Breakdown and Background of pears
Fruits are essential in creating a well-balanced diet and other health benefits. They contain several minerals and vitamins to develop the body, heart health, and antibodies to fight against diseases like cardiovascular problems with diabetes. They are also essential for weight loss. Therefore, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, include them in your diet.
Pears are rich in vital nutrients and minerals and high in fiber contents. They are not only delicious, but they serve as a cure for many diseases like cholera and constipation. Let us consider the definition, history, health benefits, and side effects of nature’s bountiful fruits.
What Is a Pear?
Pear or Pier (Pyrus Comunis) is a sweet bell-shaped fruit that resembles a green apple. It is an all-round season fruit, eaten crisp or soft, but some are slightly sour. Some local names are Perikkai (Telugu), Nashpati (Hindi), and Sabariil (Malayalam).
They are pomaceous fruits, and many species are available around the world today. Some common types are Barlett, Arjou (red or green), Bosc, Comice, Clapp, and Seckel.
Pear trees are 10-17 meters tall, and the leaves are alternately arranged. The flowers are white, faintly tinted yellow, or pink. Instruments and furniture makers use the woods in their production.
History of Pears
Pears are one of the oldest fruits in history. The Sumerians were the first to write about pears in 2750 BC, explaining a thick paste from it with thyme, oil, ale, and figs for body poultice.
In Greece, the fruit was part of their Mythology, and it was dedicated to their gods, Hera and Aphrodite. Homer, a Greek Poet, calls it “Fruit of the gods” in 850 BC. In the 4th century, Theophrastus, Aristotle’s student, wrote in detail about its propagation techniques.
The Romans had six species cultivated in 100 BC. Phiny, a Roman Historian, further wrote about 20 varieties in 200 AD, and Palladius described how to ferment for alcoholic consumption (castomonicile), which was more preferred than Apple wine by the Romans.
The Romans spread Pears’ cultivation into Gaul, France, and Great Britain because there was no record of the fruit in these regions until after the Norman Conquest of 1066. After this, the tree was a luxury and was grown in castle and monastery gardens.
The first pear tree was imported into America in 1559. In the 18th century, the Belgians started growing 400 varieties of pears, including Beurré d’Anjou and Beurré Bosc.
On the other hand, the pier got to the West Coast of North America through the Spanish. They brought the fruit to California, Oregon, and Washington. By the 1800s, after the California Gold Rush, the farmers had started planting European pears for food.
However, a new species, Barlett, took over the market after the second world war because of its resistance and long shelf life. Today, they are available worldwide, with China and the United States topping the production list.
Cultivation of pear
A pear tree is deciduous and belongs to the Rosaceae family. Pear Bureau Northwest states that about 3000 species are grown worldwide. Commercial Pear Production is concentrated in the Northwest United States.
Total United States Production in 2014 was more than 1.6 billion pounds (NASS, 2015). There are six central states in the production of pears: California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington.
The trees are grown through various methods: Growing from Seed, Growing in Pots, and Grafting. Grafting is conventional among commercial growers because they come into fruition faster, produce similar fruits (shape, size, and color), and the roots can resist disease.
The best climatic condition for the pier is abundant sunlight (determines the color) and about 400-800 hours of cold temperature — for healthy development and fruition.
Pier and apples are similar foods with the same cultivation process.
Pears are versatile fruits that can serve as a main or side dish. The best varieties for cooking are Bosc and Bartlett pears.
To select the best product in a store for instant consumption, avoid the shiny skin pears —they are unripe. Instead, pick those with a golden matte look and soft neck.
To eat it raw, wash and pat the skin dry. Eat along with the skin to get all the fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants in it.
You can also make a dessert by mixing with cheese or any other ingredient. Also, you can add it to fruit salad; they are genuinely nice.
Pears mix well with other fruits when preparing smoothies too. The sweetness of the fruit gives your smoothie a delicious taste. You can try out a pier and coconut smoothie; it has high fiber content good for body and skin health.
In baking dessert or pies, pears are suitable. They are excellent as poaches, sautés, and wrap for pastry.
