They have no cholesterol, sodium, or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy, due largely to high amounts of two monosaccharides: fructose and glucose, plus Levulose, the sweetest of known natural sugars, found to a greater extent in fresh pears than in any other fruit. A pear is a nutrient dense food, providing more nutrients per calorie, than calories per nutrient. Carbohydrates make up 98% of the energy provided by a pear, and carbohydrates are helpful in weight reduction diets because they contain half as many calories as fat.
Fresh pears offer dietary fiber, much of it in the form of Pectin. A pear weighing 166 grams provides 2.32 grams of crude fiber, and 4 grams of dietary fiber, of which 41% is pectin. Fiber contains no calories, and is a necessary element of a healthy diet, helping to sustain blood sugar levels and promoting regularity. High fiber diets may also help reduce the risk of colon cancer and can help reduce serum cholesterol. Pears are a good source of natural fiber.
Fresh pears offer potassium; 210 mg in a medium size pear. Although it is an element lost easily through dehydration or perspiration brought on by active lifestyles or strenuous exercise, potassium is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, as well as carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Replenish potassium by eating fresh vegetables, fruits or legumes containing high potassium content— pears are an excellent choice.
Fresh pears contain Vitamin C. One medium size pear provides 7 mg, or 10% of the RDA for Vitamin C. As one of the antioxidant vitamins, Vitamin C is essential for normal metabolism and tissue repair, helping prevent free radical damage the destructive by-products of the body's metabolic process. Vitamin C improves the immune system and promotes healing of cuts and bruises and guard against a number of infectious diseases. Fresh pears are a good source for Vitamin C.
Sweet, succulent pears are perhaps the most glorious of fall fruits. Selecting them can be easy if you consider the following: avoid pears with bruises or cuts and dark brown colors; purchase pears while slightly green because they ripen better and faster off the tree; look for pears with a smooth unblemished skin; ripe ones will yield slightly to gentle pressure at the stem end. If you plan to bake pears, select those that are fairly firm.
If pears are unripe, place them in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or store them in a ventilated fruit bowl in a cool, dark place, and refrigerate as soon as they ripen. Ripe pears should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag up to 3 days. They continue to ripen after harvest.
Wash and Eat
There's no need to peel a pear... their tender, edible skin is an additional source of fiber. A medium sized pear provides 4 grams of fiber, or 16% of the recommended daily value. Always wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before serving.