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Pear Power

Has anyone else noticed the shift of colors, sizes and shapes in the produce section? I always love seeing the fall goods- pumpkin, squash, leeks, brussel-sprouts, beets, spot on delicious apples, and even the beautiful (but hard to embrace) pears.


I love how pears look, and like the ‘idea’ of pears but admittedly (until now) haven’t ever bothered to know if or why they are worth their finicky ripening. I’ll summarize; they are like the avocado (gasp). We’ve all ridden the avocado disappointment train: not ripe when you need it, not ripe, not ripe, still not ripe, *must eat now*, and then mush.


But, back to pears. In an effort to embrace these seasonal gems, I found out some things about these beauties.


Turns out that pears are “fiber rich” and that one little pear boasts 21% of our daily fiber needs. Being loaded with fiber is great for aiding healthy digestion.


Pears are also packed with pectin. Combine pectin with fiber, and you have a proven tool in preventing constipation, and improving overall gut health.


Pears are also full of other good stuff like folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and copper. You likely know about the ways our bodies use and need folate, C, K, and potassium. Copper is an important one too; it helps with iron absorption, and even plays an important role in helping our bodies maintain collagen and elastin.


Don’t skip the peels!

Pear peels contain numerous beneficial and active compounds best summed up as good for you antioxidant ingredients. These ingredients are known to help prevent chronic inflammation (and chronic inflammation is linked to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and more).


Lots of studies have been done on the health benefits of eating pears. (Don’t worry you don’t have to read them, I’ll geek out for you.) My favorite*, so far, refers to them as “ancient functional food for modern times” and sums up their magic as anti- diabetic, anti-obese, anti- inflammatory and touts their “cardio-protective effects.” WOW.


So it seems, pears are indeed worth the fuss!


Here are a few tips to help you embrace their goodness just a little easier:

- Pears are harvested before they are ripe, so let them ripen at room temp.

- Check the neck of a pear to see if it “gives.” If so, the pear is ripe.

- Once ripe, place pears in the fridge to slow ripening (authority USA Pears says up to 5 days).


If you have any favorite tips or recipes that you like to use pears in, please send them my way! I'd be happy to share them. In the meantime, I hope you look forward to your next peruse down the produce aisles and, of course, be sure to bring home some pears to enjoy.


*Hong SY, Lansky E, Kang SS, Yang M. A review of pears (Pyrus spp.), ancient functional food for modern times. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Sep 1;21(1):219. doi: 10.1186/s12906-021-03392-1. PMID: 34470625; PMCID: PMC8409479.



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