Pears come in many different varieties. Bartlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou pears are among the most popular, but around 100 types are grown worldwide.
A medium-sized pear (178 grams) provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 101
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 27 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Vitamin C: 12% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 6% of DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
- Copper: 16% of DV
This same serving also provides small amounts of folate, provitamin A, and niacin. Folate and niacin are important for cellular function and energy production, while provitamin A supports skin health and wound healing.
Pears are likewise a rich source of important minerals, such as copper and potassium. Copper plays a role in immunity, cholesterol metabolism, and nerve function, whereas potassium aids muscle contractions and heart function.
What’s more, these fruits are an excellent source of polyphenol antioxidants, which protect against oxidative damage. Be sure to eat the whole pear, as the peel boasts up to six times more polyphenols than the flesh.
Pears may also promote gut health:
Pears are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which are essential for digestive health. These fibers help maintain bowel regularity by softening and bulking up stool.
One medium-sized pear (178 grams) packs 6 grams of fiber — 22% of your daily fiber needs.
Additionally, soluble fibers feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. As such, they’re considered prebiotics, which are associated with healthy aging and improved immunity.
Notably, fiber may help relieve constipation. In a 4-week study, 80 adults with this condition received 24 grams of pectin — the kind of fiber found in fruit — per day. They experienced constipation relief and increased levels of healthy gut bacteria .
As pear skin contains a substantial amount of fiber, it’s best to eat this fruit unpeeled.
Pears have anti-inflammatory properties:
Although inflammation is a normal immune response, chronic or long-term inflammation can harm your health. It’s linked to certain illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Pears are a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, which help fight inflammation and may decrease your risk of disease).
Several large reviews tie high flavonoid intake to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. This effect may be due to these compounds’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
What’s more, pears pack several vitamins and minerals, such as copper and vitamins C and K, which also combat inflammation.
Pears may offer anticancer effects:
Pears contain various compounds that may exhibit anticancer properties. For example, their anthocyanin and cinnamic acid contents have been shown to fight cancer .
A few studies indicate that diets rich in fruits, including pears, may protect against some cancers, including those of the lung, stomach, and bladder.
Some population studies suggest that flavonoid-rich fruits like pears may also safeguard against breast and ovarian cancers, making this fruit a particularly smart choice for women.
While eating more fruit may reduce your cancer risk, more research is needed. Pears should not be considered a replacement for cancer treatment.
Pears may boost heart health:
Pears may lower your risk of heart disease.
Their procyanidin antioxidants may decrease stiffness in heart tissue, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
The peel contains an important antioxidant called quercetin, which is thought to benefit heart health by decreasing inflammation and reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels).
One study in 40 adults with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increases your heart disease risk, found that eating 2 medium pears each day for 12 weeks lowered heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and waist circumference.
A large, 17-year study in over 30,000 women revealed that every daily 80-gram portion of fruit decreased heart disease risk by 6–7%. For context, 1 medium pear weighs around 178 grams.
Furthermore, regular intake of pears and other white-fleshed fruits is thought to lower stroke risk. One 10-year study in over 20,000 people determined that every 25 grams of white-fleshed fruit eaten daily decreased stroke risk by 9%.
Pears may help you lose weight:
When full, you’re naturally less prone to keep eating.
In one 12-week study, 40 adults who ate 2 pears daily lost up to 1.1 inches (2.7 cm) off their waist circumference.
Plus, a 10-week study found that women who added 3 pears per day to their usual diet lost an average of 1.9 pounds (0.84 kg). They also saw improvements in their lipid profile, a marker of heart health.