Sweet and juicy, usually soft, sometimes hard on the inside – pears were once referred to as a “gift of gods.” There are many different types and they can be found in markets and in supermarkets during the entire year, although their main ripening time period lasts from August to October. They belong to the same family of fruits like apples and quinces. Depending on the type, pears can be yellow, green, brown or red.
Pears are a good source of vitamin C. It is a well-known fact that this vitamin is a powerful tool in the fight against colds, because it stimulates white blood cells to fight infection, directly destroys many viruses and bacteria, and also regenerates vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant. The consumption of this fruit also helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and disorders of the intestinal tract. This fruit is one of the first to be recommended for feeding infants, as the main ingredient of porridges. Thanks to a delicious and sweet taste, your child will not complain when you prepare a pear porridge.
Although it is a known fact that fruits should be a part of our healthy lifestyle, sometimes allergic reactions to certain types of fruits can occur, most commonly in children. Compared to other fruits, there is a small possibility that the consumption of pears would bring you allergies, so for it is believed to be hypoallergenic fruit.
For those who are interested in historic facts, the Latin name of the pear is Pyrus communis. This fruit has an interesting history: it is originally from western Asia. In these regions, the pear has been known for three thousand years. There are assumptions that people knew about it even much earlier than that, in the Stone Age. Whatever its true origin is, it is certain that the composition of pears has changed a lot over time. Until the 18th century, its inside was not so juicy and soft as it is today. The current situation is the result of cultivation of this plant and mixing it with other fruit trees. Nowadays, the large majority of the plantations where pears are grown are located in China, Italy and the United States.
Traditional medicine has long ago recognized the medicinal properties of pears. Before we say something about health benefits of pears, we want to draw attention that pear should not be eaten on an empty stomach or after heavy meals and meat. Also, you should not drink water after eating a pear, because it can cause diarrhea. On the other hand, if you suffer from constipation, pears are an excellent solution for this problem. Fresh pears and pear compotes contribute to bowel cleansing. The reason for this is pectin located in pears that acts as a diuretic and has a mild laxative activity. The pectin in pears help reduce cholesterol levels, especially if you eat raw unpeeled pears, with a thin and soft skin. Pear’s skin also contains nutrients, as well as its central part, so it is best not to peel it before eating. Once cut, pear will oxidize quickly and get a brownish color. You can prevent this to happen by pouring the juice of a lemon or orange on it.
A few ideas for preparing pears
- Add chopped pears, ginger and honey in millet porridge and you will get a very tasty and nutritious breakfast.
- Remove pits and peel the pear, and then put them in apple juice or wine.
- For the end a couple of facts from history: pear was once the exclusive upper-class fruit but today we can all enjoy its tempting taste.
Pears are very similar to apples in size. But unlike apples, pears have a skin that is harder to clean. The skin can be yellow, green, brown, red or a combination of all colors.
Pears are mostly sweet, juicy and tasty, and the inside texture is creamy. The best known is the Chinese pear which has the best medicinal properties. They are present throughout the entire year, but the best are from the end of July to the beginning of February.
Pears are an excellent source of soluble fiber. They contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E, folic acid and niacin. They are also a rich source of copper, phosphorus and potassium, but in smaller amounts include calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, sodium and sulfur.
Pears are hypoallergenic fruit that is high in fiber, and rarely cause allergic reactions. Pear juice is excellent for newborns because of its mild flavor.
Pears contain antioxidants and anti-cancer compounds that prevent high blood pressure and heart attack.
High levels of vitamin C and copper will reduce the level of free radicals in the body and thus prevent cell damage.
Pears are rich in pectin, which effectively reduces the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Soluble fibers are excellent for the health of the digestive tract and may help prevent colon cancer.
Pectin is a diuretic and has a mild laxative effect, which will stimulate the bowels and allow proper digestion of food.
Pear is a rich source of glucose and fructose, which can quickly raise the energy level.
The best way to reduce temperature is to drink a large glass of freshly squeezed pear juice.
Antioxidant activity of pear will strengthen your immune system. Eat pear or drink pear juice, especially during the flu season.
Pear has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in relieving pain caused by inflammation processes.
Pears contain high levels of boron, which helps the body absorb calcium and in that way pears are preventing osteoporosis.
All pregnant women should increase the intake of folic acid to prevent congenital disorders in children. Pears are rich in folic acid, so experts recommend them during pregnancy.
Tips for consumption
Always choose pears that are firm and have darker color. Leave to stand for several days until they slightly soften. A peeled pear can only last for a few days. Keep them away from strong food odors such as onion, garlic, sauerkraut, etc. because they can easily take in these scents.