Pears make a delicious addition to every diet. They are packed with nutrients that are great for your long-term health. Whether it’s a sweet Concorde variety or the crisp Seckel, eating a fresh pear may actually keep your doctor away.
Pears have long been beloved by people throughout Europe and Asia. Pears were a great part of Roman and Greek mythology, and they symbolized immortality in Chinese culture. A good source of vitamin C and fiber, it’s no wonder that our love affair pears continue to this day. In fact, these fruits feature prominently in the classic Christmas carol: “The 12 Days of Christmas.“
Specific studies have shown that pears can help prevent certain health conditions as well. Listed below are three examples.
- Prevent strokes. Eating lots of produce, especially fruit with white flesh, can help prevent stroke, according to a Dutch study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. In the stroke study, researchers studied “the link between fruits and vegetable color group consumption with 10-year stroke incidence in a population-based study on 20,069 adults…” They found no link with green produce (such as dark leafy vegetables), orange/yellow produce (such as citrus fruits), and red/purple produce (such as red vegetables). But they did find that the risk of stroke was 52 percent lower for people who consumed high amounts of produce with white flesh, including apples and pears.
- Manage diabetes. Besides strokes, certain pears can help with diabetes. A research team from North Dakota State University studied the effects of two varieties of pears, the Bartlett and Starkrimson pears. They found that eating the whole fruit (including the peel and pulp) could “provide better control of early stage diabetes.” This is due to the phenolic compounds found in the fruit (the highest concentration of the phenolic compounds found in the pear peels).
- Reduce erectile dysfunction. According to a joint study from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Harvard University, flavonoid-rich foods can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 70. In the study, men who ate flavonoid-rich foods and exercised regularly reduced their risk of erectile dysfunction by 21 percent. According to one of the researchers, the top sources of flavones and flavanones in the US include strawberries, blueberries, red wine, apples, citrus products, and of course, pears.