Pears are one the most popular fruits, particularly in the northern hemisphere, containing an impressive variety of essential nutrients required for good health. The scientific name for the pear tree is Pyrus communis, and it belongs to the Rose family (Rosaceae). This article will explore the pear health benefits, nutritional breakdown, and uses.
Pear Health Benefits
Helps Maintain Bone Health
Two of the most prominent vitamins in pears are boron and vitamin K. The latter works with other nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus to prevent bone breakdown. Therefore, vitamin K deficiency puts us at a greater risk of bone-related disorders. The former, on the other hand, helps maintain calcium in the body.
Helps with Cancer Prevention
Pear health benefits also extend into the area of cancer prevention. Several studies suggest that concentration of secondary bile acids in the intestines may be involved in the etiology of colon cancer. The fiber found in pears can bind with the secondary bile acids to decrease our risk of cancer development.
A study conducted on the intake of fruits and vegetables and its effect on esophageal squamous cell carcinoma found pears to be one of the fruits associated with reduced risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Additionally, the phytonutrients in pears, especially cinnamic acids, have been shown to lower the risk of gastric cancer.
Boosts the Immune System
Pears have a high content of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C, is essential for the growth and repair of body tissue. This vitamin also helps heal cuts and bruises, as well as repair bones and cartilage.
Vitamin C helps manufacture collagen, which is essential for healthy skin. It also neutralizes the effects of food preservatives, which have been linked to increased incidences of cancer in adults.
Reduces the Risk of Type II Diabetes
The body contains naturally occurring sugar (glucose) that provides energy to all body cells. Healthy levels of this sugar are maintained by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas.
Type II diabetes occurs due to insufficient insulin production, or when the body is unable to use insulin properly. Pears have a great combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps control blood sugar levels, making it a great fruit in reducing your chances of developing type II diabetes.
Helps with Weight Loss
While an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a pear keeps the pounds away. Statistics show that people who consume pears on a regular basis are 35 percent less likely to be obese. This is because pears have a high fiber content that keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Aids in Digestion
Pears are rich in dietary fiber, particularly insoluble fiber. The fiber from the fruit works to help regulate bowel movements.
The fruit is also high in pectin. The substance has mild laxative effects, which help create easy-to-pass stools. Additionally, pears have a high sorbitol content that is great in relieving constipation.
Protects the Heart
Eating pears has been linked to reduced risk of heart-related diseases. LDL cholesterol can causes hardening of the arteries. The fiber in pears binds to bile salts then carry cholesterol out of the body.
Pear Nutritional Value
One medium-sized pear (178g) contains:
- 102 calories
- 27.5 grams of carbohydrates
- 17 grams sugar
- 6 grams fiber
- 0.6 gram of proteins
- 0.2 grams of fats
- 7.5 mg of vitamin C
- 8 mcg of vitamin K
- 0.05 mg of vitamin B6
- 0.02 mg of vitamin B1
- 0.045 mg of vitamin B2
- 12 mcg of folate
- 212 mg of potassium
- 2 mg of sodium
- 0.146 mg of copper
- 16.02 mg of calcium
- 12.5 mg of magnesium
Since we’ve mentioned all these pear health benefits, we should also mention how you can use pears for a healthier diet. Pears can be used in the preparation of fruit juice, fruit salad, jam, and pie. You can also use them in other cooked dishes. Dried pear slices can be mixed with baby food for a delicious snack.
Pear and Oatmeal Crisp Recipe
- 4 ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Flour (1/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
- Dark brown sugar (1/4 cup)
- Granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 cup cranberries (fresh or dried)
- Cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon)
- Pinch nutmeg and salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Ice cream – for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the oven heats, peel and thickly slice the pears.
- Gently toss the sliced pears in 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Place them into a buttered baking dish, preferably a 2-quart one.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, oats, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
- While stirring the mixture, slowly drizzle the melted butter on top.
- Sprinkle the topping over the pears and place the baking dish in the oven for thirty minutes.
- Serve with ice cream.
The pear health benefits we talked about in this articles are hard to ignore. This fruit is a source of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, including dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and B, and magnesium.
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