Pears: The fiber content in pears will reduce the risk of heart attack and cancer as well as keep cholesterol levels in check. Pears also help to prevent and reduce constipation, which often affects babies once they start the transition from liquids to solids. Tip: Peel and cut the pear into small pieces and steam it till it turns soft. Blend it in a blender and mash using a fork.

Medium-sized fruits mostly eaten raw or canned, pears (Pyrus communis) are filling and highly refreshing. They are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. An average pear contains about 5 ½ grams of fiber, that is roughly 14 to 22 percent of the recommended daily dietary intake for men and women. Half of the fiber of this fruit comes from its skin.[1,2] 

Pectin, an insoluble fiber in pears, improves digestion, decreases blood fat, lowers cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar levels and can also help prevent cancer.[3,4,5,6]

Pears are also rich in antioxidants.[7,8,9] Chlorogenic acid found in it is a potent antioxidant that can lower blood pressure.[10,11,12] The antioxidant quercetin has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.[13,14] Epicatechin, another powerful antioxidant, can prevent the development of atherosclerosis (clogging of arteries caused by deposition of fats in the arteries).[15] Cyanidin, a major anthocyanin antioxidant, has the potential of protecting the body from oxidative stress and damage to blood vessels.[16,17]

An average pear is low in calories and has only 101 calories. A study of 40 overweight women found that pears caused more weight loss over time when compared with oats.[18,19] They can also induce weight loss by stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.[20]

Pears For Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce sufficient insulin.[21]

Pears are rich in flavonoids (plant antioxidants) such as quercetin, epicatechin, and anthocyanins that can improve insulin sensitivity and help prevent type 2 diabetes.[22,23] The skin of the fruit is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce the risk of contracting diabetes complications such as diabetic foot, diabetic neuropathy, fatigue and excessive thirst.[24]

How To Take It

  • Eat one pear after every meal to have better control over your blood sugar levels.

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Natural Remedies here.

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1. Chongchong Yan, Mei Yin, Nan Zhang, Qing Jin, Zhi Fang, Yi Lin, Yongping Cai. Stone cell distribution and lignin structure in various pear varieties. Scientia Horticulturae, Volume 174, 22 July 2014, Pages 142-150.

2. Shutian Tao, Shahrokh Khanizadeh, Hua Zhang, Shaoling Zhang. Anatomy, ultrastructure and lignin distribution of stone cells in two Pyrus species. Plant Science, Volume 176, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 413-419.

3. Flourie B, Vidon N, Chayvialle JA, Palma R, Franchisseur C, Bernier JJ. Effect of increased amounts of pectin on a solid-liquid meal digestion in healthy man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Sep;42(3):495-503. PubMed PMID: 2863975.

4. Brouns F, Theuwissen E, Adam A, Bell M, Berger A, Mensink RP. Cholesterol-lowering properties of different pectin types in mildly hyper-cholesterolemic men and women. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;66(5):591-9. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.208. Epub 2011 Dec 21. PubMed PMID: 22190137.

5. Schwartz SE, Levine RA, Weinstock RS, Petokas S, Mills CA, Thomas FD. Sustained pectin ingestion: effect on gastric emptying and glucose tolerance in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Dec;48(6):1413-7.
PubMed PMID: 2849298.

6. Olano-Martin E, Rimbach GH, Gibson GR, Rastall RA. Pectin and pectic-oligosaccharides induce apoptosis in in vitro human colonic adenocarcinoma cells. Anticancer Res. 2003 Jan-Feb;23(1A):341-6. PubMed PMID: 12680234.

7. Li X, Wang T, Zhou B, Gao W, Cao J, Huang L. Chemical composition and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of peels and flesh from 10 different pear varieties (Pyrus spp.). Food Chem. 2014;152:531-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.12.010. Epub 2013 Dec 11. PubMed PMID: 24444971.

8. Xia Li, Tingting Wang, Bin Zhou, Wenyuan Gao, Jingguo Cao, Luqi Huang. Chemical composition and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of peels and flesh from 10 different pear varieties (Pyrus spp.). Food Chemistry, Volume 152, 1 June 2014, Pages 531-538.

