Pears are a mild, sweet fruit, rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fibre. They are typically in season from late September to January and they’re not only delicious, but also offer many health benefits! Here below you’ll find the most important ones:
- May Promote Gut health
Pears are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fibre, which are essential for our gut health. Did you know that one medium-sized pear packs 6 grams of fibre? That’s 22% of your daily fibre needs! These fibres help maintain bowel regularity by softening and bulking up stool. Additionally, soluble fibres feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. As such, they’re considered prebiotics, which are associated with healthy aging and improved immunity.
As pear skin contains a substantial amount of fiber, it’s best to eat this fruit unpeeled.
- Highly Nutritious
There are around 100 types of pears worldwide! A medium-sized pear provides only 100 calories and is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fibre, and minerals such as copper (good for immunity, cholesterol metabolism, and nerve function) and potassium (which aids muscle contractions and heart function).
Pears also provide small amounts of folate, provitamin A, and niacin. Folate and niacin are important for cellular function and energy production, while provitamin A supports skin health and wound healing.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties
Pears are a good source of flavonoid antioxidants, which help fight inflammation and may decrease your risk of disease. Several studies confirmed that a high flavonoid intake can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. This effect may be due to these compounds’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
What’s more, pears pack several vitamins and minerals, such as copper and vitamins C and K, which also have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Can Lower Risk of Diabetes
Pears — particularly red varieties — may help decrease diabetes risk. One large study in over 200,000 people found that eating 5 or more weekly servings of anthocyanin-rich fruits like red pears was associated with a 23% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, the fibre in pears slows digestion, giving your body more time to break down and absorb carbs. This can also help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially helping prevent and control diabetes.
- May help Lose Weight
Pears are low in calories, high in water, and packed with fibre. This combination makes them a weight-loss-friendly food, as fibre and water can help keep you full, which means less prone to keep eating!
- May Boost Heart Health
Pears are rich in potent antioxidants, such as procyanidins and quercetin, that can lower your risk of heart disease.
In fact, their procyanidin antioxidants may decrease stiffness in heart tissue, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol (Source). The peel contains an important antioxidant called quercetin, which is thought to benefit heart health by decreasing inflammation and reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
A large, 17-year study in over 30,000 women revealed that every daily 80-gram portion of fruit decreased heart disease risk by 6–7%.
Furthermore, regular intake of pears and other white-fleshed fruits is thought to lower stroke risk. One 10-year study in over 20,000 people determined that every 25 grams of white-fleshed fruit eaten daily decreased stroke risk by 9%.
HOW TO STORE THEM
Pears are very delicate and bruise easily when ripe, so always buy slightly underripe (they should be firm but not hard), then ripen at home.
If you buy underripe pears, keep them in a fairly cool place until they are ready to eat. They can then be stored in the fridge but should be eaten as soon as possible!