One of the more popular fruits in the world, pears sit just behind the blueberry and cherry on a list that was voted on by thousands of people across Earth. Though the exterior of a pear can taste a bit dry and without much taste, the inside is well worth the work since pears are very sweet. That’s good news for a lot of us, since pears grow on just about every continent with China, the United States, Italy and Argentina making up the four largest pear producers in the world, representing four massive global regions.
Not only are pears delicious, but they also bring a lot of important nutrients that your body needs, and some great health benefits in turn. Whether you’re eating pears as a snack or even part of a larger meal, your body will thank you. Just make sure to look for the raw kind instead of the canned variety, as they can contain an unnecessary amount of sugar. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of raw pears, and the health benefits that they bring.
Nutrition of Pears
Though they aren’t the lowest calorie fruit, you’ll find plenty of great nutrition inside of each pear. A small pear comes in at about 85 calories, and doesn’t contain much protein, but it also contains hardly any fat at 0.2 grams. Carbohydrates clock in at about 23 grams (or eight percent daily limit), but is offset by nearly 20 percent of your daily recommendation for fiber. There also isn’t any cholesterol in each pear, with nearly 12 milligrams of phytosterols.
In the vitamin department, vitamin C is the most abundant with 10 percent of your daily value, while vitamin K is closeby with eight percent. Others aren’t quite as high, but you’re still going to find folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin and more. All of the minerals check in at about five percent of your daily recommended value, with potassium and copper as the most significant. Other smaller ones include magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. It might not be the most vitamin-filled fruit, but don’t worry, pears have a lot of benefits.
While there are certain vitamins and minerals that you’re always keeping your eye on in your diet, something that might get glossed over is your fiber intake. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system as it helps create probiotics that allow you to be more regular, avoiding discomfort, diarrhea and constipation. You never realize you’re not getting enough fiber until it’s too late, it seems.
Fiber helps with some other parts of digestion that you don’t typically think about, either. Outside of making you regular, fiber can also help to boost your metabolism. Along with being low in calories, pears are a great part of a diet if you’re looking to drop a few pounds. You’ll even be decreasing your chances of developing colorectal or colon cancer later in life.
Even though pears don’t contain as many vitamins as some other fruits like oranges, you’re still getting a fair amount of essential nutrients like vitamin C. Vitamin C will help to boost your immune system, fighting off infections that can cause the dreaded common cold. There are other antioxidants found within pears that will further boost your immune system so that you don’t have to forget you didn’t get enough vitamin C until you’re already sick. We already talked about lowering the risk for colon cancer, but pears can also help to prevent other types of cancer, including a reduction in breast cancer chances by more than 30 percent.
Vitamin C isn’t only good for boosting your immune system, as it can also make you look better overall. More vitamin C in your system allows your body to produce collagen that gives your skin elasticity, even later in life. Along with other antioxidants like vitamin K and copper, you’ll be able to keep wrinkles away and maintain a youthful complexion for years to come. It also gives you more glowing skin as you get rid of oil that can cause blemishes like acne.
You’ve probably noticed that pears have been a big ingredient for a lot of beauty products like body wash, conditioners and shampoos. Not only does it smell great, but it’s almost certain that you’ll see an improvement in your skin and hair. After washing your scalp with the nutrients in pears, you can expect to have hair that grows in faster and much thicker than before.
Heart and Bones
Your heart needs all the help that it can get to prevent disease, heart attacks and strokes. Eating more pears is a good way of doing that, as many of the nutrients can help get rid of inflammation. Pears have been shown to boost the circulation in your body, meaning that the heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Potassium is one of those key elements that is great for heart health, and you might not be getting as much in your diet as you think.
Potassium and magnesium are also great for your bones. Magnesium allows the body to keep more calcium, which you’ll find in pears. More calcium means that your bones will be stronger for longer in your life. That can lower your chances of developing osteoporosis or arthritis, while even improving the symptoms from those problems in the elderly.
While you might be reaching for watermelon, strawberries or blueberries in the summer, consider pears as a great summer fruit. The hot summer months can bring a lot of problems to your respiratory system, as too much heat can cause a shortness of breath and throat inflammation. Doctors recommend that you eat a pear (or drink pear juice) to alleviate these problems as you sooth the throat and fight off any swelling. It’s not the first fruit that comes to mind for the summer, but pears could potentially save your life when the mercury rises on the thermometer.
Summing it Up
Since pears have a lot of health benefits and are one of the best tasting fruits out there, there has to be some sort of drawback to eating them, right? Almost every food is researched to the end of the world and back to find any side effects, and thankfully there haven’t been any found for pears. Pears are safe no matter what your situation is, whether you’re pregnant, diabetic or have any other specific needs in your diet.
The only thing that you really want to look out for is the calorie content. Pears make for a tremendous part of a well balanced diet, but you should be getting vitamins from other fruits, as well. To get the necessary amount of vitamins from eating just pears, you would have to eat a lot more calories than you would otherwise. Pears are a great snack for when you’re on the go, or want to satisfy a sweet craving without overindulging. With all of that said, pick up a pear from the store today and get snacking, you’ll thank yourself later!