“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it”—Heather Morgan, MS, NLC.
Pears are excellent sources of health promoting nutrients. Consuming pears assist in weight loss, reduce the risk of cancer development, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, help to treat diverticulosis , fight against free radicals, help to prevent osteoporosis, increases energy levels , etc.
Pears are curvaceous , sweet, juicy and are available in an array of colours from bright green to tawny red to sunset yellow type with an unusual texture which alters as its ripening stage appears. Some pears have a rounded body that taper into a neck of various lengths (European Pears) while some are completely round with no neck(Asian Pears). They have a smooth texture. Some pears possess sweet flavour while some have an aromatic one . Pears can be classified into Asian Pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) and European Pears(Pyrus communis). Asian pear varieties show a sandy texture which doesnot change after harvesting or storage while European pears turn juicy when they ripen. The pear belongs to any of tree or shrub species of genus Pyrus in the family Rosaceae. It is also the name of the pomaceous fruit of trees. There are several species of trees which are valued for their edible juices and fruits. The common varieties of pears are- Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Concorde, Seckel, Comice, Forelle, Starkrimson.
Pears are nutrient dense fruits. A medium sized pear contains approximately hundred calories and is fat free. Pears are rich source of dietary fiber. A medium sized pear provide about fifteen percent of daily copper requirement. The skin of pear is mainly a concentrated source of phenolic phytonutrients. Pears have a high water content with negligible amount of protein. Pears are cholesterol free. They contain minerals like copper , calcium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and iron. Pears are also filled with vitamins ( Vitamin A, C, D,K, E,B-12, B-6,), folates, pantothenic acid, and carbohydrates. The fruit excels in phytonutrient category. The list of phytonutrients contained in pear is as follows:- Hydroxybenzoic acid- chlorogenic acid, gentisic acid, syringic acid, vanilic acid; Hydroxycinnamic acid- coumaric acid, ferulic acid, 5-caffeoylquinic acid; Hydroxyquinones- arbutin; Flavanols- catechin, epicatechin; Flavonols- isorhamnetin, quercetin, kaempferol; Anthocyanins ( in red-skinned varieties); Carotenoids- beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin.
Most of the fiber content in pears is a non-soluble polysaccharide, which implies that it acts as a bulking agent in the intestines. This fiber helps to accumulate the food and adds bulk to it making it easier to pass through intestines. It also stimulates secretion of gastric and digestive juices. Thus it regulates bowel movements reducing chances of constipation and diarrhea.
Presence of Vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin K and minerals like Copper battle against free radicals that damage the body cells.
The fiber content of pear binds to the carcinogenic cells by removing them and consequently prevents colon cancer. After menopause, consuming a pear a day can keep away breast cancer in women.
The high content of antioxidants like Vitamin C and Copper support the immune system to fight against various health harming diseases.
Maintaining pH of the body and providing body with recommended amount of calcium are necessary to keep bones healthy and prevent Osteoporosis. Boron rich pears help in calcium absorption.
The high glucose content in pears give instant energy. It gets absorbed very quickly by the body and converts into energy.
Pear is recommended for weaning children because it is hypoallergenic and is low acidic fruit and hence it does not contain any digestion problem.
Pears have anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce inflammation of arthritis and other problems of such kind.
The fruit has low glycerine index and high fiber content which help to control sugar levels in blood and thus prevents diabetes. Certain flavenoids in pear improve insulin sensitivity. This decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women.
Vitamin C is an essential component for synthesizing new tissue in various organs of the body. Ascorbic acid helps to speed up healing. Pears contain high levels of ascorbic acid and thus acts as catalyst to speed up the healing process.
Pear can be very beneficial for patients suffering from anaemia and other mineral deficiency diseases because it contains a high amount of copper and iron. Copper facilitates the uptake of minerals into the system and iron helps in synthesis of red blood cells.
