Pears Prepare You for Good Health
Autumn brings cool, brisk air and the sweetest harvest of fruits. It is the season of pears. The apple is a popular fall fruit and many people tend to ignore the pear, yet it has health benefits that outweigh the apple by far. Pears prepare you for good health in many ways. My farm is home to 3 pear trees and this season has produced a bountiful crop that has kept me busy! It has been a source of unending work, good nutrition, and also provided some entertainment lately.
Entertainment came in the form of the annual skunk brigade, crazy pear dancing, and pear throwing contests. These rituals are not related, but before I digress, let’s take a close look at how the pear can be prepared and at how it prepares your body to deal with illness.
Pears Prepared –
Pears make a wonderful juice which is not clear, but considered more of a nectar. The cloudiness is a good indicator of the high amount of antioxidants and nutrients. They are one of the few fruits that retain that quality when juiced. I try to avoid using over ripe pears since it can mush up the juicer. Important tip for juicing: the pectin is NOT removed during the juicing process. It retains all of the goodness!
They are great cooked on the stove top or in the oven. I core and bake them in tin foil with red hots in the center for a little kick. On the stove top, you can cook them alone, or mix them with apples. I sometimes add cinnamon and nutmeg to make pear butter to serve with toast.
Get some freezer bags and place the cut up pears in a little lemon juice. I use the frozen apples in a bread recipe at Christmas.
Serve with vegetables.
You know that I’m a nutrition NUT case due to cirrhosis caused from Hepatitis C. Today, the kids came over and we had pears and cabbage cooked up for desert. I didn’t tell them what it was until they were finished. I was laughing so hard at their surprise when I told them. They really liked the mix of sweet and tart together!
Pear Entertainment Act l
I wander out to the orchard every day and find some fresh pears to snack on. The wasps and bees have the same idea and are all over the ones on the ground. When they started swarming me yesterday, I jumped down from the ladder and ran around the yard in circles waving my arms like a lunatic. I was wearing pajama pants that had little martini glasses on them, high stepping and hopping like mad. My grandkids called it Nana’s crazy pear dance. It worked! I didn’t get stung. I scared the you-know-what out of those wasps though.
Pears Prepare for Good Health
High fiber – The pear is a great colon cleanser, containing about 6 grams of fiber each. Half of the fiber is found in the skin, so wash it off and eat the whole thing! This is great if you battle Hepatic Encephalopathy and need to keep moving to avoid ammonia build up. Some claim that it gives your skin a healthy glow.
Diuretic – Pears have a super high pectin content which creates a diuretic and also a laxative effect.
Rich in vitamins – They are high in vitamins C, A and E. The real surprise is how high they are in Vitamin K, which can help if you have low platelet levels. You can get over 10% of the daily requirement in a single pear! They are also a source of copper, potassium, and riboflavin.
Natural Phytonutrients – Cyanidin, Caffeic acid and Lutein and a whole list of others. These are super dense nutrients that help are anti-inflammatory and protect you from heart disease and certain cancers.
Reduce cancer risk – The fiber in pears bind with secondary bile acids that are proven to help with colon, stomach, and esophageal cancer. This is good news if you have esophageal or stomach varices or ulcers.
Hypo-allergenic – If you have a delicate stomach or allergic reactions to some foods, you will be happy to know that pears are extremely low on the allergy list. They are low acidic and easy to digest, which makes them a popular baby food item. An Australian study showed it can help people with Asthma.
Antioxidants – Pears contain high levels of many antioxidants including hydroxycinnamic acid which is the one responsible for the lowered risk of stomach cancers. Most of the antioxidant, anti inflammatory and anti cancer phytonutrients are found in the skin, so eat the whole thing for the most benefit! As they ripen, it gains even more antioxidant benefits!
The list is long – A nurse’s study showed that it reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Another study showed decrease in cholesterol levels for both male and female participants. I have added the links to some great sites for more information at the end.
Pear Entertainment Act ll
The skunks around here seem to know that the pears prepare you for good health. They move in every September. Last year there were up to 5 of them eating in the orchard at one time. The spent their days sleeping under my house. This year, they chose the storage building right off my back porch. One of them wandered right up to me as I walked in the back door from work one evening.
It seems inhumane to kill the little guys, so this year I decided to run them off with music. First I sprinkled flour around where they were going into the building. That way I could watch for the tracks to see which direction they were going. I sat a big stereo outside and tuned it into my iphone. I was armed with an LED light and shined it all around like a strobe light.
Night 1 was heavy metal. Tracks went out …. and came back in.
Night 2 I played the Gorrillaz. Tracks out and right back in.
Night 3 I found a Pandora station that played high and low pitched music. It sounded like I had tuned into an alien space ship. The neighbors kept their kids inside. Tracks came out…… and did NOT go back in.
Over the next 2 weeks I saw 5 of them dead on the roads leading to the farm when leaving for work. They must have gone insane and ran out in front of cars. I suspect they committed suicide after hearing all the music. RIP to the pear eating stinkers.
I have been eating 3-5 a day for the last few weeks. I have been taking bags full to school for sharing with my students. If you happen to be in the area, let me know. The next few weeks promise even more will be ready. They can keep in the fridge for several months.
Pear Entertainment Act lll
Yesterday, I skipped the ladder and just climbed the tree and threw them at my grandkids. They ran back and forth catching them in clothes baskets. When the wasps got stirred up, they danced my crazy pear dance. Jill was practicing her trombone in the orchard. It was a real Oklahoma Hootenanny!
They went home with memories of Nana’s house tucked in their hearts and knowledge of how pears prepare them for good health. I told them pears could cure the common cold, liver disease, and also ward off evil spirits. I made up the evil spirits part. Pardon grammatical errors. It’s been a pear picking weekend. Xoxo from your best friend, Karen:)
What other foods are good for liver cirrhosis? Click here!
What foods should be avoided with liver disease? Click here!
pics via platefodder.com and my backyard