This article provides a nutritional breakdown of the pear and an in-depth look at its possible benefits. It also gives tips on incorporating more pears into the diet and lists some potential health risks of consuming them.
As part of a balanced, nutritious diet, consuming pears could support weight loss and reduce a person’s risk of cancer , diabetes , and heart disease .
A pear is a mild, sweet fruit with a fibrous center. They are rich in essential antioxidants, plant compounds, and dietary fiber. Pears pack all of these nutrients in a fat free, cholesterol free fruit that is around 100 calories.
People who wish to add pears to their diet should ask a local grocer about the best type for their tastes.
Some of the more common types of this fruit in the United States include:
There are over 3,000 types of pears worldwide. They vary in size, shape, sweetness, and crispness.
Apples are mainly high in potassium. They also contain quercetin, catechin, chlorogenic acid, and anthocyanin, plant compounds that provide additional health benefits.
Nutritionists say that 100 g of a skin-on gala apple contains:
Pears, especially those with red skin, also contain carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. These are plant compounds that offer several health benefits and act as antioxidants.
Consuming all types of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of several health conditions, and pears are no exception.
They provide a significant amount of fiber and other essential nutrients and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain gut conditions.
In the sections below, we look at the specific health benefits of pears.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed dietary guidelines that include recommendations for daily nutritional goals.
They recommend that males between the ages of 14 and 50 years consume 30.8 to 33.6 g of dietary fiber per day, depending on age. For females between ages 14 and 50 years, the recommended intake is 25.2 to 28 g per day, depending on age.
For adults over the age of 50, the recommendation is 28 g per day for males and 22.4 g per day for females.
Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is a fairly easy way to boost fiber intake. For example, just one medium-sized pear provides 5.5 g of fiber, which is roughly 22% of the daily recommended intake for females under the age of 50 years.
Pears also contain a soluble fiber called pectin, which nourishes gut bacteria and improves gut health.
In fact, the USDA suggests sufficient fiber intake promotes healthy bowel function and can increase feelings of fullness after a meal. It may also lower a person’s risk of heart disease and reduce their total cholesterol levels.
Improved fullness after meals can support weight loss, as a person will feel less of an urge to snack between meals. A 2015 study found a link between increased fiber intake and improved weight loss for people with obesity.
Also, a 2020 review of studies in humans found that dietary fiber may play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation. It might also decrease the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Diverticulitis occurs when bulging sacs in the lining of the large intestine, called diverticulosis, develop infection and inflammation.
A 2020 review suggested that a high fiber intake of at least 30 g per day can reduce the risk of diverticular disease. However, further research is necessary on the effects of different sources of fiber and diverticulosis risk.
It is also not clear how fiber reduces the risk of diverticulosis, so more studies in this area are necessary.
A 2019 study on pears suggested that people with metabolic syndrome who ate two pears per day for 12 weeks saw a modest decrease in systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Regular, adequate bowel movements are crucial for the daily removal of toxins through bile and stools.
Pears have high water content — this helps keep stools soft and flushes the digestive system of toxins.
A 2015 systematic review of the health benefits of pears suggested that their laxative effect comes from their high fiber and fructose content. Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar that occurs in most fruits.
Pears contain high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper. These chemicals counter the effects of free radicals, protecting cells from the damage they can cause.
Free radicals develop when the body converts food to energy, and they can contribute to cancer growth.
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