Discover the 9 shocking health benefits of pears.
What’s so special about pears? In addition to how filling and refreshing a crunchy pear can be, pear nutrition also comes loaded with benefits.
From pears’ ability to fight chronic disease by supplying high levels of antioxidants to their ability to lower cholesterol. thanks to its high fiber content.
Pears contain special phytonutrients, including anti-inflammatory flavonoids, anti-cancer polyphenols, and anti-aging flavonoids.
Studies on the nutrition of the pear have linked the consumption of the fruit with lower levels of constipation, kidney stones, high cholesterol, and even diabetes.
Pears can help reduce inflammation, which is the root of most diseases, and they are one of the best sources of dietary fiber of all fruits, providing high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, and boron.
Also, pear nutrition helps reverse copper deficiency and low potassium levels.
Pear Nutrition Facts
Pears, named after the species Pyrus communis, are members of the Rosaceae family.
Pears are considered a pome fruit grown on various pear trees.
Today, many different species of pears are eaten around the world.
Some evidence shows that pears have been eaten since prehistoric times, especially in China, where they have been cultivated for 3,000 years.
Even centuries ago, populations knew that pear nutrition benefited digestive health and could be used to promote regularity, combat dehydration, and even reduce fever.
A medium pear has more or less:
• 101 calories
• 5 grams of fiber
• 17 grams of sugar
• 0 grams of protein or fat
• 7 milligrams of vitamin C (12 percent DV)
• 8 milligrams of vitamin K (10 percent DV)
• 1-milligram copper (7 percent DV)
• 212 milligrams potassium (6 percent DV)
• 22 milligrams boron (6 percent)
• 1-milligram manganese (4 percent DV)
• 5 milligrams magnesium (3 percent DV)
• 5 micrograms folate (3 percent DV)
9 Health Benefits of Pears
1.- High fiber content
• With over five grams of fiber in each pear, pears are the ultimate fiber-rich food and a great way to make sure you’re hitting your 25-30 gram daily base.
Fiber contains zero digestible calories and is a necessary element of a healthy diet as it helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and promotes regularity.
• One of the most researched aspects of pear nutrition is the compound in pears called pectin fiber.
Pectin fiber is more than a regulator; It is a special type of beneficial fiber that is soluble in water and helps lower cholesterol and increases digestive health.
• Apples are generally known to provide pectin, but pears are a better source.
As a soluble fiber, pectin works by binding to fatty substances in the digestive tract, including cholesterol and toxins, and promoting their elimination.
• This means that the nutrition of the pear benefits the body’s detoxification abilities helps regulate the use of sugars and cholesterol, and improves intestinal and digestive health.
2.- High source of vitamin C that strengthens the immune system
• One pear provides a good dose of the daily vitamin C you need, a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage and reduces oxidative stress.
Vitamin C is sometimes even called the most powerful vitamin on the planet!
One medium-sized fresh pear contains about 12 percent of the dietary recommended amount of vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid), which is beneficial in protecting DNA, stopping cell mutation, maintaining a healthy metabolism, and repairing tissues.
• Pear nutrition also benefits your skin. Vitamin C from highly antioxidant foods like pears helps boost skin immunity and has anti-aging effects by promoting skin cell renewal.
Foods with vitamin C also help heal cuts and bruises and protect against several infectious and age-related diseases.
3.- Provides antioxidants
• In addition to vitamin C, pear skins (or peels) also contain important phytonutrients, including polyphenols, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, which can help prevent disease formation, so don’t peel your fruit!
•When the researchers studied the antioxidant capacity of pears and apples, they found that diets that included the peels of the fruit had a significantly higher level of healthy fatty acids (higher levels of plasma lipids) and antioxidant activity than diets that discarded the peels and only ate the pulp of the fruit.
• Diets high in fresh fruit, including pears, have also garnered a lot of attention for having anti-inflammatory and protective effects against cancer – due to their high levels of essential nutrients like vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
These essential nutrients and antioxidants make pears one of the best anti-inflammatory foods out there.
• Another important way pear nutrition benefits you?
Pears also have antioxidant and anticancer effects thanks to glutathione, a “super antioxidant” known to help prevent cancer, hypertension, and strokes.
• According to studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute, daily consumption of fresh fruit shows positive effects on the body’s ability to prevent cancer growth, reduce inflammation, maintain pH balance, decrease oxidative damage to lipids, and improve the antioxidant status in healthy humans.
• It is also true that eating more fruits and vegetables is the best way to detoxify your body from harmful substances and toxins.
This is the main reason why each year US national legislators set a national dietary goal to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among both children and adults.
