Why your diet going pear-shaped isn’t a bad thing
Finding the fruit that’s the perfect balance of healthy and tasty to throw into your breakfast or as a snack can be a struggle.
There’s such a wide variety, especially in Australia where our growers across the country provide high quality produce every single day.
A CSIRO review of scientific research has found a health standout you might not have considered – the humble pear.
Long considered the deformed cousin to the noble apple, the study found pears to be hugely useful for maintaining digestive health, in particular due to its levels of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
There’s 4.1 grams of fibre in a single medium pear, which makes it one of the highest fibre fruits out there and a perfect healthy snack.
According to the study, Australian women in particular fall short of the recommended daily fibre intake by 4 grams a day – making a pear perfect to catch up!
Pears are low GI, which makes them an ideal nutritious snack to keep you going
Rebecca Gawthorne is a dietitian and nutritionist at Nourish Naturally, and says that pears can provide a natural alternative to relieve constipation.
“The mix of fibre and naturally occurring sugars in pears – sorbitol and fructose – helps to keep your digestive system healthy and prevent constipation. It also helps your body absorb nutrients from food and builds your immunity,” says Gawthorne.
The skin of pears in particular is highly nutritious, containing polyphenols and antioxidants, which can assist in managing the risk of diabetes, heart health and obesity.
Other benefits found by the CSIRO study include low GI levels and high levels of protective plant compounds, as well as boosting your intake of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C1.
Gawthorne also says that emerging research is finding pears may help ease symptoms of allergy related diseases such as hayfever, as well as other respiratory conditions.
If you’re wondering how to add pears to your diet in ways beyond simply snacking on the fruit, you might be surprised. This versatile fruit is a welcome addition to many recipes – from delicious smoothies to salads and even beef ribs!
If you’re looking in the supermarket but aren’t quite sure what to look for, check out our handy chart below of the eight pear varieties grown in Australia.
But no matter which one you choose, you’re going to want to make sure the fruit is ripe. A handy test is to gently press the flesh near the stem – if the pear is ripe it will give a little.
If you find yourself stocked with hard, unripe pears, you can simply let them ripen naturally at room temperature. Just make sure you pop them in the fridge once they’re soft to keep them fresher for longer!
What’s your favourite recipe to throw a few pears into?