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Power of Pears

Power of Pears

Power of Pears

Pears May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes

The saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but research suggests eating pears just as often may also hold wisdom beyond delicious taste. For about 100 calories, a medium pear packs 5.5 grams of fiber and a bevy of healthful nutrients, particularly in the skin. A study published in Food Research International has uncovered ways in which pears may be a particularly sweet snack for those with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from North Dakota State University tested Bartlett and Starkrimson (red) pears for their health potential. Laboratory analyses revealed both types of pears are high in phenolic compounds (including chlorogenic acid, catechin, epicatechin and quercetin) that may be beneficial in managing blood sugar and blood pressure by influencing carbohydrate metabolism. These compounds may also act as antioxidants to help protect cells against inflammatory damage. While both the skin and the pulp of pears contain phenolic compounds, analysis showed the skins have somewhere between six and thirteen times more.

Additional tests found other ways pears could benefit your heath:

  • Pears inhibit two different enzymes related to glucose metabolism, which is extremely important in preventing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) for those with type 2 diabetes.
  • The watery pulp of Bartlett pears showed anti-hypertensive potential by blocking an enzyme related to blood pressure.
  • Pear juice has potential to inhibit H. pylori bacteria, linked to stomach ulcers and gastritis, without affecting healthful probiotic bacteria in the stomach.

Include pears in your menu year-round and eat the skin and the pulp to get the most nutrient-bang for your buck. Raw or cooked pears are delicious in both savory meals and sweet snacks. Combine the tastes of summer and fall with our Roasted Pear and Parsnip Salad, made with pear, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and DOLE® Chopped Summer Garden Blend.

BONUS: A 2013 study by Italian, U.S. and Greek researchers suggests an 18% reduced risk for developing diabetes if your diet resembles that of a low-GI version of the Mediterranean diet. “Go Mediterranean” by upping your fruit and vegetable consumption, getting most of your protein from fish and legumes and getting most of your fat from healthy sources like olive oil.

Published August 1, 2015

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