Pears are not only delicious, but they are also loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to the body. From improving digestion, lowering blood pressure, and improving heart health to increasing cognitive ability, there are numerous health benefits associated with these truly delicious fruits. Here are 15 health benefits of pears according to science, as well as five delicious and healthy recipes readers can make using pears.
1. Help with cancer prevention
Research after research reveals that antioxidants helps in the prevention of cancer as well as free radical damage that is attributed to different types of cancers (1).
Pears are an abundant source of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E and fiber, all of which are well known for playing a protective role in various types of human cancers ranging from colon, breast to lung cancer (2).
The antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and other vital nutrients present in these sweet fruits have also been found to help with maintaining a healthy diet, which is crucial for fighting against a wide array of cancer types. Therefore, consuming more fruits like pears can help protect against cancer also significantly lower the risk of developing cancer (3)
Pears are a rich source of Vitamin C and E, fiber and powerful antioxidants that, all of which combined help protect the body against various types of cancer and further lower the risk of getting cancer.
2. Help promote wound healing
Pears are loaded with vitamin C(ascorbic acid), which is clinically proven to aid with healing of wounds as well as tissue repair (4).
Furthermore, this essential vitamin is a crucial part of synthesizing tissue growth in various cellular structures and organs of the body. All this is essential for keeping the body’s metabolism running smoothly in addition to ensuring that all the bodily functions operate properly.
Research has shown that wound healing takes place much faster whenever there is high levels of vitamin C in the body (6). In that regard, you can add high levels of ascorbic acid to your diet by consuming more pears on a regular basis.
Over time, those small cuts, injuries together with the damages done by those injuries tend to heal much faster as a result of increased intake of ascorbic acid through nutritious foods such as pears.
The high levels of ascorbic acid in pears also help with repairing damaged blood vessels (7). This can significantly reduce unnecessary strains on your cardiovascular system and further preventing heart diseases from occurring.
Eating pears on a regular basis can help add high amounts of vitamin C(ascorbic acid) to your daily diet, which in return can help promote the wound healing process and enhance tissue repair. Pears can also help boost your cardiovascular health by the virtue of repairing the damaged blood vessels.
3. Abundant source of dietary fiber
Pears contain high amounts of fiber than most fruits. Fiber has lots of health benefits and thus incorporating pears into your daily diet can dramatically increase your daily fiber intake.
Fiber can help with achieving healthy weight, thanks to the fact that high-fiber foods are more filling and low on calories as opposed to their low-fiber counterparts.
In that regard, consuming pears can be a nice way of boosting your dietary fiber intake thus helping you achieve a healthy body because high-fiber is associated with long-term weight loss as well as lowered risk of getting diabetes type 2 (8).
Moreover, the plentiful amount of fiber in these fruits aids with digestion and further enhances a healthy digestive system and a stronger immune system (9).
In one study, elderly people with constipation problems reported experiencing relief from constipation after consuming a diet supplemented with fiber (10).
Pears are a rich in dietary fiber, which has been proven to have numerous health benefits ranging from promoting weight loss, reducing the risk of diabetes type 2, lowering cholesterol levels to enhancing a healthy digestive system.
4. Help with improving the immune system
Pears are a rich source of vitamin C and other vital nutrients that help with strengthening the immune system, thus significantly reducing the risk of various chronic diseases (11).
When multiple trials were carried out in animal studies to determine the effect of vitamin C in living organisms, it was established that the animals with higher levels of vitamin C in their bodies had a stronger immune system than their counterparts with minimal amounts of this essential vitamins in their bodies (12).
As such, living organisms including human beings can benefit from an improved immune system by increasing the levels of this vitamin in their bodies.
Vitamin C is crucial to a healthy immune system (13). This vitamin can give your body everything it needs to protect itself against bacteria, viruses and microbes that can potentially destroy your body if they invade it.
Generally, there is sufficient amount of research that vitamin C can help strengthen the immune system (14).
