Benefits of Pears
The pear is any of several tree and shrub species of genus Pyrus.
1. What is Pears
Pears are actually higher in pectin than apples. This makes them effective in helping to lower cholesterol levels and in toning the intestines. They are often recommended by health care practitioners as a hypoallergenic fruit that is high in fiber. They are less likely to produce an adverse response than other fruits. Pears are often recommended as a safe fruit to introduce to infants. Pears are an extraordinary source of dietary fiber when the skin is eaten along with the flesh. Pears are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin E, both powerful antioxidants and essential nutrients.
Pears are a member of the rose family of plants (Rosaceae), which, in addition (of course) to roses, contains a long list of fruits including apples, apricots, cherries, chokeberry, crabapples, loquats, peaches, plums, quinces, raspberries, serviceberries, and strawberries as well as the tree nut, almonds. The many different varieties of pears commonly found in U.S. groceries all belong to the same category known as European Pear (Pyrus communis). These pears typically have a rounded body that tapers into a neck of various lengths.
There is some debate about the exact origins of the European pear, but many experts believe that European pears (Pyrus communis) and Asian pears (both Pyrus pyrifolia and Pyrus ussuriensis) evolved separately and during the same approximate time in history (roughly 1000 BC). Certain species of pear are also native to parts of Africa.
4. Antioxidant and AntiInflammatory Support
While pears are not an unusual source of conventional antioxidant or antiinflammatory nutrients (for example, vitamin E or omega3 fatty acids), the phytonutrient category is where this fruit excels. For example, in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (1,638 participants, average age range 6269 years), the combination of apples/pears ranked as the second highest source of flavonols among all fruits and vegetables partly due to the epicatechin richness of pears. Average flavonol intake in the study was about 14 milligrams per day, and one pear can provide about half of this amount all by itself.
5. Reduced Cancer Risk
The health benefits of pear fiber also extend into the area of cancer risk. Fiber from pear can bind together not only with bile acids as a whole, but also with a special group of bile acids called secondary bile acids. Excessive amounts of secondary bile acids in the intestine can increase our risk of colorectal cancer (as well as other intestinal problems). By binding together with secondary bile acids, pear fibers can help decrease their concentration in the intestine and lower our risk of cancer development. In the case of stomach cancer (gastric cancer), intake of pears has also been shown to lower cancer risk.
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