Pyrus communis, also known as pear, belongs to the Rosacea family. Pears have a characteristic shape, with a round and wide bottom and a tapering top. They come in different colors like green, brown, red and yellow. Read on further to know some of the popular benefits of this tropical fruit.
Types of Pears:
Pears are classified into Asian pears and European pears. Asian pear varieties have a firm texture, which does not change after harvesting or storage. European pears turn soft and juicy when they ripen completely. There are almost 3000 varieties of pears found across the world. Some of the most common varieties of pears include:
- Bosc: It is a cinnamon brown colored pear, with a long, tapered neck and honey-like flavor.
- Bartlett: Bartlett is considered the best variety of pear. It comes in colors like yellow and green.
- Comice: Comice is a round, short pear with red or green colorings. It has a soft and juicy flesh.
- Forelle: Forelle is a green pear and is speckled like a trout. It is a small-sized pear which turns yellow as it ripens.
- Green Anjou: Green Anjou is a short-necked and compact pear which doesn’t change color while ripening.
- Red Anjou: Red Anjou, as the name indicates, is rich red in color. This variety of pear has high amounts of anthocyanin in it.
- Red Bartlett: Red Bartlett is bright red in color with brown vertical stripes.
- Seckel: Seckel is the smallest variety of pear available. It is usually yellow or olive green in color with broad red patches.
- Starkrimson: Starkrimson is a narrow-necked pear, which is bright crimson red in color. This variety of pear looks amazing in salads.
Health Benefits of Pear Fruit:
The humble fruit is packed with tons of health benefits. Some of the most popular pear health benefits include:
1. Mental Health:
A medium-sized pear provides about 15 percent of our daily recommended copper requirement. Copper is an essential mineral required for a healthy central nervous system. The copper ions affect the component that is responsible for making the neural synapses stronger or weaker. This change affects our ability to learn and remember. The antioxidant, quercetin, found in pears also protects us from Alzheimer’s disease.
The skin of the pear comprises of more phenolic phytonutrients than the flesh. These include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids and even anti-cancer phyto-nutrients like cinnamic acid. Antioxidants prevent infection and keep the immune system strong. It also protects the cells from the damage caused by free radicals.
3. Vitamin K:
Vitamin K in pears prevents blood clotting and improves blood circulation in the body. A study has found that the risk of developing lymphoma was around 45% lower in people who regularly consumed high amounts of Vitamin K.
The health benefits of pear extend into the area of cancer risk as well. Fiber in pear binds together with a special group of secondary bile acids. Excessive amounts of secondary bile acid can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. By binding together with the secondary bile acids, pears help to lower the risk of cancer. The hydroxycinnamic acid found in pears prevents lung and stomach cancer. Quercetin, an antioxidant found in the skin of pears, also prevents cancer.
5. Macular Degeneration:
Eating three or more servings of pear daily lowers the risk of macular degeneration, the primary cause of vision loss in elderly people.
6. Heart health:
Pears are a good source of glutathione, an antioxidant, which controls high blood pressure and reduces the risk of strokes. It contains potassium, a mineral, which maintains the health of the heart. Quercetin also prevents artery damage that can cause heart disease. The high levels of pectin in pears lower cholesterol in the body.
Pears contain phytonutrients, which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties are very beneficial for relieving stomach pain and other common chronic inflammations.
Pear is one of the best fiber-rich foods. A medium-sized pear provides up to 30 grams of fiber, including pectin, which helps in toning the intestines and lowering the cholesterol levels. A high fiber diet prevents a bloated belly caused by constipation, while preventing painful hemorrhoids. Fiber also helps to absorb vitamins and minerals from the food.
Certain flavonoids found in pear improve insulin sensitivity in the body. This decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women. Therefore, consuming pears fro diabetes helps.
10. Bone Health:
Pears contain boron, a mineral which aids the body to retain calcium. The fruit may, therefore, help in preventing osteoporosis.
Folate is an essential mineral required for the well-being of the fetus and pregnant women. It prevents neural tube defects in infants. Thus, it is advisable for pregnant women to eat one pear daily during their pregnancy.
The anti-inflammatory properties of pears help to clear the phlegm from the body for the proper functioning of our respiratory organs. Boil two Chinese pears with raw honey and drink this while warm to soothe the throat and vocal cords. Drink pear juice twice daily to prevent further throat problems.
Skin Benefits of Pear Fruit:
13. Treats Acne, Pimples & Other Skin Infections:
Pears are recommended for the treatment of acne due to the high amounts of vitamins and minerals in it. This fruit boosts the immunity system and enables the skin to fight against acne, pimples and other skin infections.
14. Indirectly Keeps Skin Smooth & Supple:
Pears are full of fiber, a nutrient which prevents fluctuation of sugar spikes. Sugar spikes can damage collagen, a protein that keeps the skin smooth and supple.
15. Regulates Skin’s pH Balance:
You can use pears in the form of a face pack for oily skin. Add a teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of whipped cream to a mashed pear. Apply the mixture on the face and neck, and wash it off after 15 minutes. The minerals present in pears neutralize skin acids and help in regulating the pH balance of the skin.
Hair Benefits of Pear Fruit:
16. Nourishes, Scalp, Hair Roots & Follicles:
Pears contain several hair-friendly nutrients, which are beneficial for maintaining the health of the hair. Ripe pears contain natural sugar called glucitol, which nourishes the scalp, feeds the hair roots and keeps the hair follicles hydrated.
17. Treats Dandruff & Scalp Psoriasis:
The moisturizing properties of pears are useful for reducing the dryness of the scalp. This keeps dandruff, scalp psoriasis and flaking at bay.
18. For Shiny & Smooth Hair:
You can also prepare a natural hair mask for treating dull and dry hair. Mix the extract of one ripe pear with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and water. Apply this hair mask on the scalp and hair, half an hour before shampooing. Wash it off to witness shiny and smooth hair.
Nutritional Value of Pears:
Nutritive value per 100 g (USDA)
Percentage of RDA
|Total Fat||0.12 g||0.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||3.10 g||8%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.048 mg||1%|
|Vitamin A||23 IU||1%|
|Vitamin C||4.2 mg||7%|
|Vitamin E||0.12 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||4.5 µg||4%|
Pears are a good source of Vitamin B2, C and E. It contains minerals like copper, iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and chlorine in small quantities. It is also a good source of pectin, a water-soluble fiber. Pear also contains all three groups of flavonoids – flavonols, flavan-3 and anthocyanin in huge amounts.
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