Monday, July 23, 2012

Fruit Of The Week - Pears

Fruit History:
Pears are one of the world's oldest cultivated and beloved fruits. In 5,000 B.C., Feng Li, a Chinese diplomat, abandoned his responsibilities when he became consumed by grafting peaches, almonds, persimmons, pears and apples as a commercial venture. In The Odyssey, the Greek poet laureate Homer lauds pears as a "gift of the gods." Pomona, goddess of fruit, was a cherished member of the Roman Pantheon and Roman farmers documented extensive pear growing and grafting techniques. Thanks to their versatility and long storage life, pears were a valuable and much-desired commodity among the trading routes of the ancient world. Evident in the works of Renaissance Masters, pears have long been an elegant still-life muse for artists. In the 17th century a great flourishing of modern pear variety cultivation began taking place in Europe. And in popular culture, the pear tree was immortalized alongside a partridge in the 18th-century Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Early colonists brought the first pear trees to America's eastern settlements where they thrived until crop blights proved too severe to sustain widespread cultivation. Fortunately, the pear trees brought west to Oregon and Washington by pioneers in the 1800's thrived in the unique agricultural conditions found in the Pacific Northwest. Today's Northwest pear varieties are the same or similar to those first cultivated in France and Belgium where they were prized for their delicate flavor, buttery texture, and long storage life.
As more sophisticated irrigation and growing techniques developed during the past century, pear orchards flourished dramatically in the Northwest's river valley regions located in a serpentine sprawl from Northern Central Washington to Central Southern Oregon.

Today, pear orchards in Oregon and Washington are as specialized as the regions that support them. Organic, commercial and multi-generation family orchards all contribute high-quality fruit to the Northwest's fresh pear industry. Consumer interest and enjoyment of Northwest pears grows each year. Thanks to advancements in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage technology, fresh USA Pears are available to consumers nearly year-round. - USA Pears 

Health Benefits: 
Pears provide about 3.1 g of dietary fiber per 100g. Regular eating of pears may offer protection against colon cancer.  Most of the fiber is non soluble polysaccharide (NSP), making them a good bulk laxative. Also, the gritty fiber content binds to cancer causing toxins and chemicals in the colon, protecting its mucous membrane from contact with these compounds. - Nutrition & You

Pears contain boron, which our bodies need in order to retain calcium, so this fruit can also be linked to osteoporosis prevention. - Fit Sugar 

Pears have anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen glutathione which help prevent high blood pressure and stroke. - A Perfect Pear

Pears have suggested being useful in treating colitis, chronic gallbladder disorders, arthritis and gout. - Nutrition & You 

Pears contain high amounts of copper which helps protect the body from free radical damage as a necessary component of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a copper-dependent enzyme that eliminates superoxide radicals. Superoxide radicals are a type of free radical generated during normal metabolism, as well as when white blood cells attack invading bacteria and viruses. If not eliminated quickly, superoxide radicals damage cell membranes. - Worlds Healthiest Foods 

The cooling effect in pear is excellent in relieving fever.  Best way to bring a fever down quickly is by drinking a big glass of pear juice. - Juicing For Health 

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