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Pears: Gift of the Gods

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Health Benefits:

  • For diabetics; pears have a low glycemic index (GI) of just 38. Also, pears are one of the fruits that can improve blood glucose levels, help a person lose weight, and improve concentration.
  • The risk of stroke was lower among those who said they had a high intake of white fruits and vegetables compared with those with a low intake.
  • In one study women who consumed at least one serving per day of apples and pears had a reduced risk of lung cancer.
  • In a Brazilian study participants who consumed pears or apples had a significant weight loss after 12 weeks of 1.21 kg, while those consuming oat cookies did not have a significant weight loss.
  • Research conducted by the University of Innsbruck in Austria has suggested that fruit that is fully ripened, almost to the point of spoilage, actually increases levels of antioxidants.

How pears ripen:

  • Pears ripen best off the tree; they do not ripen well on the tree.
  • They are harvested when they are mature but unripe and need to be ripened after harvest.
  • They have a long storage life so pears can be stored for months at O C (32F). Bartlett pears can only be stored for a few months; Anjou pears can be stored for 5-7 months.
  • Pears ripen at room temperature; leave them on your kitchen counter and enjoy their beauty until they ripen in a few days. Putting apples and bananas in the same bowl will speed up the ripening, or you can put them in a paper bag.
  • If you want to slow down the ripening of the pears simply put them back in the refrigerator in the coldest part, away from strong-smelling foods; they absorb odors.
  • Bartlett pears change from green to yellow as they ripen.
  • Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Seckel and Forelle do not dramatically change color as they ripen.
  • Pears ripen from the inside out; the best way to check for ripeness is to gently press on the neck of the pear near the stem with your thumb. When it gives in to gentle pressure it is ripe, juicy, and ready to eat.
  • A pear that is soft around the middle is overripe.
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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

49 comments

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2:59PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Thanks

5:58PM PDT on Jun 6, 2013

thank you

4:21AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Wow. This is a lot of information about the Pear. I was impressed with them being part of the rose family, how many different varieties there are, and that they ripen best OFF the tree.

Paul M., you are very lucky to have a Pear tree!!

Thanks Diana for the great info.

12:31AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Thanks for the article.

5:46AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

I love pears, but they seem to be a forgotten fruit!

1:42AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Years ago I did a great recipe with red wine and cinnamon cooking them gently, however these days I use them in smoothies!

9:43AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Happy to hear so many of you love pears like I do; for me they are a winter fruit because all my other favs are not fresh anymore. I have lots of them in the freezer.

9:24AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Great article, thanks for all the information. Love them pears.

9:13AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Thank you

8:15AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

I'm luckey! I have my own pear tree..

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