No question, munching a juicy pear on a hot day is refreshing but here at naturaldetoxblog we’re pretty focused on superfoods and the question today is about the pear that we find in our gardens and shops – is it a superfood and what are the health benefits of pears?
A quick look at the composition of the pear gives us this data on the left!
Looking at these numbers and seeing very little of importance reminded me of my post on Apple Cider Vinegar, ACV, where it turned out that what made ACV a superfood was not even on the label!
So much for consumer information eh?
What the numbers above tell us is that a pear is a low calorie fruit with high water content and quite a decent supply of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. The other vitamin numbers are a little interesting but nothing to write home about.
So Pears Are a waste of Space Alex?
Not so fast. Let’s look at what is behind the bland word, “Fibre”.
The reason that it is worth looking closely at fibre is because it is a powerful and rather subtle way to underpin our health
You see, I am not talking about the odd looking bags of junk fibre found in health shops. Frankly I would not feed that stuff to a dog.
Real Dietary fibre is supplied by all plant food –all vegetables and fruit. Some of it is not digested and acts a bit like a pipe cleaner on the gut, and some of it is digested and this acts as a prebiotic.
Prebiotic Fibre helps the gut maintain a healthy environment so that our so called friendly bacteria can flourish. And it is in the health and good conditions of the bacteria in the colon that our health is rooted. So anything that aids gut flora is good for us and anything that harms it is detrimental.
For this reason we should be very wary in taking anti-biotics because the anti-biotics cannot usually harm only the disease causing bacteria such as E.Coli or Staph Aureus; they will generally harm our gut bacteria too. Funny enough – it makes sense when taking anti-biotics to also take probiotics for quite some time.
So the pectin in pears has a similar effect as eating yogurt because both help the environement in the colon.
Simply put, pears are a health food for the colon as well as the whole gastrointestinal tract. They are easy to digest and are known to be very unlikely to trigger allergic reactions. For that reason they are often included on special diets designed for people with serious allergy problems.
For the same set of reasons they are often the first fruit fed to a toddler.
A lot of the nutrition is in the skin so to get the most from a pear the skin should be eaten or juiced if you are preparing a juice combo including pears.
Apples and Pears go well together in a juice, just take 2 apples and 2 pears and with a few seconds in a juicer you have a delicious and nutritious juice.
Studies have shown that pears have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that come from several complex nutrients known to be significant anti-inflammatory action and needed to avoid inflammatory diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
So we can say that Pears are a superfood and that the health benefits of pears do not lie in the normal and well known content of vitamins and minerals but in rather exotic and technical anti-inflammatories such as chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid and quercetin.
Pears are easy to digest, have many complex anti-inflammatory ingredients and that since they have more pectin than apples do to boost the health of the colon maybe we should all be eating a pear a day to keep that Doctor away as well as that apple…
Photo pear blossom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PearBlossomsCalifornia.jpg
Photo Pears – Wiki Public domain