Pears: Why You Should Be Eating This Powerful Bone-Building Fruit
Today’s post is about a sweet, juicy fruit that is one of my absolute favorites. Alkalizing and rich in the Foundation Supplement boron, this fruit is a healthful Foundation Food and is readily available in most grocery stores.
I’m talking about pears, a delicious fruit that comes in a variety of shapes and colors. They’re quite healthy – full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, they help build bones and promote overall health. So let’s take a closer look at the humble pear.
A Pear By Any Other Name…
There are many varieties of pear, which is one of the things I love about this fruit. They all have basically the same nutritional value, so feel free to choose whichever variety is most convenient or that you like the best. Try to get organic, though, since so many of the nutrients are found in the pear’s skin.
Let’s look at some of the common pear varieties, some of which are in season now (winter in the Northern Hemisphere).
- Anjous are winter pears with green or red skins. They tend to be rounder in shape than other varieties. Anjous are among my favorites for eating out of hand.
- Bartletts are considered by some to be the best pears to eat raw due to their soft, exceptionally juicy flesh with a subtle citrus note. Their thin skin is light green or red with small, faded dots. Bartletts are the pear variety used in canning.
- Bosc pears are another winter variety. Their yellowish-brown skin looks leathery, but it encloses a very creamy white flesh that holds its shape well in cooking.
- Seckel pears are small and round, though they still have the characteristic pear shape. Their flesh is champagne-like in flavor and has a grainy texture.
- Comice pears are a rounded pear shape with green flesh that blushes to red on one side. These are very sweet and full of juice, and can be quite large in size. They have soft, almost silky flesh and are the usual pear found in holiday baskets and gift boxes.
Regardless Of The Variety, Pears Are Excellent For Bone Health
Pears contain various Foundation Supplements, including copper, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. The most prominent mineral pears offer is boron. While there’s no established RDA for boron, the most common recommendation is 3mg. One medium-sized pear has about .33mg, making it an excellent source of this bone-building mineral.
Boron is required for your bones to absorb calcium. It works with Vitamin D to reduce the amount of magnesium and calcium excreted in the urine. Boron also supports women’s bodies in the manufacture of estrogen by boosting levels of 17 beta-estradiol, the biologically active form of estrogen.
Various enzyme reactions depend on boron, and boron helps maintain healthy cell membranes.
Remarkably, research suggests that boron has antioxidant properties. A study revealed that boron stopped the production of free radicals when human skin cells were exposed to hydrogen peroxide, a strong oxidizer and common free radical.1
This “pairs” well with the other potent antioxidants and phytonutrients found in pears.
Pears Contain 17 Bone-Building, Health-Promoting Phytonutrients
Under six broader categories that are listed below, pears contain no fewer than 17 phytonutrients, which are chemicals produced by plants to ward off harmful bacteria, fungi, insects, and the like. These phytonutrients offer valuable overall health and bone health benefits.
- Flavonols are a type of bioflavonoid with strong antioxidant properties. Pears contain five flavonols: catechin, epicatechin, isorhamnetin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
- Hydroxyquinones are organic compounds with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in chemical structure. Pears contain arbutin, which has the chemical structure C12H16O7.
- Hydroxybenzoic acids are derivatives of benzoic acid. Pears offer four: chlorogenic acid, gentisic acid, syringic acid, and vanillic acid (this explains the vanilla note that can be discerned in some pear flesh).
- Anthocyanins are found in red-skinned varieties of pear, and they are particularly effective antioxidants that actually help regulate intercellular signal pathways, thus facilitating communication between cells.
- Carotenoids, those richly-pigmented antioxidants, are found in pears. They include beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- Hydroxycinnamic acids are also present in pears. There are three of them: coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and 5-caffeolyquinic acid.
The primary way these phytonutrients promote bone health is through their antioxidant action. Notice the large variety of these nutrients in one food alone – pears – which tells you that your body needs far more than one particular antioxidant to thwart oxidative damage effectively.
Including More Pears In Your Diet
These alkalizing fruits are excellent eaten sliced and raw, but it’s fun to get creative with their preparation. Besides, this adds the all-important element of variety to your pH-balanced diet, as well as alkalinity.
Here’s a delicious recipe that makes a perfect breakfast dish or dessert.
Pear And Oatmeal Crunch
This scrumptious dish tastes much “naughtier” than it is. It turns ordinary pears into comfort food!
- 5 ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears
- 1/4 cup cherries, fresh (pitted), frozen, or dried
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup rolled oats, uncooked
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- Preheat your oven to 400o F. While your oven heats, peel pears and cut them in thick slices, discarding the core (you can leave the peel on if you choose). Place pear slices in a bowl, and gently fold in the honey and cherries.
- Pour mixture into a baking dish that allows the fruits to be about 2 ½ inches deep. A 2-quart baking dish is a good place to start. If the fruit is spread too thin, feel free to add more pear slices or use a smaller dish.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, flour, stevia, and nutmeg. Using a fork to stir the oat mixture, slowly pour in the melted coconut oil. Stir until just combined; don’t over-stir, or it will seize into a ball. You want the mixture to be loose enough to sprinkle over the pears, which is the next step.
- Once the topping has been sprinkled evenly over the fruit, place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned and the pears are soft.
- A delicious way to serve this dish is with a side of bone-healthy ice cream.
Pears, Like Many Foundation Foods, Are Very Versatile
It might surprise you to see a dish like Pears And Oatmeal Crunch in a bone-smart nutritional plan as described in the Save Our Bones Program. But the fact is, Foundation Foods can be enjoyed in many ways, making the Save Our Bones diet a creative, flavorful, and varied experience.
To really showcase the true versatility and flavor of Foundation Foods, I developed the long-awaited Bone Appétit cookbook as a companion to the Program. Now in convenient, digital format, Bone Appétit features over 200 pH-balanced recipes that nourish and build your bones.
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Till next time,
1 Scorei R, Cimpoiasu VM, Iordachescu D. “In vitro evaluation of the antioxidant activity of calcium fructoborate.” Biol Trace Elem Res. 2005 Nov;107(2):127-34.