Let’s talk about pears. While everyone else is buzzing about apples and oranges, pears are often cast aside as the hard fruit in the produce section.
1. Pears are loaded with fiber—more than apples—which is something Americans don’t get enough of. A medium-sized pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber, while larger ones provide around 7 grams. For reference, women should consume at least 25 grams of fiber; men should aim for at least 38.
2. Pears contain flavonoids, which may help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. And red pears contain an additional compound called anthocyanin, which promotes heart health and anti-aging.
3. Pears are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that can be beneficial for the immune system.
4. Pears are a good way to eat more potassium, which can have a significant impact on heart health.
5. One medium pear provides 12 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C.
6. Pears are about 84 percent water—coupled with the high amount of fiber they contain, this helps keep your digestive system healthy.
7. There are few fruits juicier and sweeter than a fully ripened pear. Use them on oatmeal or in yogurt, or to make sauces and salads. They’re particularly nice when paired with a strong-flavored cheese.
TIP: If pears are hard (not ripe) when you purchase them, store them in a paper bag at room temperature. The bag traps ethylene gas—which is naturally produced by pears—and speeds up the ripening process. Once pears are ripe, store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.