A pear is a greenish-white or ruby-red fruit when ripe and has a mild sweet taste. They are rich in powerful antioxidants, several plant compounds, and a variety of nutrients. They are also a good of fiber, free of fat and cholesterol.
Pears are easy to add to your diet, and consuming them is a perfect way to promote weight loss and reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. While pears provide all these nutrients, they also have impressive health benefits. Knowing these benefits is a real motivation to including these nutritious fruits in your diet. This article discusses some of these benefits.
Health Benefits of Pears
Loaded With Important Nutrients
For your information, there are different varieties of pears which, according to the National Institutes of Health, are estimated to clock 100. The common and popular ones are Bosc, Bartlett, and D’Anjou. The Food Data Central of the United States Department of Agriculture’s datasheet states that 178 g of pear provides 101 calories, 1 g of protein, 27 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber, 12% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 6% of the RDI for vitamin K, 4% of the RDI for potassium, and 16% of the RDI for copper.
The same serving of pear also comes with decent amounts of niacin, folate, and provitamin A. Production of energy and proper functioning of cells is aided by folate and niacin, while provitamin A promotes wound healing and the health of the integumentary system. Additionally, pears are also rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which effectively reduce free radicals and protect against cellular damages due to oxidative stress.
May Support Digestive Health
Indigestion and digestive system issues are common among people nowadays. Dietary have been accorded full trust when it comes to rectifying digestive problems. Pears are a great source of fiber, both insoluble and soluble fiber. They are important for your digestive health as well as improving bowel movements by adding bulk and softening your stool. One medium-sized pear provides about 6 g of fiber which is equivalent to 22% of the RDI. Soluble fiber is good food for the good gut bacteria, which digest this fiber by fermenting it. Ultimately, this improves and protects your immunity, promotes healthy aging, and supports brain health. It also goes without saying that fiber can significantly relieve constipation which can reduce the risk of hemorrhoids.
Fiber Packs Beneficial Plant Compounds
Different hues that pears have are due to the presence of plant compounds that they contain. For example, anthocyanin. This plant compound gives some varieties of pears a ruby-red hue. Anthocyanin is a flavonoid that has important roles in your health. Several studies have shown it to help improve heart health and reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. Increasing your intake of foods rich in anthocyanins such as berries and cruciferous vegetables may significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Other important plant compounds in pears are lutein and zeaxanthin. This gives the green pears their hue. They are important to your health because they improve vision, especially for old adults.
May Help Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is not a bad thing. In fact, it is part of a healthy immune system. It is important in wound healing and the elimination of toxic substances. However, if inflammation occurs for long or chronically, it can interfere with your health. Most importantly, chronic inflammation can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Pears provide the body with flavonoid antioxidants in descent amounts, and they can significantly reduce and fight inflammation. Over time, they will reduce your risk of many diseases, including heart disease. Studies have consistently shown these compounds’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
May Help Fight Cancer
Cancer is a chronic and fatal disease with a very poor prognosis. It is characterized by the abnormal proliferation of cells. Interestingly, pears contain several plant compounds which have been shown to possess anticancer properties. One study published in PubMed found that they can effectively fight cancer with the aid of cinnamic acid and anthocyanin.
Researchers strongly believe that following and adhering to diets of rich flavonoid fruits like pears can perfectly prevent the development of many cancers, including cancer of the bladder, lung, and stomach. Similarly, pears and other flavonoid-rich fruits can be a good alternative for women as they are associated with the prevention of ovarian and breast cancer.
May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is not a cause of concern if it is well managed. Diabetic patients are expected to avoid some foods, modify their lifestyles, and engage in regular exercises. Pears, more so the red varieties, may protect against diabetes. Consuming pears, especially the red variety and fruits rich in flavonoids, can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 23%. Additionally, the peels of pears are believed to be rich in anthocyanin and possessed anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetes properties. The fiber content of pears also slows down your digestion. This provides ample time for break down and absorption of carbs which effectively regulates the levels of blood sugar hence prevention of diabetes.
May Improve Cardiac Health
Heart disease can be hard to manage, especially if diagnosed late. Pears may help lower the likelihood of developing heart disease. They contain an antioxidant called procyanidin, which has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increase the levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and reduce arterial and heart tissues stiffness. In addition to that, the peels of pears contain quercetin – another powerful antioxidant. Quercetin protects the heart by decreasing inflammation, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol levels – all of which reduce the risk of heart disease.
Pears are popular and healthy fruits consumed worldwide. There are about 100 varieties of pears, and they are all important for your health. Pears contain many nutrients, including antioxidants and fibers. They may help prevent heart disease, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.