Pears are sweet, bell-shaped fruits usually with a yellow-green peel and white soft flesh although there are many different varieties. They are delicious with impressive nutrients to boot. They have Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, copper and are an excellent source of dietary fibre. Pears also have some carbohydrates, provitamin A, folate, niacin, and are low in calories.
Copper plays a role in immunity, cholesterol metabolism, and nerve function. Potassium aids in muscle contractions and heart function. Vitamin C is well-known for its immunity-boosting properties. It also plays an important role in the health and repair of tissues, and aids in the absorption of iron in the body preventing anaemia.
Vitamin K improves blood circulation and prevents blood clots. Folate and niacin are important for cellular function and energy production while provitamin A supports skin health and wound healing. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants which protect cells from damage. For this reason, pears confer numerous health benefits.
Health benefits of pears
Have anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is essential to the body’s healing system. The problem arises when inflammation is triggered even when there is no infection to fight off. This is referred to as chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of illnesses including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. The antioxidants in pears help fight inflammation and decrease your risk of disease. Copper, vitamins C & K also combat inflammation.
Rich in fibre
Pears are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre which play a key role in gut health. Fibre makes gut bacteria healthy. It helps slow the growth of harmful bacteria such as H. pylori without influencing beneficial bacteria with probiotic potential. Filling up on fibre is also beneficial to the colon. It bulks up your stool so it passes easily which has the added benefit of preventing both constipation and colon cancer.
Foods that are high in fibre make you feel fuller for longer after a meal. This aids in weight loss, making them a healthy snack to reach for between meals. Fibre also prevents fats from being absorbed into the body. The soluble fibre in fruits also lowers bad cholesterol in the body which helps protect the heart.
Fibre-rich foods also have a low-glycemic index. This means they do not cause sugar spikes after meals, maintaining blood sugar levels, making them diabetes-friendly.
May have anti-cancer properties
Pears have compounds, namely anthocyanin and cinnamic acid that have been shown to fight cancer. Studies show that a diet rich in fruits including pears may protect against some cancers including lung, stomach, and bladder cancer. They may also safeguard against breast and ovarian cancers.
Lower diabetes risk
One study found that fruits like pears that are rich in anthocyanins reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The red varieties in particular help reduce the risk of diabetes. The high fibre content also helps regulate blood sugar levels potentially preventing and controlling diabetes.
Boost heart health
Pear may help lower the risk of heart disease in a variety of ways. They lower LDL “bad“ cholesterol and increase HDL “good” cholesterol. The peel has an antioxidant called quercetin which benefits heart health by decreasing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.
Consuming pears is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI), reduced risk of stroke, and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Improve eye health
The vitamins and nutrients in pears prevent cataracts and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.