For children, they are tasty snacks and a healthy ingredient in some baby foods. When making beverages and cocktails, adding mashed or canned items is an exceptionally good idea too. When preparing other special diets and vegetarian food, consider adding one.
You can also mix it with apples when creating a recipe. You would love it.
Health Benefits of pear
Pears have significant health benefits for the heart, skin, hair, and body. According to USDA Food Data Statistics, one medium pear (178g) contains 101 Calories, 0.25g fat, 27.1g of carbohydrate, 17.4g of sugar, 5.52g, and 1g of protein.
Besides that, essential vitamins and antioxidants like Vitamin C, K, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, and Folate are present in all their varieties.
Let us see some of its other health benefits:
• Reduces heart disease risk. According to the National Center for Health Statistics: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. American Heart Association states that many factors contribute to cardiovascular disease, including diet, age, genes, etc. Foods rich in veggies are usually lower in fat and calories; they can help the body at a healthy weight and boost heart health.
Pears (and apples) contain fiber (one of the leading foods sources of fiber), a nutrient that lowers blood cholesterol levels in the body; thus, reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Fiber has other great health benefits in the body. It is a complex carbohydrate that absorbs water and ejects harmful toxins from the body. Studies have shown that daily intake of fiber-rich foods can reduce cardiovascular disease risk by 50%.
• Prevents Cancer: A study in Animals of Oncology Journal states that Every 10g of the fiber you eat is associated with a 10% reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Pear contains a high fiber level, which removes carcinogenic cells. Also, eating this precious fruit reduces breast cancer risk by 34% of Postmenopausal women.
• Regulates Sugar Level and Prevents Diabetes: Diabetes is a common health issue today, contributing to other diseases. Pear has anti-diabetic compounds to prevent diabetes (type 2) and fiber to balance the blood sugar level in patients with diabetes.
• Improves Immune System: Antioxidants like Vitamin C and Copper in Pier works as an immune booster to help fight against diseases.
• Fights Osteoporosis: Another health benefit is strengthening bones. They contain boron, a mineral that helps the bone absorb calcium and strengthens it — 0.33g of boron is present in one medium-sized product. This is sufficient for the daily maintenance of pH levels in the body.
• Gives Energy: They are overly sweet, which means they have high glucose content. The body absorbs glucose and converts it to energy during fatigue. The juice can also serve as an energy drink.
• Good for weight loss: Many nutritionists recommend various veggies for weight loss and health benefits. Pear is rich in fiber (6 grams), which sustains you longer. It also has a low-calorie content (56g per 100grams), making it perfect to lose weight. It has about 84% water content; they are high in volume and low in calories.
Some believe that you should not eat after a specific time in the evening when trying to lose weight. This is not true with this product. So, if you are struggling to lose weight, this is a simple way to enjoy your diet during your weight loss journey.
• Good for children: Pears are hypoallergenic and low in acid. They contain antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress that may introduce heart disease. Generally, it serves as portable snacks for your kids to take to school.
• Cures Dyspnea, Fever, and Throat Problems: Pears have a soothing and cooling relief when ingested, especially in summer. Therefore, it is a go-to food when you are feeling shortness of breath or fever. You can also take these sweet juices to ease minor throat discomfort.
• Beneficial Plant-based Compounds: They contain many beneficial plant-based compounds that promote the body’s general well-being. Also, these plant-based compounds reduce heart disease risk. Some of the compounds include:
Anthocyanins: Mostly found in red-skinned pears are potent antioxidants that facilitate communication between cells.
Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Beta-carotene: These antioxidants help improves vision, especially in older adults.
Hydroquinone: Pear contains arbutin, an organic beneficial plant-based compound with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen that helps to tone skin color.
Now let us see some of its Skin Benefits:
• Protect the Skin: Pears are rich in dietary fiber, which plays a vital role in maintaining soft and smooth skin. Fiber helps flush out toxins from the body, reducing sugar release into the bloodstream and protecting skin collagen. This altogether improves the look and sheen of the skin, thereby making it healthy.
• Helps in Antiaging: Vitamins C, K, and Copper are potent antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals, thus, safeguarding the skin cells from damages and prevents wrinkles on the face and hands.
