By Aparna Mele MD
Pears aren’t just sexy with their hour-glass shape. They are filled with juicy and delicious sweetness and come in at least ten different varieties with a unique texture and aromatic fragrance. A focus for artists, chefs, and the health conscious, pears are full of goodness and very healthy for the body, plus have a long shelf life!
Pears are high in pectin, which contains water-soluble fiber and helps the body eliminate fatty substances that are of no nutritional value remaining in our digestive tract. This fruit has a low glycemic index, containing just the right amount of sweetness that it can curb the craving for other sugar-packed snacks and thus helping the body maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Because of its high fiber content (5 grams per pear), it can help protect the heart from coronary disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing the bad cholesterol in the body. The fiber contained in the fruit is about 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance, so you stay fuller longer, curbing appetite and facilitating healthy weight loss. They are loaded with flavonoids, which are antioxidants that given them their beautiful colors and have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. Their vitamin C content helps boost your immune system, protect cellular DNA, stop cells mutation, facilitate healing, and even reverse signs of aging. Because they are so high in potassium, pears contribute to kidney health and regulation of sodium and fluid balance throughout the body.
Pears are low in calories, sodium free, fat free, and cholesterol free. That’s a lot of nutrition in one sweet and juicy package! Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle, and pears are a delicious part of this menu. Try them this season in a variety of ways to bring the healthy back into your diet.
Check out this recipe for baked pear trail mix, a healthy and delicious snack!