When it comes to health foods, you hardly ever hear about pears. More often than not, there is more information about prickly pears (or Opunti; paddle cactus) than there is about the actual pear from the Pyrus genus. While pears are rarely discussed, they do offer a plethora of amazing health benefits like decreasing your chance of heart disease, decreasing your chance of stroke, helping increase your immune system and many more. Here are seven amazing health benefits of the wonderfully delicious pear.
Decreased risk of heart disease
A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate a diet high in fruits loaded with flavonoids such as pears and apples had a lower risk of coronary heart disease. The researchers found that these fruits (pears included) could decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, especially in postmenopausal women.
Decreased risk of stroke
A 2011 study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association demonstrated that eating white-fleshed fruits (like pears) can dramatically decrease an individual’s risk of stroke. In the study, participants that ate more than 171 grams of white-fleshed fruit had a 52 percent decreased incidence of stroke compared to participants that ate less than 75 grams. The scientists hypothesized that this was due to the rich amount of fiber in these fruits along with their high flavonoid content.
Pears pack a big punch for such a small size when it comes to fiber. For instance, you can get almost 20 percent of your daily allotment of fiber by eating one medium-sized pear. Fiber has been found to not only be associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart disease but also found to be a vital tool in weight management. Along with proper diet and exercise, eating pears can give you the fiber you need to help lose weight.
Increase your immune system
As mentioned earlier, pears are loaded with anti-oxidants in the form of flavonoids. This high anti-oxidant content can help bolster the immune system. If you feel a cold coming on, try eating a pear or drinking pear juice.
The large fiber content of pears can also be very helpful for maintaining colon health. Likewise, the pectin content of pears can also act as a mild laxative during times of constipation.
Source of energy
Pears make a great source of energy. Because they are so convenient (fresh or canned) they can easily be packed in your kids (or your own) lunch to provide instant energy. The sugar in pears will help your body stabilize your blood sugar and provide energy.
Reduction in inflammation
Pears have also been found to be a natural way to reduce inflammation. Their high content of the flavonoid quercetin, has been found to significantly reduce inflammation. This can be beneficial to combat many inflammatory ailments from the hardening of the arteries to fibromyalgia.
Recent news has come to light on the antibiotic contamination of many organic fruits, including apples and pears. One alternative is to avoid species of pears which are normally sprayed with antibiotics to fight the fire blight disease, such as Bartlett pears. Species that are resistant to fire blight include Orient, Kieffer, and Summercrisp pears.
Pears can have many amazing health benefits that are often overlooked for more exotic fruits such as the prickly pear. The high fiber and flavonoid content can provide you with a natural way to achieve better overall health. Next time you are looking for a way to increase your health in a natural way, grab a pear.
Sources for this article include: