All About Asian Pears

All About Asian Pears

Until recently, I admit I didn’t even know what an Asian pear was. Even as a nutritionist, I sometimes tend to be a creature of habit. I’m in a rush to grocery shop and cook for four kids, myself and my husband. I run into the same grocery store and choose the same fruits and vegetables every time I am there. See? Creature of habit. I've learned recently that I really need to be conscious of taking the time to step outside of that habitual comfort zone and try new things. Sometimes when I do, I find out there are some amazing foods out there!

I took my nine-year-old daughter into the grocery store recently and she spotted a unique looking fruit and asked me what it was. Yes, she spotted it first! I didn’t have a good answer for her, except, “Let's look at the produce sticker!” Asian Pear, we both read. We decided to take a few home and try them. We were both hooked right away. They were delicious! Then, of course, in typically inquisitive 9-year-old fashion, we had to do some research!

Our research led us to some interesting nutritional information! We found that an Asian Pear is shaped like an apple, yet has color similar to a pear. It is crisp like and apple but sweet like a pear. It is juice and flavorful and refreshing. We certainly agreed after snacking on a few! While an Asian pear has an appearance and texture similar to that of apples, it more closely resembles other pear varieties in its nutritional profile.

Fun Nutritional Facts of Asian Pear

• Fiber - These fruits are high in fiber. Dietary fiber is essential for your intestinal health and helps to promote healthy blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. In addition, a high dietary fiber intake helps you to feel full longer, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day. Coupled with the relatively low caloric content of an Asian pear, may help you to attain or maintain a healthy body weight.

• Potassium - Asian Pears contain pootassium. The proper functioning of all your body's cells, organs and tissues relies on a healthy balance of electrolytes. Two of the most important electrolytes include sodium and potassium. Asian pears contribute to this balance by being sodium free and providing 7.1 percent of your daily potassium. Sodium and potassium have opposite and complementary effects, and the high potassium content in Asian pears can help to counteract the high sodium content in other foods. This is particularly important for its effects on blood pressure, as reducing your sodium intake and increasing your daily potassium can help to lower high blood pressure.

• Vitamin K and Copper - Asian pears are high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for bone health and vital to your blood's ability to clot. One Asian pear can play a significant role in maintaining the regular functioning of your blood. Copper is also important in the maintaince of proper blood and bone health. Copper assists in the essential production of energy, red blood cells and collagen.

• Vitamin C - Vitamin C is found in high concentration in an Asian Pear. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. It is crucial to your body’s immune functioning and wound healing and plays an important role in repairing bones and teeth. Vitamin C assists in the absorption if iron. This is especially important to individuals who are anemic or vegetarians who struggle with iron absorption. One large Asian pear helps you to meet your body's daily vitamin C needs.

Although delicious on their own, the light sweetness and crispy texture of Asian pears makes them a unique addition to any salad or dish.

You can eat an Asian pear as a snack just like you would a regular pear or an apple. You can also slice it up and add it to salads or side dishes. Or you can slice it up and use it in a NutriBlast! It has a naturally sweet and refreshing flavor that combines nicely with berries, bananas and almonds. In fact, here is my latest favorite Asian pear-inspired Blast.

Click here for my Asian Pear NutriBlast recipe!

Blast and Enjoy!

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Triathlon Coach

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