Pears are fruits that are Juicy and sweet, with a soft yet slightly grainy texture. They have a slightly thicker outer covering and white to cream-colored fleshy part inside.
Depending upon the variety, their paper-thin skins can either be yellow, green, brown, red or a combination of two or more of these colors. Like apples, pears have a core that features several seeds. They have a large round bottom that tapers towards the top. Under cultivation, standard pear trees reach heights of up to 30 ft.
In ancient times they were known as the "gift of the gods". It is mainly found in temperate zones and comes in two varieties – one that is very soft and the other that is hard. But the food value of both are the same.
Pears go back a long way to almost 4000 years ago. And hundreds of years ago they were already being grafted, cultivated and improved both in China and Europe. Pears were a valuable commodity in the ancient trading routes and were well established in Europe before they made an appearance in America.
It is a juicy fruit and its seed is quite hard.
There are thousands of varieties of pears available and each of them differs in size, shape, color, taste and storage qualities. Some of the known varieties are Bosc, Bartlett, Anjou, Comice, Conference, Passe Crassane and Packham.
- It’s juice is quite light to digest and is known as a mild laxative. It helps keep skin healthy, alleviates anemic conditions, fever, dysentery, and diarrhea, cold, cough
- Pears are a good source of vitamin C and copper. Both of these nutrients are antioxidants which help protect cells in the body from oxygen-related damage due to free radicals and are good for better immunity function.
- Copper also helps protect the body from free radical damage as a necessary component of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a copper-dependent enzyme that eliminates superoxide radicals. Superoxide radicals are a type of free radical generated during normal metabolism, as well as when white blood cells attack invading bacteria and viruses. If not eliminated quickly, superoxide radicals damage cell membranes.
- Pears are rich in other minerals and vitamins and are also useful in heartburn, in acidity, removing thirst.
- Pears also contain tartaric acid and Gallic acid. It is specially useful before, during and after fever- if given before fever it helps to prevent it, if given during, it helps in relieving symptomatic complications and if given after fever, it helps to remove weakness and restores the system to normalcy.
- The Dietary fibre in pears is good for constipation. It also helps lower high cholesterol levels and the risk of colon cancer
- They also contain a significant amount of pectin, which is a water soluble fiber. They lower cholesterol levels and help in toning the intestines
As a hypoallergenic fruit, Pears are often recommended as a safe fruit to introduce to infants.
A pear, with skin, weighing 166 grams, provides 2.32 grams of crude fiber, and 4.5 grams of dietary fiber, of which 41% is pectin
For a detailed nutritional chart , see[ http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=29]
Pear in Juice Therapy
Pear juice is an appetizer and thus helps to stimulate appetite. The juice is also used to fortify the heart and improve mental faculties.
In Ayurveda, the judicious and selective use of pear juice helps to maintain balance in tridoshas. People easily susceptible to catching cold, those who are phlegmatic, whose spleen malfunctions, should have it , particularly in its slightly unripe form.
Pears in the Kitchen
- Choose pears that are undamaged and well-coloured.
- Pears come in a range of flavours and textures and can be enjoyed in many different ways. They can be poached with red wine and vanilla.
- Cooking times for pears vary depending on variety, ripeness and desired consistency. They are also great with chocolate.
- Try them in salads or add to an after-dinner cheese board; they go particularly well with Pecorino or Roquefort.
Tips for handling Pears
Once cut, pears will oxidize quickly and turn a brownish color. You can help to prevent this by applying some lemon, lime or orange juice to the flesh.
Did You Know
- Pears are one of the few fruits that do not mature well if allowed to ripen on the tree.
- Pears are members of the rose family and related to the apple and the quince
- Carbohydrates make up 98% of the energy provided by a pear.
- Thousands of varieties of pears are grown around the world.
[www.bouquetoffruits.com/fruit-facts/pear-facts.html] [www.thefruitpages.com/pears.shtml] [www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/fruit/pears.html] [www.healthrecipes.com/pears.htm]