Due to their abundant levels of vitamin C and many other essential nutrients, pears boast the best combination that can help strengthen your immune system and thus adding them to your dietary regimen can be the surest way of improving your immune system.
5. Improved blood circulation and increased red blood cell count
Pears can of great help for persons suffering from anemia along with other diseases associated with mineral deficiencies, thanks to the rich content of iron and copper present in these fruits.
Dietary copper, which can be obtained in fruits such as pears, has been known to be beneficial for cardiovascular homeostasis (15)
It is well known for enhancing normal cardiovascular functioning in both animals and humans (16).
On the other hand, clinical trials in persons suffering from iron deficiency and heart failure show that iron treatment can significantly improve symptoms of heart failure and anemia(17).
As such, a diet consisting of dietary fiber can go a long way towards combating possible effects of iron deficiency and further reducing the risk of heart failure.
Furthermore, iron has been known to be a crucial element for blood production(18). Increased iron levels through the regular consumption of iron rich foods such as pears will help greatly increase the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.
Most importantly, copper helps with enhancing iron absorption and thus copper deficiency can significantly reduce iron absorption in the body(19). In this regard, consuming more pears will give your body plenty of copper it needs to effectively absorb iron thus leading to an increased red blood cell count over time.
Similarly, more dietary copper from pears can lead to improved circulation and overall improved cardiovascular health.
Consuming pears on a frequent basis can dramatically help improve your cardiovascular health in the long-run, since the body will have plenty of copper and iron it requires to ensure their proper blood circulation and increased red blood cell count as well.
6. Help with reducing inflammation
Vegetables and fruits such as pears are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, which have been proven scientifically to help with curbing inflammation and also reduce the pain linked with inflammation diseases(20).
Antioxidants are particularly important for combating inflammation brought about by oxidation and activity of the free radicals (21).
In a study carried out to determine the antioxidant activity of 12 common fruits together with 5 commercial fruit juices, pears were found to be among the fruits with a high antioxidant activity (22).
That means they have a high amount of antioxidants than most common fruits, and thus are quite effective when it comes to neutralizing free radicals that cause inflammation.
Pears are also rich in flavonoids, some special compounds found in most plants and which are widely known to have incredibly powerful antioxidants that provide a wide array of health benefits (23) .
Eating pears can do more than what other fruits cannot achieve. They can help you get a substantial amount of antioxidants that your body needs to counter inflammation especially the kind of inflammation occasioned by oxidative stress as a result of aging .
Eating pears can be a wonderfully delicious way of equipping your body with essential antioxidants and flavonoids it requires to combat inflammation and also provide a myriad of health benefits as well.
7. Wonderfully rich in potassium
Pears are loaded with potassium, which is known to be an essential nutrient that can benefit the overall health in numerous ways. There is concrete evidence that potassium helps improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure when consumed either in foods or in form of a dietary supplement (24).
For instance, research shows that there is a link between increased potassium intake and reduced blood pressure, thus significantly reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke (25). This nutrient is also able to lower blood pressure by the virtue of being a vasodilator, and by its ability to balance out the side effects of salt in the kidneys (26).
As such, dietary supplementation can help reduce high blood pressure among patients suffering from hypertension.
Moreover, potassium enhances blood flow by creating a vasodilation effect on the blood vessels consequently prompting the blood to flow much faster throughout the body (27).
Potassium also acts like the body’s fluid regulator, and hence it helps with keeping body parts well hydrated and further ensures there is a good balance of fluids in both the cells and the body organs (28). Simply put, there are several processes that the body cannot carry out properly devoid of potassium.
Potassium, whether consumed or used as a dietary supplement definitely has multiple health benefits that cannot be overlooked. Regular consumption of pears can help guarantee consistent supply of this nutrient in the body.
8. Help prevent birth defects
Pears are high in folic acid, which is scientifically proven to aid with preventing certain types of birth defects (29) .This therefore means that pregnant women should consume more of folate-rich fruits such as pears so as to protect the health of their unborn babies and further avoid miscarriage and other birth defects.
