavonoids from capers have been found to inhibit NF-kappa B activation. Who cares? Even if you don’t, the drug companies do. NF-kappa B is a major target for drug research because this factor has been found to be chronically activated in disease states such as cancer, arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even acne.
- Extracts from caper plants have been found to lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. Of course, if your hypertension is due to salt sensitivity then eating salty capers by the bucketful is probably not the best option.
- The anti-arthritic components in capers seem to be most concentrated when extracted into alcohol. This justifies cooking any sort of protein (fish, chicken, lobster) in a white wine, butter, and caper sauce!
- Capers are a rich source of rutin, a bioflavonoid that is sometimes taken in supplement form to prevent and treat varicose veins.
- Capers have been found to have “important antimicrobial, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antiviral properties“. This study firmly proves that if I left anything out in my list above, you can use the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon game (health version of course) to relate whatever ailment your dinner guest may have to something that capers can help with.