Pears have been cultivated for at least 3,000 years in western Asia. Some believe they existed since the Stone age. The first pear tree to be planted in America was in 1620.
The pear is a well known fruit in still-life paintings, it is the first gift in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, and, according to the Greek poet Homer, it is the “gift of the Gods”.
Health Benefits of Pears
The pear is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper. One medium pear has 24% of the daily value (DV) of fiber and 10% of the DV of vitamin C. It has only 100 calories and contains no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Most of the fiber and vitamin C are found in the skin of the pear.
The pear is less allergenic than most other fruits and is recommended in diets for allergy sufferers.
Fiber in pears can help lower cholesterol by binding to bile salts and carrying them out of the body. Other benefits of fiber include treating and preventing constipation, lowering ones risk of getting colon cancer, and promoting weight loss.
Pears protect cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals, strengthen the immune system, and help lower blood pressure.
Buying and Storing Pears
Most pears are unripe in markets and will require a few days to mature. Buy ones that are firm (but not too hard), have smooth skin, and free of bruises.
To ripen pears, keep them at room temperature. Fully ripened pears offer the most antioxidants.
If you want to speed up the ripening process, put the pears in a paper bag.
Once ripened, pears can be placed in the refrigerator and will keep fresh for a few days.
Pear Juice Recipe
For a great pick-me-up, add the following ingredients in the juicer, one by one:
- 1 pear
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 handful of parsley
- 2 cm of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- juice from 1/2 lime
To get the most health benefits of pears, include the skin when eating.
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