Latin name: Pyrus pyrifolia
Other names: apple pear, Japanese pear, Korean pear, nashi pear, sand pear, Taiwan pear
What is an Asian pear?
Asian pears, a cousin to the more traditional Europeans pears, have brownish-yellow outsides, and a juicy, crisp white center, with a texture similar to an apple. Unlike traditional European pears, Asian pears are round, firm to touch when ripe, and ready to eat right after harvest. Asian pears reach prime quality when they ripen on the tree, similar to apples and peaches.
Semi-sweet and tart, Asian pears are commonly served raw and peeled. Because of their relatively high price and large size, Asian pears are often served to guests, given as gifts, or eaten together in a family setting. The Pyrus pyrifolia tree species is native to China, Japan, and Korea.
What are the health benefits of Asian pears?
Considered cold in nature, pears are used by traditional Chinese medicine to detoxify, regenerate body fluids, dissolve mucus, quench thirst, relieve restlessness, promote urination, treat constipation, alleviate retina pain, heal skin lesions, promote overall skin health, lubricate the throat, relieve a cough, and heal a hoarse throat.
Asian pears are especially prized by Chinese herbalists as a way to eliminate dark circles under the eyes. They also use pears to cure laryngitis and treat coughs and sore throats.
Asian pears are packed with copper and vitamin C. With each pear eaten, you get 8% of your daily allotment of vitamin C. These antioxidant nutrients help protect you from the ravages of free radicals. Copper is an essential component of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that attacks these harmful agents when they enter the body via air pollution and other toxins. Asian pear contains plenty of fiber—one pear contains 4 grams of dietary fiber, 18% of the Recommended Daily Allowance—which lowers cholesterol and contributes to regularity. Like many fruits, Asian pears contain no fats, saturated fats or trans fats, and are also cholesterol-free.
Where can I find Asian pears?
Asian pears can be found in most grocery stores and Chinese food markets.
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