Pears: Nutrition Facts

Calories in Pears and Their Health Benefits

Bunch of pears
Image Source/Image Source/Getty Images.

There are many different types of pears. Some of the most common brands available for purchase in the United States include, Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Comic, Concorde, Forelle, Red Anjou, Red Bartlett, Seckel, Starkrimson. Each variety of USA pears has its own distinctive color, ranging from green to red, flavor from sweet to sweeter, and texture from crisp to soft and juicy. Because each variety is harvested throughout different times of the year, USA pears are in season year-round.

Pears are moderately high in sugar and aren't the most nutrient dense fruit type. However, they do have a fairly high amount of fiber, about 5.5 grams in one medium serving.

Pears Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 pear, medium (approx 2-1/2 per lb) (178 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 101 
Calories from Fat 2 
Total Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 206mg4%
Carbohydrates 27.3g9%
Dietary Fiber 5.5g22%
Sugars 17.3g 
Protein 0.6g 
Vitamin A 1% · Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 1% · Iron 2%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One medium pear contains about 100 calories and 27 g of carbohydrate (about the equivalent to two slices of bread). Pears also contain about 22 percent of the RDA for fiber, making them a very filling fruit choice. If you are looking to modify your carbohydrate intake, stick to small pears or eat half in one sitting. Pair your pear with a serving of protein, such as Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese or a serving of nuts for a filling, protein, and fiber rich snack.

Health Benefits of Pears

Pears are a good source of vitamin C, containing approximately 7 mg (in one medium sized), which is 10 percent of the daily value. Vitamin C is an important water soluble vitamin, which has been shown to boost immunity, help repair cells, slow down aging, and aid in wound healing.

Pears are great source of fiber, containing almost 6 grams (nearly 22 percent of the RDA), in one medium sized serving. Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrate that helps to promote bowel regularity and can reduce bad cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who eat fiber rich diets tend to maintain healthier weights and have better blood sugar control.

Common Questions About Pears

Should I eat the skin of a pear?

You can and should eat the skin of pears as this is where a large portion of the fiber resides as well as high concentration of nutrients. In fact, one study has indicated that the particular combination of phytonutrients in apples and pears may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. When eating the skin, make sure you wash them thoroughly as pears do fall on the "dirty dozen" list, making them one of the fruits that contain the largest amount of pesticide residue. If possible, purchase organic.

Can I freeze pears?

It is not recommend to freeze fresh pears because juice and fibers will separate in the thawing process, and the results are not at all desired. However, freezing a cooked or processed pear (such as pear sauce) to which sugar has been added will work.

Place the pears in a tightly sealed container prior to freezing to help reduce freezer burn.

Picking and Storing Pears 

There are about ten different varieties of pears available in the U.S. They're all easier to ship when they are hard, therefore they are usually picked unripe, as they will continue to ripen after leaving the tree.

If you decide to buy your pears when they are still hard, note that it will take a few days at room temperature for them to ripen. To check, press gently up by the stem end. If they "give" slightly, they are ripe. To expedite ripening, put them loosely in a paper bag (don't pack them too tightly).

Avoid purchasing pears that have blemishes or bruises.

If you purchase pears that are ripe, store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process. Don't pack them too closely because, as they ripen, they release ethylene gas thus causing them to over-ripen to the point where they can rot. If you pack a whole bunch together, they can speed up the ripening of the whole group.

You can also purchase pear juice and pear sauce. Pear juice can be used in treating constipation, however, it's best to avoid juice if you are looking to lose weight and maintain good blood sugar control.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Pears 

Pears are a versatile fruit, they can be eaten raw, poached, roasted, or blended to make smoothies. Enjoy your pears chopped up in salads, roasted with squash or root vegetables, or blend them up to drink as a meal replacement or to make soup. Adding pears to your meal plan can help to keep you full and reach your fiber goals.

Recipes With Pears 

Sources: 

USA Pears. Fun facts and FAQs. http://usapears.org/fun-facts-faqs/

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.

Wedick NM, Pan A, Cassidy A et al. Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;95(4):925-33.

Continue Reading