More specifically, folic acid can significantly reduce specific birth defects of the spinal cord and brain by over 70% (30). These types of birth defects are usually known as (NTDs) neural tube defects, and they occur once the spinal cord does not close properly.
Folic acid has other benefits apart from preventing birth defects among pregnant women. As a B complex vitamin for instance, folic acid is crucial for human growth and development since cells cannot duplicate unless they have folic acid (31).
Pears offers the surest way for pregnant women to prevent various types of birth defects by giving the body the adequate amount of folic acid it needs to protect the health of the unborn. Better still, consuming pears can also help you reap other health benefits of folic acid such as enhancing proper human growth and development.
9. They help fight diabetes
Although pears alongside other fruits contain natural sugars largely in form of fructose, eating pears can nevertheless help fight diabetes (32).
Research further shows that fruit and vegetable consumption can help lower the risk of diabetes, and thus eating pears alongside other fruits can be an excellent way of fighting this condition (33).
Generally, pears are considered low-glycemic foods , which have found to naturally lower blood sugar and thus suitable for patients with diabetes as a result of having high blood sugar (34).
Flavonoids similar to ones contained in pears can help improve insulin sensitivity, which is particularly beneficial for persons with type 3 diabetes (35).
Recent study has demonstrated that pears can help improve insulin sensitivity, which is crucial for treating and preventing diabetes besides preventing excess weight gain (36)
Pears offer an excellent, natural way of fighting diabetes. Eating these deliciously sweet fruits can help you fight diabetes and further prevent you from falling victim to this condition.
10. Help with maintaining proper bone health
Pears are loaded with high mineral content which include magnesium, calcium, manganese and copper, all of which are crucial for maintaining proper bone health and preventing the occurrence of Osteoporosis (37).
The dietary magnesium contained in pears can help prevent osteoporosis, since low levels of magnesium can significantly increase the risk of this condition (38).
Dietary vitamin K, which is also plenty in pears, can do more than just play a role in the bone building process. It is also responsible for blood clotting (39).
While this vitamin may not be seen as important as other minerals and nutrients that are normally used in the bone building process, low levels of vitamin K in the body have been associated with low bone density .
Eating pears can be beneficial for supplementation with this important vitamin, consequently leading to improvements in bone health.
The other nutrient that is critically important in enhancing proper bone growth is boron. Boron supplementation is necessary for proper bone health, especially among the elderly and postmenopausal women. The easiest and most natural way of boron supplementation is by eating boron-rich foods such as pears.
Eating pears regularly is definitely the best way of benefiting from the high mineral content in these fruits, which are clinically proven to aid with enhancing good bone health. It can also help reduce your risk of osteoporosis and further prevent bone mineral loss.
11. Help improve eye health and counter conditions associated with aging
Pears are quite rich in vitamin A alongside other essential nutritional components such as zeaxanthin and lutein. There is ample evidence that eating fruits such as pears can help keep your eyes healthy and further boost your overall health as well (41).
Pears contain plenty of vitamin A and Beta-carotene, which are well known for playing a vital role in improving vision, strengthening the immune system and improving overall health as well (42).
In a study conducted to establish the role of vitamin A in improving eye health and vision, it was established that participants who took vitamin A supplements had significantly lower risk of getting cataracts and other vision ailments than their counterparts who did not take these supplements at all (43).
Therefore, instead of relying on vitamin A supplements so as to increase the levels of this crucial vitamin with the aim of improving your eye health, eating pears is ultimately the most natural way through which you can load your body with this vitamin.
The antioxidants in pears have also been proven to aid with reducing the effects of aging especially on the skin (44).
While aging is absolutely an inevitable part of our life, eating pears can be an excellent way of countering numerous conditions that come with the natural process of aging. These fruits can also provide adequate amount of Vitamin A to help improve your eye health as well.
12. Help with improving the health of the skin
Pears are beneficial for skin health, thanks to their nutritive value that is quite high in comparison to that of many common fruits. Eating plenty of fruits such as pears has been linked with improved skin health (45).
