The humble pear originated in China and is native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. There is evidence of pears being consumed in prehistoric times.
All varieties of pears are extremely nutrient rich, containing potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, dietary fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, as well as B vitamins.
The fibre in pears can help improve digestion.
One pear contain 6 grams of fibre which about 15% of your daily intake requirements. The fibre in pears is a non-soluble polysaccharide, which means that it acts as a bulking agent in the intestines.
This fiber accumulates the food and adds bulk so it is easier for the food to pass through the intestines, regulates bowel movements and reduces the chances of constipation, as well as diarrhea.
The gritty nature of pear fiber helps it bind to cancer-causing agents and free radicals in the colon and protect the organ from their damaging effects.
Pears are a wealth of antioxidants like vitamin C vitamin A, and flavonoid compounds like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all of which can help rid the body of free radicals.
Immune boosting – Pears are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that are beneficial for stimulating white blood cell production. They have also been known to boost the immune system, which helps to eliminate conditions like common cold, flu, and other mild illnesses.
Heart health – Pears are also a wonderful source of potassium, which means that they can have a significant impact on heart health because potassium is a well-known vasodilator. This means that it lowers blood pressure, which reduces strain on the entire cardiovascular system and makes it harder for clots to form or harm you. Furthermore, it increases blood flow to all parts of the body, which oxygenates the organs and promotes their effective function.
Improve Circulation – For people who suffering from anemia or other mineral deficiencies, pears can be very helpful, due to a high content of copper and iron in them. Copper improves the uptake of minerals into the system, and increased levels of iron mean that the red blood cell synthesis increases
Reduce Inflammation – The antioxidant and flavonoid components of pears can induce anti-inflammatory effects in the body, reducing the pain associated with inflammation and may assist in condition such as arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and gout.
Improve Bone Health and help prevent osteoporosis – The high mineral content of pears includes magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, and copper which prevent bone mineral loss which leads to osteoporosis
Eat pears daily when in season which, in Australia is Autumn. Wait until they are just tender and enjoy.
Pears make a delicious addition to autumnal salads, can be added to a cheese platter or poached with liquid with spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise for a warming dessert.
Classic pear, rocket and walnut salad
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 ripe pears sliced
- 100 g spinach leaves
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste or add a scattering of shaved Parmesan