Health Benefits of Pears

Health Benefits of Pears

October 28th, 2014 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP

Health Benefits of Pears

The pear, which is in season most of the winter, packs itself with many health benefits. Pears are high in fiber, high in vitamins and minerals and most people find they are absolutely delicious.

Believe it or not, but many of the nutrients found in pears are actually concentrated in the skin. Recent studies have shown that the skin of pears contains at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh. These phytonutrients include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids. The skin of the pear has also been shown to contain about half of the pear’s total dietary fiber. Before consuming, make sure the pears have been washed thoroughly. It is important to note that pears are not included in the Environmental Working Group’s 2014 report “2014 Dirty Dozen Plus” as one of the 12 foods most frequently containing pesticide residues.  I highly recommend choosing organic or locally grown pears that are grown using organic standards.

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Pears come in a variety of colors and shapes. The list below describes some of the more commonly enjoyed varieties of pears:

  • Bartlett: best known of the pear varieties in the U.S., and most often the variety found in cans. Bartletts, sometimes called Williams pears, are yellow/green and speckled.
  • Bosc: cinnamon brown-skinned pears with long tapered necks with a honey-like but complex flavor.
  • Comice: round, short pears with either green and red coloring, or sometimes almost completely red with especially soft and juicy flesh.
  • Concorde: tall, skinny, and golden/green pears with flesh that is firmer and more dense than many other varieties.
  • Forelle: red/green and speckled like a trout, and thus the name, meaning “trout” in German. A small-sized pear that yellows as it ripens.
  • Green Anjou: a widely available, compact, and short-necked pear. It doesn’t change color much while ripening.
  • Red Anjou: very much like its green counterpart, except a rich reddish maroon in color and higher in anthocyanins (which is the main reason for its rich red color).
  • Red Bartlett: very much like its yellow/green counterpart, except with an all-round bright red skin, they sometimes feature light vertical striping, and like Red Anjou, they are rich in anthocyanins.
  • Seckel: smallest of the commonly eaten pears, usually yellow/green or olive green in color, and mixed with broad patches of red.
  • Starkrimson: bright crimson red color, more narrow-necked that Red Anjou, but equally rich in anthocyanins and especially beautiful in a salad.

Health Benefits of Pears

  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • decreases risk of diabetes
  • decreases risk of heart disease
  • reduces cancer risk
  • low in acid
  • easy to digest
  • hypoallergenic fruit
  • ranks #2 in highest flavonols in fruits & veggies
  • high in phytonutrients
  • aids in weight loss
  • supports healthy digestion
  • skin of pears contains at least 3 to 4 times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh
  • low on glycemic index
  • high in fiber
  • good source of potassium
  • AHA reports that eating one pear a day can reduce risk of stroke by as much as 52 percent

pumpkin seed powder - ExhibitHealth.com

Pear-Quinoa Salad Recipe

Ingredients (use organic ingredients)

1 14-ounce can organic vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tbls fruity vinegar, such as pear, raspberry or pomegranate
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 ripe but firm pears, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted

Directions

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has popped, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, chives, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Add pears and toss to coat.
Drain any excess liquid from the cooked quinoa, if necessary. Add the quinoa to the pear mixture; toss to combine. Transfer to the fridge to cool for about 15 minutes or serve warm. Serve topped with nuts.
Recipe via: www.eatingwell.com

References & Research

  • Aguedo M, Kohne S, Rabetafika N et al. Composition of by-products from cooked fruit processing and potential use in food products. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Volume 27, Issue 1, August 2012, Pages 61-69.
  • Buchner FL, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Ros MM et al. Consumption of vegetables and fruit and the risk of bladder cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Int J Cancer. 2009 Dec 1;125(11):2643-51.
  • Chen J, Wang Z, Wu J et al. Chemical compositional characterization of eight pear cultivars grown in China. Food Chemistry, Volume 104, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 268-275.
  • Colaric M, Stampar F and Hudina M. Content levels of various fruit metabolites in the “Conference” pear response to branch bending. Scientia Horticulturae, Volume 113, Issue 3, 20 July 2007, Pages 261-266.
  • Freedman ND, Park Y, Subar AF et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and esophageal cancer in a large prospective cohort study. Int J Cancer. 2007 Dec 15;121(12):2753-60.
  • Hernandez-Ramirez RU, Galvan-Portillo MV, Ward MH et al. Dietary intake of polyphenols, nitrate and nitrite and gastric cancer risk in Mexico City. Int J Cancer. 2009 Sep 15;125(6):1424-30.
  • Kahlon TS and Smith GE. In vitro binding of bile acids by bananas, peaches, pineapple, grapes, pears, apricots and nectarines. Food Chemistry, Volume 101, Issue 3, 2007, Pages 1046-1051.
  • Li P and Cheng L. The elevated anthocyanin level in the shaded peel of “Anjou” pear enhances its tolerance to high temperature under high light. Plant Science, Volume 177, Issue 5, November 2009, Pages 418-426.
  • Linseisen J, Rohrmann S, Miller AB et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and lung cancer risk: updated information from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Int J Cancer. 2007 Sep 1;121(5):1103-14.
  • Maras JE, Talegawkar SA, Qiao N et al. Flavonoid intakes in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Volume 24, Issue 8, December 2011, Pages 1103-1109.
  • Muchuweti M and Chikwambi Z. Isolation and Identification of Anthocyanins in the Fruit Peels of Starkrimson and Marx Red Bartlett Common Pear Cultivars and Their Bud Mutants. American Journal of Food Technology Year: 2008 Vol: 3 Issue: 1 Pages/record No.: 1-12.
  • Predieri S and Gatti E. Effects of cold storage and shelf-life on sensory quality and consumer acceptance of “Abate Fetel” pears. Postharvest Biology and Technology, Volume 51, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 342-348.
  • Salta J, Martins A, Santos RG et al. Phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of Rocha pear and other pear cultivars – A comparative study. Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2010, Pages 153-157.
  • Tanrioven D and Eksi A. Phenolic compounds in pear juice from different cultivars. Food Chemistry, Volume 93, Issue 1, November 2005, Pages 89-93.
  • Wedick NM, Pan A, Cassidy A et al. Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;95(4):925-33. Epub 2012 Feb 22.
  • Yazdani N, Arzani K, Mostofi Y et al. α-Farnesene and antioxidative enzyme systems in Asian pear (Pyrus serotina Rehd.) fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology, Volume 59, Issue 3, March 2011, Pages 227-231.
  • The World’s Healthiest Foods. www.whfoods.com
Loretta Lanphier is a Naturopathic Practitioner (Traditional), Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Clinical Herbalist as well as the CEO / Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness in The Woodlands TX. She has studied and performed extensive research in health science, natural hormone balancing, anti-aging techniques, nutrition, natural medicine, weight loss, herbal remedies, non-toxic cancer support and is actively involved in researching new natural health protocols and products.  A 14 year stage 3 colon cancer survivor, Loretta is able to relate to both-sides-of-the-health-coin as patient and practitioner when it comes to health and wellness. “My passion is counseling others about what it takes to keep the whole body healthy using natural and non-toxic methods.” Read Loretta’s health testimony Cancer: The Path to Healing. Loretta is Contributor and Editor of the worldwide E-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness. Check out Oasis Advanced Wellness and our natural skin care site Oasis Serene Botanicals.
  • Minnie

    Hi, Loretta, this is minnie, I ran across your website on an article you posted on google. I’m ever thankful that I did because I believe in eating myself to good health. It’s especially good to know all the benefits that different foods have. I will definetaly visit your helpful blog more often.
    Minnie

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