Pears are a delicious green fruit with a bell-like form, which is either soft or crunchy. Apart from being sweet, slightly sour, and mild in flavour, they have numerous scientifically proven health and nutrition benefits. Though they are also known as the ‘ugly step-sister’ of the apple, it approximately consists of the same amounts of vitamins and minerals as apple. The center of this fruit is fibrous and is a good source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fiber.
In a 100-calorie serving, pear contains essential nutrients like copper, folate, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, etc, without any cholesterol or fat. When taken from the tree, this fruit ripens at its fastest rate. Hence, special care is required during harvesting. In contrast to other fruits, pears mature from the inside out. For enjoying a pear’s actual taste, it is necessary to choose the best one from the market. Doctors recommend diabetic and heart patients to make pears a part of their healthy diet.
Though this fruit evolved in Southern Europe, they are found globally and can be enjoyed from the end of summer to winter. Additionally, this fruit is also beneficial for gastrointestinal health, kidneys, liver, gut, and heart. Anti-inflammatory qualities in pears, help in boosting energy levels and losing weight. It is a good choice for weaning kids and guarding them against free radicals. This succulent green fruit can be easily incorporated into the diet.
Greek poet Homer in his epic poem Odyssey referred to pears as ‘gifts from the Gods’ due to their sweet and succulent taste. This refreshing fruit is loved by all, has various uses, and can be put into delectable dishes. In ancient China, pears were a symbol of immortality. Because of their smooth butter-like texture, once they are matured, pears are also called butter fruit.
The majority of pear varieties change their colours while growing and their trees survive for a long time. Bartlett pears change from green to yellow then crimson as they are ripe. The finest advantages come from eating fresh pears and they provide enormous comfort from the oppressive heat. They are known by different names like Nashpaati in Punjabi, Perikkai in Telugu, Nashpati in Hindi, Perikai in Tamil, etc.
A person can eat 1-2 pears every day. However, this fruit contains a lot of fructose, also known as white sugar, therefore overeating can lead to digestive problems. So it is advised to limit to 1-2 pears daily which will give our body the appropriate quantity of nutrients.
Types of Pears
More than 3,000 kinds of pears are found globally which differ based on their size, form, level of sweetness, and crispness. The varieties of pears can be categorized into two basic groups- European and Asian. The former one has soft skin with mild curves and bumps in the heavy bottom. The latter one has a consistent hue of yellowish tan, more apple-like in shape, having an entirely separate texture and flavour.
While certain European pears start changing colours after harvesting, Asian pears don’t. Washington and Oregon are where the majority of pears produced in the USA are cultivated. A few of the popular varieties of this fruit are- Green Anjou, Forelle, Red Anjou, Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Taylor’s gold, Bosc, Comice, Forelle, Concorde, Seckel, Starkrimson, and Asian. Although their sizes, forms, skin tones, and textures vary, their nutritional worth is the same.
Nutritional Content of Pears
Here are the nutrients included in a moderate size pear (178 grams)-
- Calories- 101
- Protein- 1 gram
- Carbs- 27 grams
- Fiber- 6 grams
- Vitamin C- 12% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K- 6% of DV
- Potassium- 4% of the DV
- Copper- 16% of DV
- Fat- 0.285 grams
- Sugar- 17 grams
Small amounts of provitamin A, folate, and niacin are also present in this serving. The former promotes good skin and healing of the wounds. Niacin and folate are essential for the functioning of cells and the production of energy. Copper is important for the immune system, metabolism of cholesterol, and function of nerves. Potassium helps in the contractions of muscles and the functioning of the heart. This fruit has a very low protein content and small levels of amino acids like leucine, glutamic, and lysine acid.
Apart from these, pears are a great source of polyphenol antioxidants. They safeguard from free radicals and oxidative damage. It is best to consume pears whole since it contains around 6 times more polyphenols compared to the flesh. In low concentrations, pears also contain calcium, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Carotenoids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids are also present in this fruit, mainly ones having reddish skin. These are plant-based antioxidants that contain several positive health effects.
One medium-sized pear has around 6 grams of insoluble fiber, which is 22% of the daily required value. Fiber is a portion of carbohydrates that cannot be digested. It aids in bowel movement and can lower bad cholesterol. Fructose as well as other sugar are abundant in pears. However, this fruit has a low glycemic index of 38 and a glycemic load of 4.4. The level of saturated and unsaturated fat in pears is very low.
Vitamin C present in this fruit is crucial for cell development, healing, and protection against oxidative stress. It also supports immunological function, helps in wound and bruise recovery, and also offers protection from infectious diseases. The skin of pears contains phenolics, flavonoids, and triterpenes which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
Health and Nutrition Benefits of Pears
Pears provide a wide range of health advantages that are supported by science and medicine. They offer considerable amounts of fiber and several necessary nutrients. All these help in reducing inflammation, chances of stroke, diabetes, and gut problems, and improve immunity.
Here are 10 important health benefits of pears.
Beneficial For Skin And Hair
Pears are excellent for preserving the health of our skin. They are a good source of vitamin A which has brightening and anti-aging qualities and encourages the production of collagen and cell turnover. Vitamin C, along with vitamin K and copper present in it guards the skin against free radical damage, aids in skin brightening, and helps in maintaining the skin’s youthful radiance.
