Who Cares About Pears?

I do. They’re one of my favorite fruits because they have a wonderfully subtle, sweet flavor and succulent, buttery texture when they are ripe. In fact, that’s why they’re nicknamed “butter fruit” in Europe.

You hardly ever find pears on Super Foods lists. And they’re not very colorful fruits when you think about it. Except for the color in their skins, their flesh is white.  But, I’m here to tell you these humble fruits are really under-appreciated heroes.

How so? They happen to be a great source of fiber: 4-6 grams, depending on the size and type of pear. And even though they aren’t colorful like berries, they are rich in antioxidants. If you like the details, the way this works is that pears are a good source of vitamins C, E, A and the trace mineral, copper, all of which function as antioxidants in the body.

But in order to get the highest levels of these antioxidants and enjoy that wonderful juicy flavor, you want to eat fully ripened pears. Since pears are always picked unripe, be sure and ripen them at home before eating them. If you want to speed up the process, place them in a paper bag.

I like all kinds of pears: Bartlett, Bosc, Anjou, Comice. But I have to tell you I have a new personal favorite: Concorde pears. They have the most unusual sweet flavor. You have to try one to know what I’m talking about. So, do yourself a favor and go get one ASAP.

Just to give you a heads up, pears are actually members of the rose family. So, if you can’t afford to buy your sweetheart a dozen roses, you might be able to afford to give her a dozen pears.


Diana Fleming

Diana Fleming, PhD, LDN, is a co-author of The Full Plate Diet and Nutritionist for Full Plate Living. She received her doctoral degree from Tufts University and has since dedicated her time to translating complicated nutritional data into easy and fun concepts anyone can apply at their next meal. In her spare time, she has painstakingly perfected the ultimate healthy AND delicious chocolate chip cookie.

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