14 Jan Pears: A Nutritious Fall and Winter Fruit – Part I
Pear season is late fall into winter season. As a fresh fruit, pears are often overlooked or saved for the special occasion tart or spot on the cheese platter. Pears have nutritious benefits that deserve to shine in the same manner as oranges and apples.
Pears come in thousands of varieties, but only about 100 are cultivated commercially. In the US, the three most popular varieties are Bartlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou. Pears are a good source of:
- Vitamin C and most of this is in the skin – so don’t peel then!
- Disease fighting anti-oxidants, and
- Fiber (again in the skin!)
Studies that looked at the risk of chronic diseases on large populations determined that regular consumption of whole pears (rather than pear juice) may reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. In another long-term study that examined the weight loss or gain that results from increasing consumption of various fruits and vegetables found that pears, along with apples, berries, and leafy greens, have the greatest effect on weight loss.