What Are the Benefits of Asian Pears?

Asian pears are an excellent source of both types of fiber.
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Like apples, quince and other pome fruits, pears have a seed-containing core surrounded by firm, juicy flesh and delicate, nutrient-rich skin. Americans are most familiar with European varieties such as Bartlett and Anjou, but Asian pears – which have been consumed in China for thousands of years – are becoming increasingly common in produce departments across the United States. Although Asian pears are rounder, less sweet and slightly grainier than more-familiar varieties, they’re nutritionally comparable and offer similar health benefits.

Nutritional Value

An average-size Asian pear, which is one that weighs around 10 ounces, has about 115 calories, 1.4 grams of protein, just over half a gram of fat, and 29.3 grams of carbohydrates, most of which are in the form of simple sugars. According to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, this size Asian pear provides 17 percent and 16 percent of the daily values for vitamins C and K, respectively, as well as 10 percent and 7 percent of the daily values for potassium and copper, respectively. It also delivers about 10 grams of dietary fiber, or 40 percent of the recommended daily value. Like other varieties, Asian pears contain a significant amount of antioxidant phenols.

Bowel Regularity

Asian pears are a better source of fiber than grapes, cantaloupe, oranges, bananas, apples and many other commonly available fruits. Ounce for ounce, they’re also almost 15 percent higher in fiber than Bartlett pears, according to the USDA. Insoluble fiber – sometimes referred to as “nature’s broom” – accounts for more than half of the fiber in an unpeeled Asian pear. This type of fiber absorbs water and helps sweep waste through your intestinal tract more efficiently. Getting enough insoluble fiber in your diet, when combined with an adequate fluid intake, helps your digestive system run smoothly and produce regular, easy-to-pass bowel movements. Staying regular can help prevent numerous bowel problems, including constipation and hemorrhoids.

Heart Health

Asian pears also contain a significant amount of soluble fiber, the type that promotes normal cholesterol levels. They’re an especially good source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that’s effective at reducing high cholesterol levels because it binds to cholesterol and removes it from your body through waste. Keeping your cholesterol under control can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease substantially. As a good source of potassium, Asian pears help protect against high blood pressure, which also decreases the risk of heart disease. The significant amount of copper provided by Asian pears may also support heart health. According to “Wellness Foods A to Z: An Indispensable Guide to Health-Conscious Food Lovers,” copper is thought to help impede the advance of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.


By choosing Asian pears over the traditional Bartlett variety, you’ll get more fiber and potassium while consuming fewer calories and less sugar. According to “Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet,” pears are rich in phenols, a group of naturally occurring plant compounds that demonstrate significant antioxidant activity. A study published in 2009 in the “European Journal of Nutrition” found that chlorogenic acid, the main phenol in pears, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help protect against atherosclerosis. To fully benefit from an Asian pear, eat it unpeeled – the fruit’s fiber and antioxidants are concentrated in its skin. Consume Asian pears as you would apples, or slice them, add a drizzle of honey and serve them for dessert.

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