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7 Health Benefits Of Pears

Last updated June 20, 2016

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

The pear is any of several tree and shrub species of genus Pyrus. This tree is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions, such as Western Europe, North Africa, and East Asia.

The pear is any of several tree and shrub species of genus Pyrus. This tree is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions, such as Western Europe, North Africa, and East Asia. The fruit is the upper end of the flower stalk and is typically pear-shaped, narrow at the top, and wider at the bottom. Pears and apples cannot always be distinguished by the form of the fruit, but one significant difference is the gritty feeling pears have.

Here are the 7 health benefits of pears.

1.     Pears may help improve digestive health.

Pears are an excellent source of fiber. Dietary fiber can aid to prevent constipation, helping to make your bowel movements easier to manage. One pear contains 5 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively.

2.     Pears are a rich source of antioxidants.

Pears contain many antioxidants like vitamin C and chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants seek and neutralize average cell-harming free radicals that can destroy cells or turn them into cancer cells.

3.     Pears can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Pears have a great potassium to sodium ratio. One pear contains 176 milligrams of potassium, compared to 1.5 milligrams of sodium. This helps the blood vessels relax and maintains proper blood pressure. Also, a high potassium diet reduces strain on the heart and increases overall cardiovascular health.

4.     Pears can help keep your heart strong.

One study suggested that individuals who consumed 4,069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium, approximately 1,000 mg per day.

5.     Pears can help individuals fight infections.

Pears are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent natural water-soluble antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and eliminates cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

6.     Pears can help slow down aging.

Sufficient vitamin C intake does not only improve the immune system, but the vitamin can also create and maintain collagen, an essential protein found in hair and skin.

7.     Pears have a low glycemic index value.

The glycemic index ranks food and drinks based on their blood sugar increase potential. Foods high on the glycemic index like white rice and white bread will break down easily and cause blood sugar and insulin level spikes after meals, which is followed by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels. The sugar in pears are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, which prevents sugar crashes, sugar cravings, and mood swings.

Additional Resources:

  1. Pears, raw [Includes USDA commodity food A435] Nutrition Facts & Calories. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2017, from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2005/2
  2. Fiber Supplements May Lower Cardiovascular Risk In Type 2 Diabetics. (2005, April 30). Retrieved June 20, 2017, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050430103506.htm
  3. Houston, M. C. (2011). The importance of potassium in managing hypertension. Current hypertension reports13(4), 309-317.
  4. Cogswell, M. E., Zhang, Z., Carriquiry, A. L., Gunn, J. P., Kuklina, E. V., Saydah, S. H., ... & Moshfegh, A. J. (2012). Sodium and potassium intakes among US adults: NHANES 2003–2008. The American journal of clinical nutrition96(3), 647-657.
  5. Buttriss, J. L., & Stokes, C. S. (2008). Dietary fibre and health: an overview. Nutrition Bulletin33(3), 186-200.
  6. Galvis Sánchez, A. C., Gil‐Izquierdo, A., & Gil, M. I. (2003). Comparative study of six pear cultivars in terms of their phenolic and vitamin C contents and antioxidant capacity. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture83(10), 995-1003.
  7. Cserr, H. (1965). Potassium exchange between cerebrospinal fluid, plasma, and brain. American Journal of Physiology--Legacy Content209(6), 1219-1226.
  8. Vaxman, F., Olender, S., Lambert, A., Nisand, G., Aprahamian, M., Bruch, J. F., ... & Grenier, J. F. (1995). Effect of pantothenic acid and ascorbic acid supplementation on human skin wound healing process. European surgical research27(3), 158-166.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 3, 2014
Last updated: June 20, 2016