Healthy Foods: Lions and tigers and . . . pears? Oh my!

Pears are a wonderful food to add to your fruit repertoire. A perfectly ripe pear is heavenly. So juicy and sweet. Yum! I enjoy pears occasionally in my daily juicing regime . . . I toss them into soups . . . I enjoy them sliced into salads . . . poached as dessert for special occasions . . . and just as they are, fresh out of the fridge, for snacking on. Pears are also very healthy for you-they are rich in vitamins C and K and have a whole bunch of health benefits that I’ll get to in a minute.
There are many varieties of pears out there, the most common being Bartlett (the yellow/green speckled ones), Bosc, Comice, Anjou, and Concorde.
Whichever kind you like best, your favorite pear is a very rich source of antioxidants.
You know how you’re always told that you should eat the skin of a fruit to get the most vitamins and nutrients out of it? Well, that is definitely the case with pears. Research has shown that the skin of a pear contains up to four times as many phytonutrients as the flesh. These include anti-inflammatory flavonoids, antioxidants, and anti-cancer phytonutrients. Pear skin also contains roughly half of the fruit’s dietary fiber.
This means that if you’re not buying organic pears, you should scrub that fruit clean and enjoy the skin rather than peeling it.
Pear juice is also very good for you. It’s actually considered to be a superior type of fruit juice because of the amount of nutrients it contains in comparison with other “clear” fruit juices. (Pear juice is very cloudy and most cloudy juices are more nutrient-dense than their clear counterparts.)
So, what does the nutritional information on a pear look like?
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. There are some very healthy acids within pears that make them extremely good for us. The red-skinned varieties (Red Bartlett, Seckel, Comice, Red Anjou, and Starkrimson) contain high amounts of anthocyanins, and all pears contain carotenoids. These guys all work together to reduce our risk of many chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes.
Cancer prevention. Pears are powerful fighters in the battle against all cancer, especially esophageal cancer and gastric cancer.
Digestive aid. Pears are easy on the digestive system (it has low acidity levels), which is why it’s one of the first fruits introduced to a baby’s diet.
Hypoallergenic. When people are put on a low-allergy diet plan, pears are often included on the menu because there are so few reported allergic responses to pears.
Who else feels like ordering up a fruit basket right about now?!

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