9. Maras JE, Talegawkar SA, Qiao N, Lyle B, Ferrucci L, Tucker KL. Flavonoid intakes in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. J Food Compost Anal. 2011 Dec 1;24(8):1103-1109. PubMed PMID: 22228923; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3251215.

10. Dilek Tanrıöven, Aziz Ekşi. Phenolic compounds in pear juice from different cultivars. Food Chemistry, Volume 93, Issue 1, November 2005, Pages 89-93.

11. Zhao Y, Wang J, Ballevre O, Luo H, Zhang W. Antihypertensive effects and mechanisms of chlorogenic acids. Hypertens Res. 2012 Apr;35(4):370-4. doi:10.1038/hr.2011.195. Epub 2011 Nov 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 22072103.

12. Onakpoya IJ, Spencer EA, Thompson MJ, Heneghan CJ. The effect of chlorogenic acid on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Hum Hypertens. 2015 Feb;29(2):77-81. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2014.46.
Epub 2014 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 24943289.

13. Boots AW, Haenen GR, Bast A. Health effects of quercetin: from antioxidant to nutraceutical. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):325-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.03.008. Epub 2008 Mar 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 18417116.

14. Lin LZ, Harnly JM. Phenolic compounds and chromatographic profiles of pear skins (Pyrus spp.). J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 8;56(19):9094-101. doi: 10.1021/jf8013487. Epub 2008 Sep 9. PubMed PMID: 18778075.

15. Morrison M, van der Heijden R, Heeringa P, Kaijzel E, Verschuren L, Blomhoff R, Kooistra T, Kleemann R. Epicatechin attenuates atherosclerosis and exerts anti-inflammatory effects on diet-induced human-CRP and NFκB in vivo.
Atherosclerosis. 2014 Mar;233(1):149-56. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.12.027. Epub 2014 Jan 8. PubMed PMID: 24529136.

16. Kuntz S, Kunz C, Herrmann J, Borsch CH, Abel G, Fröhling B, Dietrich H, Rudloff S. Anthocyanins from fruit juices improve the antioxidant status of healthy young female volunteers without affecting anti-inflammatory parameters:
results from the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over ANTHONIA (ANTHOcyanins in Nutrition Investigation Alliance) study. Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep 28;112(6):925-36. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514001482. Epub 2014 Aug 4.
PubMed PMID: 25089359.

17. Timberlake, C. F. and Bridle, P. (1971), The anthocyanins of apples and pears: The occurrence of acyl derivatives. J. Sci. Food Agric., 22: 509–513. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.2740221004

18. Conceição de Oliveira M, Sichieri R, Sanchez Moura A. Weight loss associated with a daily intake of three apples or three pears among overweight women. Nutrition. 2003 Mar;19(3):253-6. PubMed PMID: 12620529.

19. de Oliveira MC, Sichieri R, Venturim Mozzer R. A low-energy-dense diet adding fruit reduces weight and energy intake in women. Appetite. 2008 Sep;51(2):291-5. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 18439712.

20. Rastmanesh R. High polyphenol, low probiotic diet for weight loss because of intestinal microbiota interaction. Chem Biol Interact. 2011 Jan 15;189(1-2):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Oct 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 20955691.

21. US National Library Of Medicine. Site: Accessed on 18 September 2015.

22. Dower JI, Geleijnse JM, Gijsbers L, Zock PL, Kromhout D, Hollman PC. Effects of the pure flavonoids epicatechin and quercetin on vascular function and cardiometabolic health: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover
trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 May;101(5):914-21. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.098590. Epub 2015 Feb 25. PubMed PMID: 25934864.

23. Wedick NM, Pan A, Cassidy A, Rimm EB, Sampson L, Rosner B, Willett W, Hu FB, Sun Q, van Dam RM. Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;95(4):925-33. doi:
10.3945/ajcn.111.028894. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PubMed PMID: 22357723; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3302366.

24. Tingting Wang, Xia Li, Bin Zhou, Hongfa Li, Jie Zeng, Wenyuan Gao. Anti-diabetic activity in type 2 diabetic mice and α-glucosidase inhibitory, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of chemically profiled pear peel and pulp extracts (Pyrus spp.). Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 13, March 2015, Pages 276-288

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.