If you’re always on the lookout for nutrient-rich fruit for your fruit bowl or lunch box, you can’t look past the humble pear.
Globally, there are over 3,000 different types of pears – in different sizes, shapes, and flavours to appeal to various tastes. While they aren’t the prettiest fruit to grace your lunch box, they pack a lot of health benefits into only 100 calories – something processed foods can struggle to do naturally. A single pear has a lot of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, but no fat or cholesterol.
If you haven’t been much of a pear eater in the past, you might be once you realise how beneficial for the body they are. Pears, along with other fruit and vegetables, can reduce your risk of several health conditions when you consume them as part of a healthy, balanced diet. These include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
What may also interest you is the fibre content. Men under 50 years of age should have at least 38 grams of fibre per day, with women requiring 25 grams. Because a medium-sized pear offers around six grams of fibre, it’s one of the best sources of it in the fruit world – helping you meet nearly a quarter of your daily requirement.
Its fibre content helps in lots of areas. It can help reduce your cholesterol levels, stabilise blood sugar levels in diabetics, and promote bowel regularity so you can benefit from a healthy digestive tract. As pears are 84 per cent water, your body can have an easier time flushing toxins from your body. High fibre also keeps you fuller for longer, which may help with weight management.
When it comes to fighting free radicals, pears pack the punches here too. Their high levels of antioxidants, such as copper and vitamins C and K, help remove free radicals, protecting your cells from the damage these can cause.
However, it’s helpful to be aware that pears are a high FODMAP food. They have more fructose than glucose, which can sometimes result in bloating, gas, pain, and diarrhoea in those suffering from irritable bowel disorders. If you need any help or advice with this, then consult your GP.
While you can’t live on pears alone and expect to be the picture of health, you can include them as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet and enjoy both the flavour and health benefits.