4.- It can help with weight loss
• The intake of fruits and vegetables has been proposed to protect against obesity, according to extensive research.
Time and again we see that the more fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to gain weight and struggle to maintain your health.
• Longitudinal studies among overweight adults find that a diet high in fiber from the consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with slower weight gain, probably because fruits and vegetables are so nutrient-dense and low in calories.
• A pear is a delicious, hydrating snack that won’t weigh you down, and it’s easy to slip into your bag and take with you on a busy day.
5.- Helps improve heart health
• One of the most notable nutritional benefits of a pear? Higher fruit intake is associated with lower rates of heart disease.
• Epidemiological studies show a correlation between a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, and strokes.
• The beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables are likely due to the presence of antioxidants phytochemicals that keep arteries clear, decrease inflammation, and prevent high levels of oxidative stress.
• We also know that the specific type of fiber found in pears called pectin is very helpful in helping to lower cholesterol levels naturally.
• When researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health followed adults over 15 years, they found that a higher overall intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, supporting the general health recommendation to consume multiple servings of fruits and vegetables (ideally five to nine a day of different types).
• Evidence is also accumulating that the fruit has a protective role in strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diverticulosis, and hypertension.
6.- Improves digestion
• As a high fiber food that provides essential nutrients, eating more pears is a great way to prevent or treat digestive problems.
• In fact, adding more fiber to your diet from whole foods is the best natural constipation relief remedy there is.
Pear benefits digestive health due to the pectin found in pears, which is considered a natural diuretic and has a mild laxative effect.
• This means that eating pears whole (including the skin), mixing them in a smoothie, or drinking pear juice can help regulate bowel movements, prevent water retention, and decrease bloating.
• Higher fruit intake is also correlated with better overall digestive health, especially of the colon.
The phytonutrients found in pears and other fruits protect digestive organs from oxidative stress, help alkalize the body, and balance pH levels.
Eating more pears could also be beneficial as a natural hemorrhoid remedy and treatment.
7.- Helps fight diabetes
• Although pears and other fruits or vegetables contain natural sugars in the form of fructose, higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is inversely associated with the incidence of diabetes, especially among women.
• After following more than 9,600 adults between the ages of 25 and 74 for about 20 years, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that eating five or more fruits and vegetables combined daily significantly reduces risk.
• Researchers now know that certain flavonoids in fruits, including pears, can improve insulin sensitivity, which is key to preventing and treating diabetes as well as weight gain.
• Pears are considered a low-glycemic fruit. Each has about 26 net grams of carbohydrates, but due to the high fiber content in pears, they release sugar into the bloodstream slowly and therefore have a low glycemic load.
• Compared to eating packaged treats full of refined sugars that can negatively affect blood sugar levels, eating pears instead is a great way to appease your “sweet tooth” naturally without negative impacts.
8.- It is a good snack before or after training
• Like all fruits, eating pears can provide you with a quick energy boost before exercising.
Pears are a natural source of fructose and glucose that are quickly used by the body to improve physical performance, concentration, and endurance, making pears great pre-workout snacks.
• You also need glucose after a workout to replenish glycogen stores and help heal muscle tears, so consider having a pear along with a healthy source of protein as a post-exercise meal or snack.
9.- Helps maintain bone health
• Pears are a good source of two key nutrients for skeletal health: vitamin K and boron. Vitamin K deficiency puts you at great risk for bone-related disorders, as it works with other essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous to prevent bone breakdown.
• In fact, some experts even consider vitamin K to be potentially the most important nutrient out there for fighting osteoporosis – vitamin K even builds bones better than calcium.
• Boron uses include the ability to help maintain strong bones by adding bone mineral density, preventing osteoporosis, treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and improving strength and muscle mass.
Boron is often underutilized in terms of preventing osteoporosis, but many health experts consider it an important part of preventing age-related bone disorders.
Pear history and interesting facts
The pear is native to the temperate coastal regions of Western Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
Pear trees can withstand cold temperatures, which is one of the reasons they are harvested year-round and grown on almost every continent on Earth.
Records show that pears date back thousands of years, especially to Asia and to parts of eastern and northern Europe around the Swiss lakes.
The pear tree first originated in present-day western China, in the foothills of the Tian Shan mountain range.
The pear was also cultivated by the ancient Romans, who ate the fruit raw or cooked, just like apples, and liked to stew it with honey to create a simple dessert.
Over many years, pears have spread across all continents, and today it is believed that there are more than 300 species related to two original wild subspecies.
Today, pears are grown mainly in China, the United States, Argentina, Italy, and Turkey.