• Treats Oily Skin: Pears can serve as a treatment for your oily skin. Mashing pears with fresh cream and honey makes a great face mask to reduce the over-secretion of the sebaceous glands in your skin.
• Fights Acne: Pears contains essential minerals and vitamins which help boost immunity. As a result of this, the skin can fight acne, pimples, and other infections effectively.
• Moisturizes Skin: the natural lubricant in pears balances with the water content and retains moisture on the skin. Thus, it is widely known as an ingredient in moisturizing lotion for healthy skin.
Furthermore, Pears contain lactic acid, which keeps the lip cells healthy and moisturizers to prevent dryness.
• Restores Hair Sheen: Pears can serve as a hair mask to revitalize your hair and change its dull nature. It can also help in maintaining curls and locks. To do this, simply mash it and soybean oil together. Apply on the hair and wash after an hour. The difference will wow you.
• Anti-Inflammation: Inflammation can be both good and bad. It helps the body protect itself from injuries and infections, but chronic inflammation can cause weight gain and other diseases. One of the fruits that fight inflammation is pear. They are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, which reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Furthermore, pears contain multiple vitamins and minerals such as Copper, Vitamins C, and K, which also combats inflammation. It is the beneficial plant-based compounds that reduce the need for other external uses for inflammation medication.
Generally, Pears nourishes the hair and makes it healthy. The ripe ones contain “sorbitol” or “glucitol” or natural sugar alcohol, which serves as hair food and moisturizer.
Consuming pears is greatly beneficial to our health; however, be careful of the delicious taste, leading to excessive consumption. Here are some of the side effects of pears:
• Improper chewing of the pear skins can cause stomach upset. Also, people with diarrhea problems should not consume pears as it can aggravate the problem further.
• Pyrus has an icy texture; hence, the flu level can increase.
• If you have an allergy, consult your doctor before taking it to avoid any reactions.
• Sensitive stomach requires careful selection and eating of foods. Eating pear immediately after food can cause constipation.
• They are great sources of Folic acid and other nutrients beneficial for pregnant women. However, too many pears (excess folic acid) are bad for health and may increase rashes, cramps, nausea, and insomnia. Therefore, consume in moderate proportion after consultation with a doctor.
• Excessive consumption of the product is harmful to digestive health. The fact remains that a Pear helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system, but too much fiber in the system is also bad. It disturbs the inflow of other nutrients and has other side effects like intestinal gas and blockage etc.
Another side effect is Excessive Weight Gain: while consuming pears to lose weight, too much eating can lead to calorie build-up and excessive weight gain.
• Increase Blood Pressure: Although these fruits are effective in regulating blood pressure, however, too much potassium in the body can cause hypotension — a state of low blood pressure levels — which could lead to an increase in heart disease and heart attacks.
• Increase in Iron Levels: pears help reduce anemia because it contains iron. But a high level of iron in the blood can cause joint pain, abdominal pain, hair loss, etc.
• Furthermore, on the side effects, excessive consumption of pier can cause a high presence of antioxidants in the body, which leads to elevated cancer risk.
• Many fruits contain a high amount of fructose. This makes them a high Fermentable, like Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAP). Diets high in this can increase bloating, gas, and pains in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients. Thus, they should speak to a dietician before adding to the diet.
These side effects are mostly from people’s experiences and perceptions. So, do not entertain any concerns because these abundant fruits are good foods if you consume the right quantity in your diet to reduce any inflammation; there are many benefits for you to enjoy weight loss and good cardiovascular health.
Summary and Review
Pears are powerhouse fruits with lots of fiber, vitamins, and about 17 beneficial plant-based compounds that combat disease. They are like apples as they both provide essential nutrients the body requires for a daily intake.
These fruits lower blood pressure to reduce inflammation and heart disease risk while helping you to lose weight effortlessly within your diet, which provides numerous health benefits for the body while avoiding side effects.
Ensure that you eat the fruit with the skin and chew properly to avoid side effects. Remember, moderation is essential. Create delightful dishes and enjoy your meal. Bon Appetit.