In the end, it helps in tightening the skin and reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles around our lips and eyes. To moisturize and illuminate skin, one might also prepare a simple face mask using honey, avocados, and mashed pears. It contains essential nutrients like lutein, vitamin A, and zeaxanthin and helps to reduce wrinkles, and age spots on the skin. Additionally, to encourage hair growth, consuming pear each day is essential.
Dietary fibers are rich in this fruit which are significantly essential to keep the skin soft and supple. They slow down the release of sugar into the blood and prevent skin collagen damage resulting from recurring sugar spikes. As a result, the skin appears smooth and plump. Pears might be quite helpful in the case of oily skin because it greatly helps in reducing the excess secretion of sebaceous glands.
The high content of important vitamins and minerals is also helpful for acne-prone skin types. Pears might strengthen a person internally and boost their immunity. Due to this, our skin develops the internal defence mechanisms necessary to combat acne, pimples, and other skin issues. For dry and flaky skin, pears have natural humectants that help balance the proper water limit of the skin and hold the natural moisture.
Hence, pear extract is popularly utilized in body lotion production. Daily consumption of pear juice could make skin uniform and smooth. This fruit is an excellent cleaning ingredient due to the natural enzymes found in it. It helps in removing dead skin cells which are found in the skin's top layer. To increase cell turnover, pear extract can be used as a mild peel. Lactic acid found in pear extract is amazing for lip treatment as the acid level in this fruit can long-term maintain the health and hydration of lip cells.
Pear’s inflammation-fighting abilities serve as a cosmetic treatment. Consumption of this fruit and use of cosmetics with its extract doesn’t cause allergic responses. As a result, it is advantageous for babies as well as our skin. Mainly ripe pears have natural sugar alcohol known as ‘sorbitol’ or ‘glucitol’ which provides food for the roots of the hair, nourishment for the scalp, and maintains the moisture of hair which is very significant to lessen the dryness of hair.
Also, vitamin C in pears is a natural antioxidant that keeps hair healthy and conditions hair strands. To get rid of unpleasant knots, eating pears daily and applying them to hair is useful. This fruit can also control hair frizz, make it shiny, and help in maintaining coloured and curly hair.
Helps In Weight Loss
Due to their high water and fiber content as well as low-calorie count (only 100 calories in a medium-sized pear), pears are excellent for weight loss. Hence, they give one a feeling of fullness and prevent overeating. It supports a healthy stomach, prevents constipation, and maintains good digestion which is crucial for losing weight.
One can eat them raw or in a delightful recipe but they should be unpeeled. Having pears also allows one to keep a check on calorie consumption. However, pears have a high amount of water, making them big in volume. According to one research of 12 weeks 40 adults who consumed 2 pears regularly reduced their waist circumference by 1.1 inches.
Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Pears have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that aid to lessen inflammation caused by conditions like arthritis and other similar issues. They are a great option for flavonoid antioxidants which combat inflammation and might lower the danger of illnesses like heart problems and diabetes. Several vitamins and minerals, including copper, potassium, and the anti-inflammatory vitamins C and K are present in this fruit.
Pear’s phytonutrients, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein, are anti-inflammatory which is beneficial for heart and digestive health and prevents chronic inflammation. Studies have found that pear’s anti-inflammatory quality aids in lowering inflammation-related discomfort and swelling. Pears can help people with gout and rheumatic disorders by reducing the symptoms and preventing further deterioration, which enhances the overall quality of life.
Promotes Gut Health
Both soluble and insoluble fiber which is vital for good digestive health are abundant in pears. By softening and thickening up feces, these fibers assist in maintaining regular bowel movements. Particularly, fiber, vitamin C, fructose, and sorbitol help in relieving constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and keeping the gut healthy. A medium size pear has 6 grams of fiber which is 22% of the daily recommended amount. The insoluble fiber in pears quickly passes through the colon and reduces the risk of colon polyps.
Furthermore, soluble fibers nourish the good microorganisms in your stomach. They are in charge of providing food for the good bacteria. As a result, they are regarded as prebiotics, which is related to immune system improvement and good aging. In 4 weeks of research, 24 grams of pectin (fiber present in fruit) was given daily to 80 persons with constipation. They noticed an improvement in symptoms and an increase in beneficial gut bacteria.
Has Anticancer Properties
Research found that pears demonstrated anti-mutagenic and anti-cancer effects through a variety of methods. Cinnamic and anthocyanin acid in this fruit helps in preventing cancer. Studies indicate that pears might prevent malignancies, including bladder, stomach, and lung cancer. It is also a wise choice for women mainly because certain demographic studies found that fruits rich in flavonoids such as pears help in protecting against ovarian and breast cancers.
While consuming enough fruits might lower the danger of developing cancer. Pears shouldn't be used in place of cancer medication. Antioxidants are well-known due to their anti-carcinogenic properties which are linked to cancer prevention. The way that antioxidants function allows the body to rid itself of free radicals, promoting the creation of new, healthy cells.
