There are more than 10 varieties of pears grown in the United States throughout the year. Can you believe that there are over 3,000 known varieties of pears around the world? Each pear has its own distinctive color, flavor, texture, and culinary application. You want to know the best part about all these pears that are available to you? They offer some serious nutritional benefits and health properties.
Aside from their crisp texture and refreshingly tart flavor, pears contain powerful nutrients that may help fight chronic diseases. Specifically, the antioxidant activity in pears, in conjunction with their high fiber content, helps lower cholesterol, fight free radicals, and reduce inflammatory markers. In fact, pears are some of the best sources of dietary fiber! The polyphenols in pears may be beneficial for fighting early signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of pears.
Great Sources Of Fiber
The average medium pear contains over five grams of fiber, making pears the ultimate high-fiber food. You should ideally consume between 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, so eating one pear every day can help you meet that goal. Fiber is a key component to a healthy diet because it promotes bowel regularity and helps sustain healthy blood sugar levels. Pears contain pectin fiber, which is a water-soluble type of fiber that may improve digestive health and lower bad cholesterol levels.
Provides Lots Of Antioxidants
Pears are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, but they also contain flavonoids, polyphenols, and phenolic acids. Most of those antioxidant compounds exist in the skin of pears. Researchers note that antioxidant compounds may help ward off disease, so don’t peel your pears. In fact, studies have shown that pear peels exhibit higher antioxidant activity compared to apples, and they also have healthy fatty acids. Another important benefit of pears is that they contain glutathione, a super antioxidant that may help prevent high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke.
Supports The Heart
As mentioned several times already, pears are great sources of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. There is a specific type of fiber, pectin, in pears that is useful for naturally reducing cholesterol levels. That makes pears an excellent choice for your cholesterol-lowering food list. Additional studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. Researchers followed adults over a 15-year period and found that greater intakes of fruits and vegetables was associated with lower risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause death.
Helps Maintain Bone Health
If you want to maintain healthy bones, don’t reach for milk as your first food choice. Researchers note that vitamin K-rich foods can help encourage healthier bones. If you are deficient in vitamin K, you have a greater risk of bone-related disorders. Vitamin K works with magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium to help prevent bone breakdown. Pears contain vitamin K and boron, two nutrients that are vital for optimal skeletal health. Boron helps keep bones strong by adding mineral density, treating inflammatory conditions, and preventing osteoporosis.
High-fiber foods like pears can help improve the digestive process. Adding more fiber to your diet from whole foods can help improve bowel regularity. The pectin in pears acts as a natural diuretic and has somewhat of a natural laxative effect. Although pears may not cause you to run to the restroom, they may help prevent water retention, decrease bloating, and regulate bowel movements. Additionally, the phytonutrients in pears work to protect digestive organs from oxidative stress and alkalize other cells in the body.
Great Sources Of Vitamin C
One of the main reasons that pears are so great for you is because they contain a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that works to reduce oxidative stress by fighting free radicals in the body. Researchers note that vitamin C helps to stop cell mutation, maintain healthy metabolism, repair tissue, and protect DNA. Vitamin C also happens to be a great nutrient for the skin, increasing the skin’s immunity and providing anti-aging effects. Lastly, vitamin C supports the maintenance of connective tissues, so it may help to accelerate the healing of cuts and bruises.