Soft and sweet, fresh or dried pears are nutritious and tasty. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Dried fruit can boost your fiber and nutrient intake and supply your body with large amounts of antioxidants. They are so delicious that easy to overeat, especially for people with a sweet tooth. However, you have to remember that they are high in sugar and calories, and can cause problems when consumed in excess.
You can enjoy dried pears in a number of ways. Eat them just directly from the bag or chop them up and add to your yogurt, hot cereal or baking goodies.
Health Benefits of Pears
With mild sweet taste and soft texture, dried pears are an excellent source of vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber in both soluble (pectin) and insoluble forms (cellulose).
Two cups of fruit per day are usually recommended for an average adult. Dried fruit is significantly higher in calories and nutrients; that’s why smaller servings of dried fruit (including dried pears) count toward more of your daily intake. Generally, a 1/2-cup serving of dried fruit counts as a cup of fresh fruit. So, a 1/2 cup serving of dried pears counts as 1 cup of fresh pears.
To take care of your overall health, to have to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, at least 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables per day.
Nutrients in Pears
If you are on a 2,000-calorie diet, you can consume 2 cups of fresh fruit or the equivalent in canned, frozen or dried fruit to fulfill your daily recommendations.
Pears contain a water-soluble fiber known as pectin. Pectin is a natural part of the human diet, but does not contribute significantly to nutrition. The daily intake of pectin from fruits and vegetables can be estimated to be around 5g (assuming consumption of approximately 500g fruits and vegetables per day).
Pears, apples, guavas, quince, plums, gooseberries, and oranges and other citrus fruits contain large amounts of pectin, while soft fruits like cherries, grapes, and strawberries contain small amounts of pectin.
One serving of dried pears contains:
- calories – 239
- total carbohydrate – 63g (23% of the Daily Value, DV), including 58g of sugar and 7g of dietary fiber
- protein – 1g
- vitamin C (93% DV)
- vitamin B6 (15% DV)
Dried pears are high in potassium and low in sodium. This dried fruit is also naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free, and gluten-free.
Health Benefits of Pears
- Dietary fiber lowers your cholesterol and helps regulate your sugar levels in blood. It prevents constipation because of its laxative effect. A recommended daily intake of dietary fiber for women is 25g and 38g for men. A single serving of dried pear slices provides 7 grams of dietary fiber – 28% and 18% respectively.
- Potassium and Sodium: A high-potassium and low-sodium diet helps prevent high blood pressure and an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Potassium and sodium levels in dried pears are in a very health-beneficial ratio: a serving of dried pears provides 480mg of potassium and only 5mg of sodium. A healthy adult should get about 4,700mg of potassium and no more than 2,300mg of sodium per day. Dried pears are high in potassium and low in sodium.
- Vitamins C and E provide immunity-boosting benefits, promote healthy skin and eyes, and also serve as powerful antioxidants in the body.
- B-group vitamins are essential for brain function, fetal development, the development of red blood cells, and more.
Like any other dried fruit, dried pears have to be counted toward your daily recommendations for fruit intake.