According to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adequate vitamin C and vitamin A intake increases immunity. Hence, the consumption of pears having high vitamin C minerals acts like a good antioxidant which boosts immunity. The generation of white blood cells that are crucial for the immune system is stimulated by antioxidants.
In the end, this strengthens our immunity, enabling the body to fight off ailments like colds, stomach problems, etc. Antioxidants also stop any harm brought on by free radicals because of their capacity to scavenge them. Pears are a great source of vitamins B2, B3, B6, folate, and vitamins C and K. Each one of these nutrients boosts immunity, helping people to stay healthy and prevent sickness.
Good For Bone Health
Maintaining the body's pH and consuming the correct quantity of calcium each day is crucial for maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Pears rich in boron enable easy absorption of the calcium eaten. Regular consumption of this fruit aids in maintaining the pH level of the body to prevent osteoporosis.
Pears have considerable levels of calcium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium, all of which are essential for maintaining healthy bones. It prevents and treats crippling illness and loss of bone minerals. This fruit guarantees that our bones receive the necessary amounts of minerals for growth and defence against inflammatory diseases and other ailments.
Has Beneficial Plant Compounds
The plant-based compounds found in pears give them their green and other colours. These are advantageous for human health and red pears include anthocyanins, which are responsible for enhancing good health and making the blood vessels strong. Green pears are most famous in India, having high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin which are vital for eye health, and keeping our vision sharp.
Our retina accumulates these substances to guard against blindness and several eye diseases. Moreover, they delay the loss of vision process. Several population research indicates that eating a lot of food high in anthocyanins, such as berries, is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Nevertheless, particular studies on pear anthocyanins are required. Again, the skin contains a significant amount of these advantageous plant chemicals.
Improves Heart Health And Blood Circulation
One of the main benefits of pears is the dietary fiber content in it which lowers the danger of stroke and guards against health illness. Fiber decreases harmful cholesterol by eliminating bile salts from our body, according to studies. Consuming foods high in fiber regularly such as pears, might cut the chances of stroke up to 50%. According to a 2019 study on pears those having metabolic syndrome consumed two pears daily over 12 weeks.
They experienced a slight reduction in dangers of heart problems like pulse pressure, systolic blood pressure, and circumference of the waist. In the case of cardiovascular disorder, higher levels of blood pressure are dangerous. Pears’ procyanidin antioxidants have the ability to reduce the stiffness of cardiac tissue. Consuming this fruit can also boost levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce LDL levels (bad cholesterol).
Quercetin, another antioxidant found in pear skin contains anti-inflammatory qualities and aids in the prevention of cardiac illness by regulating blood pressure and levels of cholesterol. Every 80-gram serving of pear per day reduced the danger of heart illness by 6-7% according to research involving more than 30,000 women. Another 10-year trial involving more than 20,000 individuals found that for every 25 grams of white-fleshed fruit consumed regularly, the risk of stroke was reduced by 9%.
Potassium, a naturally occurring vasodilator, is abundant in pears and reduces blood pressure. Pears improve the flow of blood throughout the body which aids in supplying oxygen to our organs. Also, it lowers the risk of heart attacks. Glutathione, an antioxidant, and other antioxidants within pears aid in the regulation of blood pressure. Pears being rich in iron and copper can help people with anemia and several deficiency problems by promoting blood circulation. Red blood cell production in the body is accelerated by higher quantities of iron.
Helps In Lowering The Danger Of Diabetes
Research found that anthocyanin and fiber-rich items like pears might help reduce the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Consuming five or more pears weekly will help in this process. It aids in regulating levels of blood sugar and preventing and controlling diabetes despite having a mildly sweet flavour and low glycemic index.
Additionally, the presence of fiber slows down digestion, enabling the body to take its time in breaking down meals and absorbing carbohydrates. It controls blood sugar levels and the anti-inflammatory quality of pear skin also helps in this process. According to one big research of more than 200,000 individuals, consuming five or more red pears weekly was linked to a 23% reduced danger of type 2 diabetes.
Pears have low calorie and carbohydrate counts, two nutrients that diabetic patients aim to limit in their diet. All the vitamins and minerals that diabetics and everyone require in their diet are present in pears. These include calcium, potassium, iron magnesium, vitamins E, K, and C, retinol, choline, lutein, beta-carotene, etc.
Therefore, pears contain low calories and all the healthy components which are required by humans, making them a superfood. Eating them regularly is beneficial to guard against cognitive decline, tiredness, and muscle fatigue. By including pears in their diet, one can make sure that a significant amount of copper, iron and other nutrients are entering their body.
Pears have a significant influence as a part of a healthy diet. Rich in antioxidants, vital minerals, and nutrients, they are beneficial for our health in numerous ways. Such as, protection from free radical damage, cancer, and diabetes, aids in maintaining good hair, skin, immunity, heart, and bone health, good for eyes, and kidney, helps in weight loss, etc.
To reap the maximum health advantages, consume pears raw or prepare it into salads, jams, and jellies. They can also be used to make smoothies and juices. Only make sure to consume the peel, which contains a lot of nutrients. However, pears are only healthy when consumed regularly in moderation.
Thank you for reading!
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