by Jenna Koroly, MS, RD, CSOWM, CDN
Pears are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium [i]. Because they are also rich in fructose and sorbitol, pears combined with additional sources of fiber may promote gut health and prevent constipation [ii].
Pears contain polyphenols, which are compounds naturally found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, red wine, coffee, tea, legumes, and chocolate. Pears, apples, berries, grapes, and cherries contain 200-300 mg of polyphenols per 100 grams of the fruit. These compounds may protect against the development of cancers and other chronic diseases, via mechanisms such as induction of cell apoptosis, prevention of oxidation, and promotion of anti-inflammatory activity [iii].
Of the polyphenols, pears are concentrated in a type of flavonol called anthocyanins (which are types of antioxidant compounds). Intake of pears and apples has been associated with decreased type 2 diabetes and stroke in prospective cohort studies [ii].
Ways to Eat
Enjoy the pear in many forms, including in a pear, goat cheese, cranberry, and pecan salad. Try ricotta cheese spread on whole wheat toast with slices of pear and cinnamon on top for a nutritious dessert, and pear slices with your favorite nut butter for a midday snack. Finally, don’t miss our fun and crunchy pear recipe to come!
[i] Pears, raw. Retrieved from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2005/2.
[ii] Reiland, H & Slavin, J. (2015). Systematic review of pears and health. Nutr Today, 50(6), 301-305. Doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000112. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657810/.
[iii] Pandey, KB & Rizvi, SI. (2009). Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2(5), 270-278. Doi: 10.4161/oxim.2.5.9498. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/.