Eat Pears to "Pare Down" Your Waistline
Pears are delicious and sweet with a slightly gritty texture and while we are warned about having a pear shape, eating pears will actually help you “pare down”, lose weight and lower blood sugar as well as prevent risk factors for many diseases.
When I think of pears I envision French countryside and svelte French women with tiny waistlines, and I can almost smell the pear blossoms. Indeed, many varieties of pears like Anjou originated in Europe, particularly France. Pears have one of the highest fiber contents of any fruit. Studies show that people who eat a high fiber diet have lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and fewer gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating and constipation.
Pears contain vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for at least 300 functions in the body. Vitamin C is important in tissue growth and repair, collagen formation, protection against abnormal clotting and bruising, adrenal gland function, production of anti-stress hormones and interferon, and is necessary for the metabolism of folic acid, tyrosine and phenylalanine. Vitamin C may also reduce levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad cholesterol”), while increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or “good cholesterol”), as well as helping prevent atherosclerosis and lowering blood pressure. Vitamin C promotes healing of wounds and burns and may prevent the formation of cataracts. Vitamin C works synergistically with beta-carotene, vitamin E and zinc which is necessary for immune function and is important in prostate gland function.
The skin of pears contains quercetin, which helps prevent “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol, heart disease, and circulation problems. Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation of the gut is a major factor on weight gain and most disease processes. Quercetin may help lower blood sugar which is may lead to weight gain but it also protects against cataracts, hay fever, peptic ulcer, schizophrenia, inflammation, asthma, gout, viral infections, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), cancer, and chronic infections.
Boron is an important nutrient found in pears. Boron is needed for healthy bones and muscle growth as well as the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Boron is also necessary for brain function and plays a role in how the body uses energy from fats and sugars.
Copper is another mineral found in pears. Copper aids in the formation of bone, hemoglobin and red blood cells and is important for healthy nerves and joints. Copper is essential in the formation of collagen and elastin as well as being involved in the healing process. One of the first sign of copper deficiency is osteoporosis.
Vitamin K, which is found in pears, plays a key role in helping the blood clot and preventing excessive bleeding. This nutrient may also prevent osteoporosis by helping to improve calcium absorption and urinary excretion of calcium which may help prevent kidney stones. Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture.
Eating pears may lower your cancer risk of gastrointestinal cancers such as esophageal, stomach, and colorectal. Fiber as well as cinnamic acid found in pears can bind with bile acids and decrease their concentration in the digestive tract.
Pears contain vitamin B2, B3, B6 which are necessary for nerve and cardiovascular health as well as metabolism of other nutrients.
Calcium is necessary for the formation and growth of bones, teeth and for the maintenance of healthy gums. Cardiovascular effects include regulation of the heart. Calcium is necessary for muscles and nerves to function correctly.
Magnesium and potassium are electrolytes that maintain regular heart function. A deficiency of magnesium can be manifested in symptoms of confusion, insomnia, irritability, poor digestion, rapid heart rate, seizures and symptoms of diabetes. Magnesium is helpful in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, certain forms of cancer, and may reduce cholesterol levels. Calcium is necessary for muscles and nerves to function correctly.
Manganese is needed for fat and protein metabolism, healthy nerves and immune system, and for blood sugar regulation.
Clearly pears are powerhouses of nutrition that can help you lose weight and prevent other health issues.