7 reasons to appreciate pears
Let’s talk about pears. While everyone else is buzzing about apples and oranges, pears are often cast aside as the hard fruit in the produce section. And that’s too bad. For a few reasons.
1. Pears are loaded with fiber — more so than apples — which is something Americans don’t get enough of. A medium-sized pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber, while larger ones provide around 7 grams. For reference, women should try to get at least 25 grams of fiber; men should aim for at least 38.
2. All pears contain flavonoids, which may help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. And red pears contain an additional compound called anthocyanin, which promotes heart health and anti-aging.
3. Pears are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that can be beneficial for the immune system.
4. Pears are a good way to get more potassium, which can have a significant impact on heart health.
5. One medium pear provides 12 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C.
6. Pears are about 84 percent water — coupled with the high amount of fiber they contain, this helps keep your digestive system healthy.
7. There are few fruits juicier and sweeter than a fully ripened pear. Use them in baked goods, on oatmeal or yogurt, or to make sauces and salads. They’re particularly nice when paired with a strong-flavored cheese and drizzled with honey.
TIP: If pears are hard when you purchase them, store them in a paper bag at room temperature. The bag traps ethylene gas — which is naturally produced by pears — and speeds up the ripening process. Once pears are ripe, store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.
Try the recipe below to add more pears to your diet!
Balsamic, Pear, and Drunken Goat Cheese Crackers
Recipe Source: Wine and Cheese Entertaining Guide 2015
12 cheese-flavored flat bread crackers, such as La Panzanella mini croccantini crackers
2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
6 oz Drunken Goat Cheese, sliced
1 tbsp bottled balsamic glaze, such as Colavita
Pepper to taste
• Top each cracker with two pear slices and a cheese slice. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Season to taste with pepper.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Rachelle Deutz, RD, LD is a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee in Marshall.