It is the end of summer and the beginning of fall, and that means there are pears everywhere. Since there are over 3000 types, no wonder! First domesticated in Asia over 5000 years ago, pears are now grown all over the world and come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and crispness. Pears like apples are members of the Pome plant family. Their trees shed leaves in the fall and go dormant in the cold winter so that they can produce fruit blossoms in the warm spring. Pears are harvested before they ripen because they ripen from the inside out. Once picked they are best left to mature in a sunny area, or at room temperature. Once ripe, they should be refrigerated. Bartlett, Comice, Anjou, Seckel’s, and Bosc are the most common pears grown in the U.S and belong to the European Pear category. Pears in the Asian family include the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Siberian varieties.
While there’s nothing quite like biting into a juicy sweet pear, not all pears are equal. Some due to their deep red skin such as Red Anjou contains anthocyanins, an antioxidant shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, and cancer. The central core of a pear is fibrous. Studies show that fiber helps reduce inflammation related to obesity and cancer. One medium pear contains 6 grams of fiber. Pears are about 84 percent water, and coupled with its fiber content helps prevent constipation and contributes to regular bowel movements; keeping the digestive system flushed.
Pears are a good source of vitamin C (immunity booster), cooper (healthy brain and nervous system), and potassium (supports muscle function). People on a low-carb diet can still enjoy pears in moderation due to their low glycemic index of 38 despite being high in fructose.
Adding pears to a dish increases satiety and amps up its deliciousness factor.