Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Are Capers Bad For You?

Also Known As: caper berries



Short answer

Capers themselves are quite good for you, as they contain many nutrients and antioxidants. However, due to being soaked in brine water for preservation, sodium levels are very high.



Long answer

Capers would get a better evaluation if it weren't for their high sodium content - 750 milligrams per three tablespoons. This large amount of sodium comes primarily due to being soaked in brine for preservation. These flowering buds of the caper shrub do have some health benefits, though. Quercetin, of which capers have the second highest abundance (behind tea leaves), has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, and pain relieving properties. Another powerful antioxidant, rutin, strengthens capillaries and helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. 

Antioxidants aside, capers also contain vitamin A, vitamin K, niacin, and riboflavin. Riboflavin goes well with rutin in helping reduce LDL levels. Vitamin K, of which nearly the entire amount needed is contained in three tablespoons of capers, is important for calcium transport to the bones. 

Unfortunately, the high sodium content makes capers possibly dangerous to people with heart problems and/or high blood pressure. If you aren't watching your sodium intake, though, eating a moderate amount of capers from time to time can be beneficial to your health. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • nausea
  • stomach cramps
  • dehydration

Possible long-term side effects

  • increased blood pressure

Ingredients to be aware of

Big are capers bad for you 2


  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-carcinogenic
  • pain relieving properties
  • reduces "bad" cholesterol
  • promotes calcium transportation to the bones

Healthier alternatives

  • unbrined capers

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Written by Jeff Volling | 01-07-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
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