Pear contains potassium which is a well-known vasodilator. Thus it can significantly affect heart health. It helps to lower blood pressure reducing strain on cardiovascular system and thus lower the chance of heart attacks and atherosclerosis. It increases blood flow to all body parts which oxygenates the organs improving their function. Potassium in pears act as a fluid regulator. Hence, it keeps body hydrated and ensures balance of essential fluids in the various cells and organs of the body.
Pears are beneficial for maintaining skin health. It very effectively treats oily skin if used with fresh cream and honey. Pears help to get acne free skin and are also effective as natural scrub. Pears are also used to treat and tame freezy hair. They restore the lost shine and reduce hair dryness. Pears are also used to prepare jams and jellies.
Regular and moderate consumption of pear is beneficial to health. But too much consumption can be harmful. Pears are good source of dietary fiber. But too much of fibers is bad for digestive health because it interferes with absorption of nutrients in the body. High levels of Vitamin C can give rise to complications like diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, abdominal bloating and headache. High levels of antioxidants can increase the risk of cancer. In a study conducted in the 2011 among 35,500 men, it was found that increased level of Vitamin E can be a cause of increased risk of prostate cancer. High levels of Vitamin A can cause blurry vision, bone swelling, poor apetite, dizziness, bone pain etc. Pears are safe when taken in a moderate amount. Pears have less chances of allergenic reactions. But there are cases where patients have been reported to develop allergenic reactions.
Pears are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits which are loved by almost all generations. The pyrus species are native to Northern Hemisphere of the ancient world. European and East Asian species are native to Eastern Europe and South Western Asia while East and North Asian species are native to Eastern Asia including China , Japan and ManAuria. Pyrus pyrifolia originated in China from where it was brought to Amritsar’s village by Chinese Merchants. It is the fifth most widely produced fruit in the world. It is mainly produced in China, Europe and United States. Pear trees grow from 20-50 feet tall, depending on variety. European pears ripen in late summer. Asian pears ripen generally from late summer to early autumn. Most pears grow in full sun to light shade. Slight variations may occur according to varieties. In areas with mild climates, pears tolerate salty and coastal environment. Pears can grow in loamy, sandy or clay soils though they grow best in rich well drained loamy soil having pH less than 8.5. Alkaline soil is unfit for pear growth. Pears can be grown successfully at 1200-1800 meter above sea level. It can tolerate very low temperature as well as high temperatures during summers.
Importance of fasting in navaratri.
How to fast during navaratri:
Traditionally prescribed foods are:
Those who cannot go for a fast can do upavaas by abstaining from non-vegetarian food, alcohol, onion, garlic, too spicy food, and replacing common salt with rock salt.
Top health benefits of super food avocado
Avocado commonly know as butter-fruit & biological name: persea americana
Names in other languages: Makhanphal (hindi), vennai pazham (tamil), alpukat (marathi), mager nashpati (urdu), benne hannu (kannada)
While 77% of its calories come from fat, the majority comprises of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which reduces dangerous ldl cholesterol in the blood while increasing the favourable hdl cholesterol. The fats in avocado resist heat-induced oxidation which makes avocado oil a healthier cooking oil.
Avocados have a high fibre content (7 grams of fibre in a 100 gm serving), with almost 25% of the fibre being soluble fibre. Plus the monounsaturated fatty acidsare not stored as fat and work as slow burning energy, leaving you feeling full for longer.
Potassium is important to keep blood pressure levels at its best behaviour, but unfortunately, most people do not get enough of this mineral in their diet. This could increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Avocados have a richer potassium content than bananas. The oleic acid and dietary fibre in avocados further help normalize blood sugar levels.
Avocados are filled with antioxidant carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the cells against free radical damage.
Living with diabetes? make avocados an essential part of your daily diet and see your ‘bad’ ldl cholesterol drop and the ‘good’ hdl cholesterol go up thanks to the oleic acid content. The high monounsaturated fats also help reduce high triglyceride levels and improve insulin function andblood glucose levels.
