Fiber regulates digestion to reduce constipation, helps maintain weight or promote weight loss by providing a long-lasting feeling of fullness, reduces blood cholesterol levels and may even reduce your risk for cancer. With all these health benefits, it's no wonder so many woman are trying to increase their fiber intake. Many fruits, including pears and raspberries, contain fiber. Although raspberries contain more fiber than pears, both are a healthy addition to your high-fiber diet.
What is Fiber?
Fiber is the portion of plant-derived foods that your body cannot break down during digestion. Plants contain two types of fiber -- soluble and insoluble -- classified by how they react with water. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water but does attract water. This type of fiber adds bulk to your stool, which helps it clean out the colon. It also adds moisture, which helps prevent constipation. Soluble fiber dissolves in water forming a gel-like substance in the intestines that helps keep the stool moving and aids in controlling blood sugar and regulating blood cholesterol.
Fruits serve as a good source of fiber. To get the most fiber, consume fruits like pears with the skin on. In a direct comparison, comparing 100 grams of each fruit, raspberries contain more fiber than pears. The 100 grams of pear contains 3.1 grams of fiber and the 100 grams of raspberries contains 6.5 grams of fiber. For reference, 1 cup of raspberries contains about 123 grams of the fruit and provides 8 grams of fiber. A medium-sized pear, approximately 178 grams, provides 5.5 grams of fiber.
You can consume pears and raspberries in a variety of forms and each type contains a different amount of fiber. Dried pears contain 7.5 grams of fiber in the same 100-gram serving size because removing the juice from the pear concentrates the fiber. Although higher in fiber, you should consume the dried fruit in moderation because it contains 62 grams of sugar per 100 grams as compared to only 10 grams in 100 grams of raw pear. Canned pears, on the other hand, contain less fiber, with 1.6 grams in a 100-gram serving, because the skin is removed and some of the weight includes juice which does not contain fiber. Frozen and canned raspberries contain less fiber than the raw raspberries, 3.3 and 4.0 grams, respectively, because liquid accounts for some of the weight.
Pears and raspberries not only contribute to your daily fiber intake, but they also provide a variety of other nutrients. Raspberries contain more of the vitamins A, C, K and folate as well as the minerals potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium than the same serving size of pears. Pears have more calories and carbohydrates with the 100-gram serving providing 58 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates, while the same amount of raspberries provides 52 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrates.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fiber
- Kaiser Permanente: Fiber Facts – Why Fiber is Important
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pear, raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Raspberries, raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pears, dried
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pears, canned, light syrup, solids and liquids
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Raspberries, heavy syrup pack, liquids and solids
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Raspberries, frozen, red, sweetened
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