Pump up your pear intake for better blood pressure and blood sugar

Everyone’s always telling you to eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and sauerkraut to fill your belly with healthy bacteria that improve your gut health. But once you’ve got that good bacteria in there, you have to feed it the right things to get it to stick around — and that’s where pears come in…

Pears contain soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are crucial for good gut health. But soluble fiber (also known as prebiotics) is particularly important since it feeds your healthy gut bacteria. One medium-sized pear contains 6 grams of fiber. That’s about 22 to 24 percent of your RDA of fiber… which is impressive. And once this fiber gets into your gut it can improve your health in serious ways…

In fact, research shows that pumping up your pear intake can improve your gut health, blood pressure, blood sugar and more…

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Pears are a favorite food source for probiotic bacteria

A study from researchers at North Dakota State University shows that natural compounds in pears are a favorite food source for friendly (probiotic) bacteria in the digestive tract. And when those little organisms are well-fed, they can help keep your blood sugar and blood pressure at a healthy level.

Plus, when good bacteria are nourished and satisfied, they multiply. That can reduce the chances of a problematic bacterium like Helicobacter pylori overgrowing and causing ulcers and stomach pain and even increasing your cancer risk.

“Bacteria is often perceived as something that causes diseases; however, the body is full of bacteria that are mostly good,” says researcher Kalidas Shetty. “It’s exciting to explore the potential that pears can have to balance beneficial bacterial activity in the digestive process, as gut health helps support overall health of the body.”

Research also indicates that pears have natural chemical antioxidants and phenolics that interact with the body’s enzymes to improve how the body handles sugar. They can help lower the high blood pressure that often co-exists with diabetes too. And the antioxidants in pears have been shown to make heart tissue more pliable and balance cholesterol levels, making these tasty fruits especially heart-healthy.

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How to reap plenty of pear benefits

Most of a pear’s fiber is in its skin. So, if you want to reap this fruit’s gut benefits, eat it unpeeled. Since you’re eating the skin, buying organic pears will be extra important so you can keep your pesticide intake down… especially, since pears consistently land on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen.

There are plenty of ways to add more pears to your diet. I like to add them to my oatmeal, salads, smoothies and more. I also think pears make the perfect snack with a few slices of grass-fed cheese or a handful of almonds. How ever you choose to eat more of them, make sure to give pears a priority spot in your diet for better gut and overall health.

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  1. 9 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Pears — Healthline.
  2. What to know about pears — Medical News Today.
  3. Systematic Review of Pears and Health — Nutrition Today.
  4. New research investigates potential probiotic benefits of pear-enriched diet — Outlook India.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.