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Pears

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Pears Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 84 g
Calories: 57 kcal
Protein: 0.4 g
Carbohydrate: 15.2 g
Dietary fiber: 3.1 g
Sugars: 9.8 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 4.3 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 7 μg
Vitamin A: 1 μg
Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
Vitamin K: 4.4 μg
Calcium: 9 mg
Iron: 0.2 mg
Magnesium: 7 mg
Phosphorus: 12 mg
Potassium: 116 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Zinc: 0.1 mg

Pears are a sweet and juicy fruit, with over 3000 varieties grown worldwide, and over 23.5 million metric tons produced in 2012. With a wide variety of culinary uses, from being a staple of many desserts to being great pickled, poached or even simply stuck in a salad, the pear is an easy food to incorporate into your diet. And with pear being a rich source of a number of phytochemicals that help it to fight cancer and inflammation, and reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, this is a delicious way of getting some real health benefits from a meal.

Pears are not fantastic nutritionally, but nonetheless they do give us some support when it comes to our heart and our gut. 100g of pear contains 102 calories, but it also contains 24% of your Daily Value (DV) of dietary fibre, 12% DV of vitamin C, and 5% DV of potassium. A diet high in dietary fibre is excellent for digestion, and vitamin C and potassium will do your heart no end of good.

However, the strength of pears when it comes to nutrition is its richness of phytochemicals (non-essential but beneficial nutrients). Pears (especially the skins of pears, which you should always eat) are rich in a number of beneficial nutrients like flavonols (such as quercetin and kaempferol) and flavanols (such as catechin and epicatchetin). Not only does this nutrient richness have proven antioxidant effects, what is really significant is the specific risks you avoid. One study done on flavonoid intake showed a significantly reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US men and women, a significant impact from just eating fruit!

Further studies have shown other benefits of the nutrient richness that the pear benefits from: one study in Mexico City showed that intake of polyphenols (of which pear was one of the primary sources, the researchers noted), led to a reduced risk of gastric cancer, and a large-scale study has conclusively proven a link between fruit intake and lung cancer. All the more reason to keep eating those pears!