The powerful antioxidants in these fruits help with combating wrinkles and other skin problems that are occasioned by the activity of free radicals in the body . Again, the vitamin C in pears plays a crucial role in promoting a healthy skin by the virtue taking part in collagen synthesis .
Research has further revealed that vitamin C can help protect the skin from the negative impact of oxidative stress. Since pears are a natural, abundant source of vitamin C, eating them therefore gives the body enough amount of this vitamin so as to maintain a good skin health in the long-run.
Pears can give you exactly what your body needs to maintain a healthy skin devoid of using any artificial supplements. Instead of using such supplements for improving your skin health, add these fruits to your dietary regimen and you will naturally equip your body with the nutrients it needs to achieve a healthy skin.
13. Pears are essential for healthy hair
Pears boast essential nutrients that are vital for maintaining healthy hair. For instance, ripe pears are rich in Zinc, which has been clinically established to help with maintaining healthy hair growth (46).
Zinc has particularly been proven to be highly effective in enhancing hair growth . Again, the natural sugar contained in pears known as glycol or sorbitol , helps with nourishing the scalp and feeding the hair roots as well as keeping the hair follicles well-hydrated.
Therefore, eating pears is definitely a great way of supplying your body with adequate amount of zinc it requires to maintain a healthy hair growth. The abundant amount of vitamin C in pears can also be highly beneficial for hair health.
A study involving women experiencing thinning hair was carried out to establish the effectiveness of oral vitamin C supplements on curbing hair loss, and it was established that vitamin C can effectively help promote hair growth and combat hair thinning as well(47).
It is thus prudent for people suffering from hair loss and hair thinning to eat more pears to get the right amount of vitamin C the body requires to combat both hair loss and hair thinning.
Pears are quite beneficial for maintaining a healthy hair growth. It is thus incredibly important to add them to your daily dietary regimen especially if you are experiencing hair growth, hair loss and hair thinning problems.
14. Pears are generally hypoallergenic fruits
Though there might be only a few studies carried out on pears up to date, pears are widely regarded as hypoallergenic because they don’t produce allergic responses when consumed unlike most fruits.
Due to their hypoallergenic nature, pears are widely regarded as safe for consumption by persons of all ages. Though there are some fruits that may seem to offer similar benefits to pears, they may nevertheless not be ideal especially if they can lead to allergic responses upon consumption.
Pears are by far the safest fruits for everyone. The very fact that these fruits are hypoallergenic in nature means that you can eat them safely and experience their health benefits firsthand devoid of worrying about allergic responses.
15. Pears can help with boosting mental health
Consuming pears can help provide the recommended daily intake of copper, which is an important mineral for promoting a healthy nervous system. Copper has been proven to play a very important role in combating neurological disorders (48).
Copper has also been found to play a vital role in stabilizing the central nervous system , and thus it is one of the minerals that is needed for a good mental health.
Copper changes in the body can significantly affect the nervous system, which in return can impact on your ability to learn new things and remember them as well.
Pears are also rich in antioxidant quercetin, which research shows that it can help lower the toxicity of the beta amyloid proteins accumulating in the brain and which can lead to dementia and memory loss in the long-run (49).
A recent study further shows a reduction of the risk of Alzheimer’s disease once quercetin was injected to the body 3 times in 48 hours for about 3 months(50).
Moreover, the numerous powerful antioxidants present in pears are vital for preventing infections and strengthening the immune system, which consequently translates into a central nervous system that is strong enough to maintain a good mental health and fight off mental illnesses as well.
Eating pears can be a delicious way of enhancing a good mental health. Pears have a vast amount of copper mineral, which is widely known for its effective role in maintain a healthy nervous system. Better still; the powerful antioxidants in pears can help protect you against mental illness such as Alzheimer’s diseases, thus ensuring you remain mentally healthy all the time.
