5 Health and Nutritional Benefits of Pears
This article will look at the health benefits of pears. It will also discuss the many ways to enjoy pears.
Pears contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant functions. A 100-gram (g) serving of pear provides about 27–41 milligrams (mg) of polyphenols. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which can damage cells. Free radicals can also increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, and more.
Pears also have antimutagenic properties, according to a 2018 study of five Turkish varieties.
Examples of mutagens include X-rays, UV radiation, and chemicals.
Fiber can also reduce your risk of other gut-related conditions, such as:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, per a 2018 study
As a source of dietary fiber, pears can help prevent type 2 diabetes. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains, dietary fiber slows the absorption of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes.
The protective effects are greatest with whole-grain fiber. However, a higher intake of fiber from any food source is superior to a low fiber diet. Compared with control groups consuming less fiber, people on a high fiber diet tend to feel fuller longer and eat fewer calories. If your doctor recommends weight loss, the dietary fiber in pears may be beneficial to your diet.
Learn more about the health benefits of fiber.
By lowering inflammation, you may lower your risk of:
- heart disease
- autoimmune disease
- neurological disease
Pears have hypolipidemic (fat-reducing) properties. This means they can lower the concentrations of lipids or fats in your blood, including cholesterol. Research finds that pear peels have a greater effect than pulp.
High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. As such, eating pears may help lower your risk of:
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 serving (100 g) of raw pear contains:
|calcium||0.009 g (9 mg)|
|magnesium||0.007 g (7 mg)|
|phosphorus||0.012 g (12 mg)|
|potassium||0.116 g (116 mg)|
Pear also contains trace amounts of vitamins B9 (folate), A, E, and K.
Other pear nutrients include polyphenols and other plant chemicals, such as:
- hydroxycinnamic acids
Many pear nutrients are most concentrated in the peel.
Pears and apples share many qualities. They both belong to the pome fruit family, which is a category of fruits that have a compartmented core.
The table below shows how pears and apples differ in terms of nutrient composition.
|Name||Raw pear (100 g)||Raw apple (100 g)|
|water||84 g||85.6 g|
|calories||57 calories||52 calories|
|carbohydrates||15.2 g||13.8 g|
|fat||0.14 g||0.17 g|
|protein||0.36 g||0.26 g|
|fiber||3.1 g||2.4 g|
|fructose||6.4 g||5.9 g|
|iron||0.00018 g (0.18 mg)||0.00012 g (0.12 mg)|
|vitamin C, total||0.0043 g (4.3 mg)||0.0046 g (4.6 mg)|
|vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.00012 g (0.12 mg)||0.00018 g (0.18 mg)|
There are several ways to eat pears, including:
- whole, sliced, or chopped fresh
- as part of a fruit salad
- blended into a natural fruit juice
- warmed slightly, with cinnamon
You can also add pears to your soups and smoothies. Remember to keep the peel, which contains many of the nutrients.
When should you eat pears?
You can eat pears at any time. To incorporate pears into your treatment plan for a specific condition, such as type 2 diabetes, consult your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can advise whether a particular time of day is best.
Pears are healthy and safe. However, they may cause some side effects if you eat them in excess.
Pears contain high amounts of fructose and sorbitol, which are two naturally occurring sugars.
Pears also contain a large amount of dietary fiber. Fiber is indigestible and may cause digestive issues if you consume it in excess. Symptoms may include:
Slowly incorporating pears — and dietary fiber in general — into your diet can help you avoid these temporary side effects. Eating a variety of dietary fiber is also beneficial.
Amy Richter, RD, reviewed the following questions.
Which is healthier: A pear or an apple?
Pears and apples are both healthy. Choose whichever you prefer, or mix them together!
Are pears good for the skin?
Pears are high in antioxidants, which may reduce the impact of sun exposure on the skin.
Pears are good sources of water, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. They also contain magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
Overall, their nutrient composition means pears may boost your immunity to disease.
Pears may help you have regular bowel movements and prevent digestive conditions. They may also promote weight loss and lower cholesterol.