Soft, healthy skin:-
The monounsaturated fats and omega-9 fats improve the skin appearance by maintaining the moisture in the epidermal layer and repairing damaged skin cells. A healthy intake of monounsaturated fat is important to regulate sebum production to control unwanted acne and blackheads. If you are pressed for time and are unable to use avocado face packs, learn to incorporate a moisturizing cream like olay total effects day cream in your routine that also has anti-ageing properties.
The high levels of monounsaturated fats, phytosterols, antioxidants like vitamin e, vitamin c and various carotenoids help curb the inflammation that causes arthritis.
The high soluble fibre content kicks the bowels into action and improves digestion.
A higher concentration of folate (folic acid) is one of the most important avocado health benefits for women, both before and after pregnancy.
Better eye health:-
Eyes are something we pay the least attention to but an avocado-rich diet can do that job as not only are they rich in antioxidant including lutein and zeaxant but also increase antioxidant absorption from other foods. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Fibre is crucial for proper digestion and 85 % immunity of the human body is due to digestion alone. Scientists have recently concluded after years of study that the human brain and gut are indeed connected. This leads us to the question whether we are looking after our guts to stay healthy and fit for years to come?
Consider modern diets have left millions worldwide with deficiency of fibre. And, this is really alarming because high - fibre foods help to guard against cancer, heart disease, kidney stones, PMS, obesity and diabetes.
Fibre comes in two varieties- soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre turns to gel in the stomach, slowing digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Insoluble fibre remains untouched all the way to the large intestine aiding in proper evacuation of the GI tract. Since fibre is never absorbed into the body, you have to eat sufficient quantities of it every day. Experts suggest that you need 25-38 gm of fibre each day in your diet. But how do you get this amount?
Here are a list of 10 high- fibre foods for jacking-up fibre content
Constipation is emerging as a common disease of the digestive tract. Constipation can make your bowels movement irregular and as a result it is not completely emptied. Constipation can lead to many diseases by producing the toxins in the body. Constipation weakens the vital organs and lowers the immunity of the body. Appendicitis, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure and cancer are a few of the diseases in which chronic constipation plays an important part. The number of motions for normal health depends from person to person.The following are some insights on understanding constipation its causes,symptoms and home remedies to relieve constipation naturally.
How do I treat the constipation?
The following home remedies will treat the constipation.
Diet: The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined food such as whole grain cereals, bran, honey and lentils; green leafy vegetables, like spinach, beans, lettuce, celery, asparagus, carrot.
Water: drinking water regularly keeps you hydrated, relieves the constipation by cleans the system and eliminate the poisons from the body. Normally six to eight glasses of water should be taken daily as it is essential for digesting and dissolving food nutrients so that they can be absorbed and utilized by the body.
Fruits: Generally all fruits, except banana and jack fruit, are beneficial in the treatment of constipation.
Pears are beneficial in the treatment of constipation.
Guava fruit when eaten with seeds, gives roughage to the diet and helps in the normal evacuation of the bowels.
Grapes: have also proved highly beneficial in overcoming constipation. The grapes have the cellulose; natural sugar and organic acid make them a natural laxative fruit. Not only they clean the bowel, but also tones up the stomach and intestines to relieve the chronic constipation.
Linseed: is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. One teaspoon of linseed with warm water should be taken at night for bulk and lubrication.
Dry fruits: Such as figs, raisins, apricots and dates.
Proper chewing: The diet alone is not enough. Food should be properly chewed-each morsel for at least 20 times.
Exercise: Simple exercises like walking, swimming strengthens the abdominal muscles and prevent the constipation.
Yoga: Certain yoga asana like bhujangasana, halasana, shalabhasana, yogamudra, dhanurasana also help to bring relief from constipation as they strengthen the abdominal and pelvic muscles and stimulate the peristaltic movement of the bowels.
Mets is a cluster of major cardiovascular risk factors highly linked to the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
Pears are excellent source of fibre and a good source of vitamin c for only 100 calories per serving further research is needed to confirm the antihypertensive effects of fresh pears as well as to assess their impact on vascular function