Pears come in many different varieties. Bartlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou pears are among the most popular, but around 100 types are grown worldwide. This same serving also provides small amounts of folate, provitamin A, and niacin. Folate and niacin are important for cellular function and energy production, while provitamin A supports skin health and wound healing. Pears are likewise a rich source of important minerals, such as copper and potassium. Copper plays a role in immunity, cholesterol metabolism, and nerve function, whereas potassium aids muscle contractions and heart function.
May promote gut health
Pears are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which are essential for digestive health. These fibers help maintain bowel regularity by softening and bulking up stool. One medium-sized pear (178 grams) packs 6 grams of fiber — 22% of your daily fiber needs. Additionally, soluble fibers feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. As such, they’re considered prebiotics, which are associated with healthy aging and improved immunity. Notably, fiber may help relieve constipation. In a 4-week study, 80 adults with this condition received 24 grams of pectin — the kind of fiber found in fruit — per day. They experienced constipation relief and increased levels of healthy gut bacteria.
Have anti-inflammatory properties
Although inflammation is a normal immune response, chronic or long-term inflammation can harm your health. It’s linked to certain illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Pears are a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, which help fight inflammation and may decrease your risk of disease. Several large reviews tie high flavonoid intake to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. This effect may be due to these compounds’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. What’s more, pears pack several vitamins and minerals, such as copper and vitamins C and K, which also combat inflammation.
May offer anticancer effects
Pears contain various compounds that may exhibit anticancer properties. For example, their anthocyanin and cinnamic acid contents have been shown to fight cancer. A few studies indicate that diets rich in fruits, including pears, may protect against some cancers, including those of the lung, stomach, and bladder. Some population studies suggest that flavonoid-rich fruits like pears may also safeguard against breast and ovarian cancers, making this fruit a particularly smart choice for women. While eating more fruit may reduce your cancer risk, more research is needed. Pears should not be considered a replacement for cancer treatment.
Linked to a lower risk of diabetes
Pears — particularly red varieties — may help decrease diabetes risk. One large study in over 200,000 people found that eating 5 or more weekly servings of anthocyanin-rich fruits like red pears was associated with a 23% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a mouse study noted that plant compounds, including anthocyanins, in pear peel exhibited both anti-diabetes and anti-inflammatory effects. What’s more, the fiber in pears slows digestion, giving your body more time to break down and absorb carbs. This can also help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially helping prevent and control diabetes.
May boost heart health
Pears may lower your risk of heart disease. Their procyanidin antioxidants may decrease stiffness in heart tissue, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. The peel contains an important antioxidant called quercetin, which is thought to benefit heart health by decreasing inflammation and reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. One study in 40 adults with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increases your heart disease risk, found that eating 2 medium pears each day for 12 weeks lowered heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and waist circumference.
May help you lose weight
Pears are low in calories, high in water, and packed with fiber. This combination makes them a weight-loss-friendly food, as fiber and water can help keep you full. When full, you’re naturally less prone to keep eating.