Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Little Caper Provides Big Antioxidant Protection

If you like the sharp, sour, salty flavor of capers, you’ll be glad to learn that those little nibbles of food really do go a long way towards protecting your health, as well as enhancing your recipe. Researchers from Italy have found that even the small amounts of these green buds typically used in Mediterranean dishes have enough antioxidant flavonoids and other phytochemicals to provide health benefits.

Using a simulated digestion model, the researchers found that capers help to prevent the oxidation of fat that occurs during cooking and digestion, especially of meats. They also found that components in capers help to regenerate antioxidant vitamin E, making more of it available for use in the body. Both of these things may help reduce the risk for heart disease. Capers also contain isothiocyanates, the same anti-cancer components found in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli sprouts. Isothiocyanates are capable of interrupting several steps in cancer initiation, and can provide DNA protection. (J Agric Food Chem 2007 55:8465-71.)
Capers are incredibly simple to use, but add sophistication and flair to fish and seafood, and taste great paired with lemon, tomatoes, white wine or black olives. Just toss capers into your seafood or fish dish and enjoy!
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: The rates of cancer and other diseases associated with oxidative damage are rising worldwide, which means that antioxidants are more important to health and longevity now than ever before. Include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet whenever possible, and ensure your protection against premature aging with supplemental antioxidants.
QUICK TIP: Eating lots of cruciferous vegetables — that includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes and watercress — reduces the odds of developing bladder cancer.

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