5 Amazingly Delicious Pear Recipes
Even though pears are massively underrated, there are however incredibly delicious in a wide array of dishes. They are also loaded with more potassium, folate and fiber than most fruits. Below are top 5 amazingly delicious pear recipes that you can try at home so as to get the best of these nutritious fruit.
1. Grilled stuffed pears recipe
Pears are normally overlooked when it gets to grilling, but their hard texture helps them withstand the high intensity of the grill. This delicious pear recipe allows you to enjoyed grilled pears in both savory and sweet ways (51).
· 2/3 cup of quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
· 1/3 cup of dried Spanish chorizo
· Freshly ground black pepper and salt
· 4 Anjou pears
· 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and more for drizzling
· S tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
· ¼ cup of thinly sliced scallions
· ½ cup of crumbled tea
· 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint
· ¼ cup of coarsely chopped or sliced almonds, toasted
· In a small saucepan, put the quinoa, add 1 ¼ cups of fresh water and half a tablespoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil before lowering the heat so as to retain a gentle simmer. Cover the saucepan and cook the quinoa until all the water is completely absorbed. Uncover the saucepan after 5 minutes and then use a fork to fluff the quinoa. Drizzle on the vinegar and olive oil, and then sprinkle with pepper and salt to taste. To ensure the hot quinoa has coated evenly, toss it before spreading it on a cool surface where it can cool down to room temperature. Add the chorizo, scallions, almonds mint once the quinoa has cooled.
· Heat a stovetop grill pan on a charcoal grill or a gas grill until it is smoking hot. Use oil to grease the grill grates.
· Cut the pears into two and get rid of the core together with a little extra flesh. Take the two portion of pear and rub some olive oil on each of them before sprinkling them with salt.
· Grill the pears for about 3 to 5 minutes , turn them over and then fill each of them with quinoa stuffing. Grill them thoroughly until they get tender when you pierce them with a fork. Serve them over arugula, drizzle some olive oil over the pears and then dress them with greens.
2. Pear & blackberry crostata
Parked with sweet, ripe fruit, the shortcrust pie is delicious when served with plenty of ice cream, custard or cream. This truly wonderful recipe allows you to enjoy pear in its most delicious form, while at the same time ensuring you are getting the best of this nutritious fruit (52).
· 500g pack of sweet shortcrust pastry
· 4 tablespoons of blackberry conserve
· A little amount of flour for dusting
· 4 ripe pears that are carefully peeled, cored and sliced
· Icing sugar for dusting
· 140g of blackberry, defrosted if frozen
· Heat your oven to about 180C or 160C and then insert an oven tray inside the oven for purposes of preheating . Take the pastry and roll out 2/3 of it on a wide, lightly floured surface and then cut the pastry into a 5mm thick disc. Use it for lining a 23 cm pie tin while leaving the excess pastry to overhang. Carefully spread the conserve thoroughly onto the base of the pantry and top with pears and blackberries.
· On a wide, lightly floured surface, roll out all the remaining pastry to 5mm thick. Cut the dough into strips of 12x23 cm using a ravioli wheel. Lattice the pastry by placing a pastry strip horizontally right on the top of the pie. Thereafter, take a strip and lay it vertically and repeatedly in order to create a woven pattern. Arrange the strips across the pie at 2 cm intervals on the top of your pie before sealing and trimming any excess pastry.
· Place the crostata on a hot baking tray and on the lowest shelf of your oven, and then bake for about 40 minutes. Thereafter, keep it aside for at least 25 minutes for it to cool off prior to dusting it with icing sugar.
3. Pear-Cardamom Caramel Recipe
Folded with cooked pears, this tasty caramel combines cardamom and ginger to give it a pleasant, herbaceous taste. It also includes spicy flavors that lend their sophisticated sweet taste (53).
· 4 ripe pears
· ¼ and 1/3 cup of water in separate containers
· 2 cups of heavy cream
· 2 cups of sugar
· 1/ 2 teaspoon of salt
· 1 stick of butter
· 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger
· 6 green cardamom pods
· Take a small saucepan and heat the heavy cream. Crush the cardamom pods in order to expose the seeds. Add the seeds and the pods to the cream. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover it moment before the cream start boiling.