Some types of pears found in markets around the world today include Bosc pears, Bartlett pears, Anjou pears, European pears, Manchurian pears, Almond leaf pears, Chinese pears, Algerian pears, Plymouth pears, and many more.
Although they all differ somewhat in terms of taste and appearance, the nutritional benefits of pear for all types are quite similar.
From a botanical point of view, the pear fruit is the upper end of the flower stalk of the pear plant and within its edible flesh are five “cartilaginous carpels”, known as the “nucleus.”
This makes pears very similar to apples, and depending on the color of both, sometimes you can’t even tell them apart.
An important difference between pears and apples is that the pulp of the pear contains stone cells (also called “grains”), whereas apples do not.
Because pears and apples have similar molecular qualities and fiber contents, we see that the nutritional benefits of pears closely resemble those of apples.
How to buy and use pears
Whenever possible, look for organic pears. As with apples, pears are commonly sprayed with high levels of pesticides and common chemicals, putting them high on the Environmental Working Group’s list of organic fruits and vegetables to buy.
The latest Environmental Working Group report on the “Pesticide Buyer’s Guide” lists pears as one of the 12 foods that most frequently contain pesticide residues.
Buying organic pears reduces your risk of exposure to unwanted pesticides, pollutants, and other potential risks associated with agricultural chemicals.
Pears can be consumed fresh, cooked, juiced, frozen, and dried.
Pear juice is a great way to sweeten smoothies and recipes without adding refined sugar.
Pear juice is used in many ways around the world, including fermenting it to make “parade” or hard pear cider.
Skip the store-bought pear juices (or any fruit juices), which are generally pasteurized, loaded with sugar, and without most of the pear nutritional benefits described above.
Instead, just make your own by blending or squeezing a whole pear.
While pear juice can be a good addition to recipes on occasion, remember that the skin and pulp are where the fiber is – so try to eat them as often as possible.
After purchasing pears, keep in mind that they ripen at room temperature.
They ripen faster if placed next to bananas in a fruit bowl due to the chemicals that bananas give off, but if you want them to ripen slowly, you can put them in the fridge (which is useful if you buy a lot at once and can’t use them on time).
Pears are ripe when the flesh around the stem appears soft under gentle pressure.
Once ripe, try to eat them within two to three days before they start to go bad, or freeze them for later use.
Healthy pear recipes
What can be done with pears? Like apples, pears are very versatile when it comes to creating sweet and savory recipes.
In addition to eating fresh pears, add them to a roasted chicken or turkey with onions and herbs for extra flavor, add them to your morning oatmeal or smoothie, top a salad with pear pieces, or add them to homemade muffins or low-sugar desserts.
Have you ever used applesauce instead of extra butter, sugar, or oil when baking? Well, you can do the same with mixed pears.
Cranberry Pear Salad Recipe
This Cranberry Pear Salad recipe is easy to make and tastes great.
Salads can be boring, but these ingredients bring new flavors and ideas to the dish.
Total time: 5 minutes
• ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
• ¾ cup olive oil
• 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon of raw honey
• 1 large pinch of sea salt
• Black pepper to taste
• 5 cups of mixed lettuce
• 2 pears, thinly sliced vertically
• ½ cup dried cranberries
• 1/4 cup raw goat cheese
• Put the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a jar with a lid and shake well.
• Gently toss the lettuce with the sliced pears in a large salad bowl. (Optional: Grill the pear slices briefly.)
• Add enough dressing to cover.
• Top with dried cranberries and goat cheese.
Here are some ways to try to use pears in recipes at home:
• You can also add a little pear to any of these Green Smoothie recipes
• Make a sweet crepe for breakfast (or dinner) using pears in this Breakfast Quesadilla Recipe
• Use pears instead of apples in this Apple Crunch Recipe or Apple Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe.
Concerns with consuming pears
Pears are often recommended by health professionals because they are considered hypoallergenic fruit, so compared to many other fruits (such as stone fruit or berries), someone is much less likely to suffer from digestive problems or reactions when eating a pear.
This makes pears a good choice even for babies and for making homemade baby food.
Although pears have multiple benefits, like all fruits, they contain sugar and are best eaten in moderation, as part of a diet that is also full of vegetables, healthy fats, and protein.
The amount of fruit that is right for you depends on a few factors such as your level of physical activity, history of medical conditions, and current weight, so plan to eat pears (and all fruit) in moderation balanced by other low-sugar foods.
To get the most health benefits from pears without consuming excess sugar, always take them with your skin and limit the amount of pear juice you have, which eliminates fiber.