(By Iqra Naseer, Dr. Shahid Mahmood, Dr. Ghulam Mueen-ud-din)
(Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, UOS)
Per capita consumption of fruit and vegetables in Pakistan is less than 200 g but recommended consumption is 400 g daily for good health. As we know that the famous proverb that ‘Health is wealth’, it reminds us of the importance of good health. The most valuable thing in our life is good health. There are several factors, on which our health depends like food, sleeping habits, mental condition, physical exercise etc. But healthy eating habits are one of the vital parts in achieving good health. Allah has blessed us with so many fruits and vegetables which keeps our body fit and healthy if we take them regularly and in the proper amount. Healthy food is one of the most important parts in leading a healthy life. Healthy food enhances human life and makes him or her lifelong. Here we will discuss health benefits of pear fruit.
Pear fruit is sweet in taste and contains a fibrous/roughages. It is consumed fresh, canned, as juice, and in dried form. Pears have lots of health benefits. Pears are a rich source of water-soluble fiber, contains vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, folate, and niacin. Pears are rich in minerals like potassium, phosphorous, copper and small amount of calcium, chlorine, magnesium, iron, sulfur and sodium also present. Pears are rich in fibers. As we know that fiber is a necessary element of a healthy diet. Fiber helps in digestion and prevents constipation, pears control blood sugar level, and it promotes regularity and helps in lowering cholesterol and weight loss. Fiber content binds to carcinogenic cells in body and then removes them and helps in preventing colon cancer. Pears are the source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for maintaining a healthy metabolism, repairing tissues, protects DNA, protection against infections, healing of cuts and bruises etc. Pears are also the source of antioxidants. The peel of pear contains important phytonutrients, like polyphenols, phenolic acids and flavonoids that can help ward off disease formation. Pears help in improving heart health. Pears reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. This is due to the presence of antioxidant that keeps arteries of heart clear. Anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen glutathione helps in controlling high blood pressure and stroke. And pectin fiber which is present in pears is much useful in lowering cholesterol level and pectin give a mild laxative effect so prevents constipation and regulate bowel movement. According to a research, some flavonoids in fruits like pears can improve insulin sensitivity, which helps in controlling diabetes and treating diabetes. Vitamin K and Boron are also present in pears which help in maintaining the skeletal or bone health and prevents from osteoporosis. Our body cells are damaged due to presence of free radicals, Vitamin C and Vitamin K present in pears fights against free radicals. Vitamin C and Copper acts as antioxidants and so they help in boosting immune system of our body and help to fight against many diseases. Pears give cooling effect to our body, so pears help in curing fever easily. Folate is an essential mineral present in pears which is required for fetus health. Pears are free of cholesterol and fats.
All fruits provide us energy and so pears can also provide us with a quick boost of energy. Glucose and fructose are present in pears in large amount that are used by body which enhance physical performance of our body. Usually some fruits give allergic reactions to infants, but pears are one of the few fruits which have very low chance of allergic reactions and so can be given to infants. Fibers present in pears keeps our skin smooth, soft and prevents from damage. It also helps to treat acne, pimples and skin infections due to large amount of minerals and vitamins present in it. Pears also benefit our hair. Pears nourish, scalp, feed hair roots and keeps the hair follicles hydrated. Pear juice aids in preventing throat problems, usually in summer season drinking pear juice every morning and night helps to cool down body. And it is necessary for proper functioning of respiratory organs. There are so many products of pears which we can eat or drink like preserved or canned pears, pear juice, pear cider, pear jam, pear fruit powder, pears baby food, pear puree, caramelized pears, pear cobbler, pear sauce, pear bars cookies, pear pie etc. Pear baby food is one of the healthiest and delicious food which we can give to babies.
On an average 1 medium-sized pear fruit contains only 100 calories and provides you about 6 grams of fibers which is 24% of the daily value of fiber, 10% daily value of vitamin C, 5% daily value of vitamin B6, 5% daily value of potassium and 3% of recommended magnesium, and 9.5% of our daily recommended intake of copper.
So, according to all the above discussion about health benefits of pears, we may conclude that we should eat a pear every day; it may also keep the doctor away because pear is a source of so many beneficial nutrients. It’s a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, B, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and much more. Some studies show that we should eat approximately 2 cups of fruit per day; one medium-sized pear is approximately one cup, so you are halfway there with just one pear. Pears are a gift of Allah. In short, pear is a part of the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.