· Roughly chop the pears and bring them to a boil with a ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan. Cover the saucepan and cook the pears over low heat for about 20-30 minutes.
· Ladle the pear mixture into the food mill and whip them until the seeds and the skins are the only remaining things. Put the pear pulp back to the saucepan; continue cooking over low heat while stirring frequently until the content in the saucepan has reduced by half. You need to have just a cup of thick cooked pear.
· Strain the pods and cardamom seeds out of the cream and then discard them.
· Stir 1/3 cup of water together with sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved completely. Place the saucepan on the fire and heat over the highest setting. Boil the mixture undisturbed until it turns golden around the edges of the saucepan. As the syrup continues to cook, swirl it to redistribute the caramel and then heat the caramel until it has achieved your desired color level( either copper colored or slightly burned). Stir in the cream and after taking off the saucepan from the fire and start whisking briskly. Add butter once bubbling has subsided.
· Whisk on ground ginger, salt and pear puree and then place the saucepan to the cooker and cook it until the mixture is homogenized. Pour the resulting caramel into jars and store in the refrigerator for later consumption.
4. Curried butternut squash & pear soup
Your family will definitely love this satisfying creamy soup that combines pleasant flavors of curry and butternut squash (54).
· 2 pounds of butternut squash
· I diced onion
· 2 minced cloves garlic
· 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
· 2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root
· I tablespoon of salt
· 4 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
· 1 tablespoon of curry powder
· 2 ripe pears, peeled and cored
· Preheat your oven to about 190 degrees Celsius. Line the oven with a rimmed baking sheet.
· Cut the squash in half lengthwise; eliminate the seeds and the membrane. Place the two halves of the squash on the baking sheet that you prepared. Roast them in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until they become very soft. Reserve the pulp after scooping it from the peel.
· Put some butter in large-sized soup pot and then melt it over medium heat. Proceed and stir in the garlic, ginger, onion, salt and curry powder. Cook and stir slowly until the onion is completely soft, for about 10 minutes. Put the chicken broth into the cooking pot and then bring the content to a boil. Stir in the reserved squash and the pears, and then simmer for about 30 minutes so that the pears can be completely soft.
· Take a blender and pour all the soup into it, ensuring that the pitcher isn’t more than half full. While holding down the lid of your blender using a folded kitchen towel, carefully start the blender. Go ahead and puree in batches until they become completely smooth and then put the soup back to the pot and reheat until it is ready for serving. You can serve the soup alongside your meals to make them tasty. You can also take the soup as an appetizer.
5. Poached pears recipe
This recipe helps you absorb all the sweet, delicious flavors of pears by simmering them whole in a blend of red wine, orange juice, lemon juice, spices and sugar (55).
· ½ bottle of red wine
· 1 lemon
· 1 navel orange that is quartered
· ¾ cup of sugar
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 4 ripe pears
· 5 cloves
· In a small-sized saucepan, and while it is off the heat, mix the red wine, lemon juice and orange juice. Put one quarter of the squeezed orange into the saucepan and then add vanilla, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick. Take caution not to put the red wine and the juices when the saucepan is placed on the heat. The heat can make the mixture toxic and unsafe for consumption.
· Add the pears into the above resulting mixture and then bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and then simmer. Uncover the saucepan and then keep turning the pears occasionally. Do that until the pears can easily get pierced with the tip of your kitchen knife. This will take about 25 minutes. Transfer the cooked pears to another place, preferably individual plates or any other clean surface.
· Remove and get rid of the spices and the orange quarter. Put the liquid back to a simmer and then cook it until it become syrupy. Cook further until the syrupy liquid has reduced by about two-thirds. This will take approximately 15 minutes depending on the intensity of the heat. Thereafter, you can spread the sauce over the pears and then serve with greens or any delicacy of your choice.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.