Pears are among the best fruits, having not only a pleasant flavor and a delicious taste, but also some nutritive qualities that make them a safe option even for those suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure or other cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
Composition and properties
Pears are to be praised mostly for their high content of potassium (1190 mg/kg – 34%DV) and lack of sodium (10 mg/kg – 0.4%DV), which recommends them for the diet of those suffering from high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias. They also contain a high amount of dietary fibers (31 g/kg – 124%DV) and almost three times more fructose (62.31 g/kg) than glucose (27.60 g/kg), which makes them suitable for the diet of those suffering from diabetes. Other vitamins and minerals are also quite well represented in the composition of pears: 1 kg of pears cover 70%DV of vitamin C, 56%DV of vitamin K, 50%DV of copper, and 17.5%DV of magnesium.
The high content of potassium makes pears excellent diuretics and thus very useful in cases of high blood pressure, water retention, obesity or gout.
Pears also contain many phytonutrients proven to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties: hydroxybenzoic acids (chlorogenic acid, gentisic acid, syringic acid, vanillic acid), hydroxycinnamic acids (coumaric acid, ferulic acid, 5-caffeoylquinic acid), hydroxyquinones (arbutin), flavanols (catechin, epicatechin), flavonols (isorhamnetin, quercetin, kaempferol), carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin), and anthocyanins.
- Muscle spasms (One of the main causes of muscle spasms is a potassium deficiency.)
- Nausea (One of the main causes of muscle spasms is a potassium deficiency.)
- Cancer (Pears have been proven to help lower the risk of colorectal cancer, gastric cancer and esophageal cancer. The lowering of colorectal cancer risk is due mostly to the dietary fibers, which can bind together secondary bile acids, substances that raise the risk of colorectal cancer. For the lowering of gastric cancer risk there seem to be responsible the hydroxycinnamic acids.)
- Arrhythmias (One of the main causes of arrhythmias is a potassium deficiency.)
- High blood pressure (due to the diuretic effect of potassium)
- Water retention (due to the diuretic effect of potassium)
- Kidney stones (due to the diuretic effect of potassium)
- Blood sugar and cholesterol levels control (due to the high content of dietary fibers, which can slow down the intestinal absorption of sugar and fats)
- Diabetes (Flavonols, flavanols, and the anthocyanins help improve insulin sensitivity.)
- Obesity (due to the diuretic effect of potassium and to the high content of dietary fibers, which can slow down the intestinal absorption of sugar and fats)
- Slow digestion, acid reflux, liver disorders, colic, diarrhea, constipation (due to the high content of dietary fibers and potassium)
- Acne, greasy skin (due to the relatively high content of vitamins and minerals)