Whether you like them raw, spiced, poached or baked in a pie, Brazilian researchers have found that women who snack on 3 pears or apples daily tend to lose more weight while dieting than those who forgo the versatile fruit thanks to their high fiber and low-calorie content. In fact, a mid-sized pear has just 101 calories (as opposed to an ounce of potato chips at 154 calories).
They also contain about 5.5 grams of fiber, which helps “fill one up,” thus curbing cravings to overeat more fattening foods, making them an ideal after dinner dessert. Not only that, pears have less natural sugar than other fruits, and will not cause spikes in blood glucose with a glycemic index of 38.
Not only that is believed that the “grittiness” of its fiber may help prevent the growth of polyps in the intestines, which in turn can prove cancerous, This goes for all varieties of pears, whether Barletts, boscs, seckles, etc. However, comices (used primarily for desserts) are specifically bred to have less fiber.
In the meantime, the flavonoid quercetin found in both pears and apples acts as an antioxidant that helps ward off arterial damage to arteries. Furthermore, like bananas, both types of fruit tend to be rich in potassium (which also plays a major role in heart health.
It should also be noted that researchers at Cornell University found that quercetin may also be effective in protecting brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, while boron in both is needed to help the body process magnesium and calcium that is vital for bone health. However, only apples contain the flavonoid phloridzin, which can increase bone density, and thus possibly protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis.
Additional studies have also found that the quercetin (as well as naringin) found in apples can help lower people’s risk of developing lung cancer. Meanwhile, pectin found in apples helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. In fact, people who consume 2 apples a day may actually reduce their cholesterol by up to 16%. Pectin also provides galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes
Like bananas, pears and apples tend to be rich in potassium (which also plays a major role in heart health. Pears are also a good source of copper and Vitamin C. Note, it is important to eat the skin as well as the flesh to get the full nutritional value of the fruit. In fact, one study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a “43% lower risk of colon cancer, and 57% less risk of liver cancer.
Since pears and apples ripen from the inside out, perfect fruit should be picked before it is ripe, In fact, once picked, the starch converts to sugar, and they tend to get mealy if left on trees too long. Even though some fruit may look fine on the outside, its flesh will begin to rot right away if left uneaten for any length of time. Therefore, it is recommended that when buying pears at the market, make sure to select fruit that is firm (but not hard as a rock) and place them in a brown paper bag.to ripen at home. The best time to eat them is when they “barely yield to pressure.”