Pear is a crunchy, mildly sweet fruit rich in fiber. It is estimated that there are around 3000 varieties of pears available across the world. While most fruits are nutritious and healthy for consumption, pears are peculiar for their impressive fiber content. Apart from fiber, pears are also rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients like flavanoids. How beneficial pear is to the body depends on how you consume it—fresh, frozen, canned or dried. Eating them raw and fresh assures the most nutrition intake. Also, do not peel off the skin as it contains at least four to six times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh and half of the pear’s total dietary fiber.
Here are some benefits of eating pears.
1. Enough Calories Without The Weight Gain
Eat as many pears as you want with no fear of gaining weight. A pear is a low calorie food.1 A medium pear has about 96 calories and a large one packs in about 130 calories. It is estimated that the average man needs 2,700 kcal per day and the average woman needs 2,200 kcal per day. And these calories have to come from natural and healthy food. Pear is one such food that can be depended on for good calories which is essential to keep you going but not enough to gain weight.
2. Plenty Of Fiber
One of the main characteristics of pear is its fiber content, both soluble and insoluble. A medium pear has about 5.5 g to 7 g of fiber. The more the fiber in food, the fuller you feel after a meal. This also helps in weight loss since you tend to eat less through the day. 2 Fiber also prevents fats from being absorbed into the body. Insoluble fiber in pears helps if you are suffering from constipation as it adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass easily. On the other hand, soluble fiber in the fruit acts as a heart protector as it protects the heart from diseases by decreasing the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.3 Fiber also has an effect on maintaining blood sugar levels. If the food is rich in fiber, there are less chances of blood sugar spiking soon after a meal.4
3. Eliminates Toxins
The fiber content in pears make the fruit an ideal one to prevent diseases like diverticulitis. Often associated with a low-fiber diet, diverticulitis is a digestive condition in the large intestine.5 It happens when bulging sacs in the lining of large intestine become inflamed. A high fiber diet is found to decrease the inflammation by absorbing the water retained in the colon and making bowel movements easier. Easy bowel movements also keep inflammation in the colon in check.
Another big advantage of having a high fiber diet is easy detox. Fiber makes the bowel movements smooth and regular, eliminating toxins everyday without much worry. Isn’t that a good enough reason to gorge on fruits like pear?
4. Vitamin C Boosts Immunity
Another important nutrient that pear has is vitamin C. About 10mg of vitamin C is present in a pear. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals and keep it young and healthy.6 It plays an important role in the health and repair of tissues of skin, ligaments and bones. That’s the reason why vitamin C rich foods feature prominently in anti-ageing diets. Another important function of vitamin C is to aid absorption of iron from the food in the body. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is found to enhance iron absorption. This is good news since iron deficiency is a major concern among world population. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and associated health complications like heart and lung diseases.7
5. Fights Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural process by which a body heals from any harm or injury. But if the inflammation persists, it becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation spells trouble for the body. Inflammation is found to be the root cause of many major ailments like obesity, hypertension, cancer, etc.8 Without a proper, healing diet, inflammation is bound to take a grip on the body. The solution is in having a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods.
Pear contains phytonutrients like flavonoids that are known to fight inflammation. Studies have also revealed that phytonutrients are anti-microbial, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, anti-spasmodic, anti-cancer, anti-aging, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, and more.9
6. Sharper Brain, Stronger Bones
Another important nutrient in pears is potassium that helps in proper heart, nerve and muscle functioning of the body. It also helps calcium absorption in the body, keeping the bones strong and healthy. Potassium stimulates neural activity, making it an important nutrient for brain health.10 Potassium is also known to improve bone marrow density and keep the bones strong. Another function of potassium is to keep the blood pressure in check. Its effect on hypertension significantly reduces risk to heart health.11
In conclusion, it is safe to say that pears are an extremely beneficial food to the overall health of the human body. Having a pear a day can help you lose weight, detox the system easily, keep the heart, brain and bones healthy and fight many diseases. A word of caution though. Some fruits like apples and pears are considered high FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols”, all various forms of fermentable short-chain carbohydrates which are not easily digested by the small intestine. This can result in gas, bloating, pain, and diarrhea in some people, especially those with irritable bowel disorders.12
|↑1||Xie, Ding, Hai-yan Zhong, Jianha Mo, Zhong-hai Li, Tao Cui, and Cui-ping Yi. “Nutritional and medicinal quality of pear juice: next hotspot.” Food 1, no. 1 (2007): 41-48.|
|↑2||Slavin, Joanne L. “Dietary fiber and body weight.” Nutrition 21, no. 3 (2005): 411-418.|
|↑3||Wolk, Alicja, JoAnn E. Manson, Meir J. Stampfer, Graham A. Colditz, Frank B. Hu, Frank E. Speizer, Charles H. Hennekens, and Walter C. Willett. “Long-term intake of dietary fiber and decreased risk of coronary heart disease among women.” Jama 281, no. 21 (1999): 1998-2004.|
|↑4||Riccardi, Gabriele, and Angela A. Rivellese. “Effects of dietary fiber and carbohydrate on glucose and lipoprotein metabolism in diabetic patients.” Diabetes care 14, no. 12 (1991): 1115-1125.|
|↑5||Sheth, Anish A., Walter Longo, and Martin H. Floch. “Diverticular disease and diverticulitis.” The American journal of gastroenterology 103, no. 6 (2008): 1550.|
|↑6||Padayatty, Sebastian J., Arie Katz, Yaohui Wang, Peter Eck, Oran Kwon, Je-Hyuk Lee, Shenglin Chen et al. “Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention.” Journal of the American college of Nutrition 22, no. 1 (2003): 18-35.|
|↑7||Zijp, Itske M., Onno Korver, and Lilian BM Tijburg. “Effect of tea and other dietary factors on iron absorption.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 40, no. 5 (2000): 371-398.|
|↑8||Kotas, Maya E., and Ruslan Medzhitov. “Homeostasis, inflammation, and disease susceptibility.” Cell 160, no. 5 (2015): 816-827.|
|↑9||Gupta, Charu, and Dhan Prakash. “Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents.” Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine 11, no. 3 (2014): 151-169.|
|↑10||Somjen, George G. “Extracellular potassium in the mammalian central nervous system.” Annual review of physiology 41, no. 1 (1979): 159-177.|
|↑11||Whelton, Paul K., Jiang He, Jeffrey A. Cutler, Frederick L. Brancati, Lawrence J. Appel, Dean Follmann, and Michael J. Klag. “Effects of oral potassium on blood pressure: meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials.” Jama 277, no. 20 (1997): 1624-1632.|
|↑12||Rao, Satish Sanku Chander, S. Yu, and A. Fedewa. “Systematic review: dietary fibre and FODMAP‐restricted diet in the management of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 41, no. 12 (2015): 1256-1270.|