The pear is a sweet fruit that is said to be related to the apple. Its size is about that of an apple with several seeds in the core, like an apple. Unlike apples though, most pear varieties have paper-thin skins which are not easy to peel. The skins vary in color—yellow, green, brown, red, or a combination of any of these colors.
The light color flesh of pears is juicy, sweet and usually mild. Its texture is soft and buttery and some varieties have grainy flesh.
We usually think of pear as bell-shaped, but some varieties are shaped almost like a rounded apple.
Among all the variety of pears, the Chinese pear is known to have the most medicinal values. But nonetheless, the other varieties are also healthful in their own right.
Pears are in season throughout the year but especially from end of June to February, depending on the variety.
Pears are excellent source of water-soluble fiber. They contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, folate and niacin. It is also rich in copper, phosphorus and potassium, with lesser amounts of calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, sodium and sulfur.
Some variety have more iron content than others. This can be seen when a cut pear turns brown. If it doesn’t turn brown, it means that the iron content is very low or non-existent.
Pears are often recommended as a hypo-allergenic fruit that is high in fiber but less likely to produce adverse reactions. Pear juice is safe to be introduced to infants as they are mild, yet healthful.
Blood pressure: Pears have anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen glutathione which help prevent high blood pressure and stroke.
Cancer prevention: The high vitamin C and copper content act as good anti-oxidants that protect cells from damages by free radicals.
Cholesterol: The high content of pectin in pears make it very useful in helping to lower cholesterol levels.
Colon health: When not juicing, eat the pear whole for its precious fiber that are highly beneficial for your colon health.
Constipation: The pectin in pears is diuretic and have a mild laxative effect. Drinking pear juice regularly helps regulate bowel movements.
Energy: You can get quick and natural source of energy from pear juice, due largely to its high amounts of fructose and glucose.
Fever: The cooling effect in pear is excellent in relieving fever. Best way to bring a fever down quickly is by drinking a big glass of pear juice.
Immune booster: The anti-oxidant nutrients in pears are critical in building up your immune system. Drink pear juice when you feel a cold coming.
Inflammation: Pear juice has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps relieve sufferers of much pain in various inflammatory conditions.
Osteoporosis: Pears contain high level of boron. Boron helps the body to retain calcium, thus prevents or retards osteoporosis.
Pregnancy: The high content of folate prevents neural tube defects in infants.
Shortness of breath: The summer heat may cause children to have shortness of breath with excessive phlegm. Drink pear juice during this period to help clear the phlegm.
Throat problem: The pears are in season during the summer for a reason. Drinking pear juice every morning and night helps to cool your body down during this time. It nourishes the throat and helps prevent throat problems.
Vocal chord: Cube and boil two Chinese pears (pic on right) with some raw honey and drink warm. This is extremely healing for the throat and the vocal cord.
Choose firm, deep colored pears. Let them sit for a few days, if necessary, until they dent a little when pressed lightly, like an avocado does. To hasten the ripening process, simply put them in a paper bag and leave at room temperature.
Once ripe, store in the refrigerator where they can remain fresh for a few days. Over-ripe pears are mushy and are not suitable for juicing. Always maintain the general rule of eating as fresh as possible.
Store away from strong-smelling foods as they tend to absorb odors.