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Cholesterol : In Season: Pears

By Michael T. Murray, ND

With Autumn officially upon us, the season of harvest is in full swing. One of the many new fruits in season are pears. Historic record of the pear dates back as far as the Stone Age. Homer even referred to pears as a "gift of the gods." The first pear tree planted in America was brought to the New World in 1620. Although there are thousands of varieties of pears, the most common in the United States include the Anjou, Bartlett, and Bosc.

Nutritional Highlights
  • Pears are an excellent source of dietary fibers.
  • They also are a source of vitamins C, B2, E, copper and potassium.
  • A 3 1/2-ounce serving of a pear is only 58 calories.
Health Benefits
  • Pears provide the body with water-soluble fibers.
  • Pears are a better source of the pectin than apples, making them effective at lowering cholesterol levels.
  • Commonly recommended as a hypoallergenic fruit, pears are less likely to produce a negative reaction in comparison to other fruits.
  • Because of their hypoallergenic qualities, pears are frequently recommended when introducing infants to fruits.
With their sweet, buttery flavor, pears can elevate many salads. One of my favorites combines pears with mustard greens, watercress, leeks and walnuts. Baking pears with cinnamon and a little bit of brown sugar is a great dessert alternative. What are your favorite ways to enjoy pears this fall?


Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

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