Pears are close cousins of apples and have a mild sweet taste and enduring aroma. However, you may have apprehensions about eating pears during pregnancy. Expectant mothers are recommended to include healthy fruits in their diets. Pears are good sources of minerals such as potassium and calcium, among other nutrients that may be helpful during pregnancy. Read this post as we explain why to include this fruit in your pregnancy diet. We also provide tips to choose the right pear fruit suitable for consumption during this time.
Is It Safe To Eat Pears During Pregnancy?
It is safe and healthy to eat pears when you are pregnant as they contain several nutrients such as antioxidants and flavonoids.
However, you need to wash them before you eat as the American Pregnancy Association warns that unwashed pears contain harmful bacteria and parasites, which may lead to food-borne diseases like listeriosis and toxoplasmosis.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pears During Pregnancy?
A pear fruit contains major vitamins – A, C, K, B9, PP, and it also has a range of elements and minerals such as sulfur, pectin, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, fiber, cobalt, calcium, iodine, and tannins (1).
But, how do these vitamins and minerals help a pregnant woman?
Here is what you gain by eating a pear.
1. Your body gets the ability to fight infections:
Pears help in preventing infectious diseases such as common cold, cough, and seasonal flu. They also play a vital role in treating pulmonary infections (bronchitis, pneumonia) and hepatitis.
They are a rich source of vitamin C, which is good for pregnancy. A single pear contains 10mg of the vitamin, which amounts to 11% of the daily recommended allowance (RDA) for women.
Vitamin C fights infections in the body. Consume pears along with high iron foods such as beans, meat or rice, as vitamin C in the fruit helps your body absorb iron.
2. Constipation? What’s that?
Pears are a good source of fiber that fights constipation, a common problem in pregnancy. Constipation becomes acute with the intake of iron supplements at this time. A single pear contains 7gm of fiber, including 2gm of pectin (a soluble fiber that helps digestion). You should eat pear along with its peel to consume more fiber.
3. Just enough calories to give you energy:
A whole pear fruit has 100 calories while a glass of juice contains 46 calories. The fruit does not result in weight gain as it is low in fats. Moreover, it makes you feel full and supplies energy.
4. Address your sweet cravings without guilt:
Pears contain the two simple carbohydrates glucose and fructose. These natural sugars are substitutes for white sugar and can satisfy your craving for pears while pregnant. They taste sweeter than an apple but contain fewer sugars.
5. Good for your heart:
Around 100g of pear contains 116 milligrams (mg) of potassium. It is essential for the functioning of the heart of both the mother and the baby. It also helps in cell regeneration.
6. Flush out those toxins:
The high amount of tannins present in the fruit helps in efficient removal of heavy metals and hazardous toxins.
7. A helping hand in strengthening the bones:
One medium pear fruit offers about 16 milligrams of calcium. This mineral is vital in promoting the formation of baby’s bones and teeth.
8. Just a little folic acid but vital:
One piece of pear fruit gives around 12 micrograms of folic acid as per the Pear Bureau Northwest. Though it is not a real high amount, it can add to your daily intake of folic acid.
Folic acid is crucial in the first-trimester as it plays a key role in preventing neural tube defects. This is the reason why doctors prescribe folic acid supplements to women of childbearing age.
9. Boosts immune system:
Pregnancy weakens your immune system. You need to strengthen it by immunity boosting foods such as pears (2).
Pear fruit is a mild and natural antidepressant. It, therefore, helps in fighting everyday stress and tensions.
11. Anti-emetic property:
Eating pears during pregnancy offers some relief if you are suffering from nausea or morning sickness. Also, you can treat a stomach-upset with pear juice.
12. Minimizes swelling:
Eating one to two pears a day will make you meet the daily requirement of cobalt, which aids in the absorption of iron. It also enables the kidneys to excrete excess water, thereby, minimizing swelling that is common during pregnancy.
13. Other benefits:
This fruit is a natural medicine for exhaustion, dizziness, low metabolism and food disorders like food aversions and obesity.
So, you just cannot wait to add the fruit to your diet chart, right? But before doing so, know if you are in the risk category.
When Can Pears Be Risky During Pregnancy?
Pears do not have any side effects. That is the beauty of this fruit. However, you should cut down on their consumption if you are diagnosed with some health conditions:
- Do not eat too many pears if you have diabetes.
- Avoid the fruit if you are suffering from excess generation of gas.
Also remember that unripe fruits contain hard fiber, which irritates the tummy, and leads to vomiting or diarrhea. Eat only red, orange and yellow pears, or baked or poached fruits. These varieties are healthy, easily digestible and do not irritate the tummy.
Are you saying, “Ok, I do not come under any of the above categories, so I can indulge in pears”? You cannot indulge in any food when you are pregnant. You need to have it in limited quantities.
How Much Pear Can A Pregnant Woman Have?
The recommended daily safe dosage of pear fruit during pregnancy is one to three small or medium-sized fruits. Do not take the fruit on an empty stomach, instead, consume it one to two hours post meals.
How To Choose And Store Pears?
Not all fruits are edible. Choosing the right fruit is an art. Select the best fruit from the lot.
- It should look appetizing and have a pleasant fruity fresh smell.
- It should not have any spots, rots or damages on the rind.
- If it seems weak and does not give any smell, it means the pear has been stored for a long period and might have lost all the valuable nutrients.
You can store them in a refrigerator but put them in a separate brown package. Do not store them near strong smelling foods as pears can absorb the odor easily. You cannot store them for more than one to two weeks.
If the fruits are unripe and green, store them in a paper bag at room temperature, and they will turn ripe in two to three days.
How To Include Pear In Your Pregnancy Diet?
Pears come in several varieties such as Anjou, Barlett, Bosc, Chinese white pear, Comice, and Starkrimson. Shuffle between these to break the monotony. Also, you can have them plain or in various ways such as juice or salad.
- Combine raw fruit slices with fresh leeks, mustard leaves, garden cress and walnuts for a healthy salad.
- Add pears to goat cheese or German dorblu to make a duet. Add it into porridge, and then put some grated ginger and honey. It makes a rich breakfast.
- Core pears and add them to apple juice, raisins, and brown sugar, and boil everything on low heat.
- Cut fleshy pears into half and bake them along with some honey or brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake each side for 15 min. These baked pears are a fantastic dessert and are good for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness or heartburn.
- Drink sweet pear juice as it is or combine with apple and carrot in equal ratios. You can also add some ginger to the juice.
- Chop pears and add them to the oatmeal for a tasty and healthy breakfast. Add some honey for a tangy flavor.
Remember, you need to eat the pear immediately after cutting, as it can turn brown because of oxidation. Else, add some orange or lemon juice over the slices to avoid oxidation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I crave pears when pregnant with a boy?
Craving pears during pregnancy doesn’t depend on the fetus’ gender. Experts suggest that several factors, such as hormonal changes and heightened smell, could play a role in craving specific food items (3).
2. Can I eat pear skin when pregnant?
Expecting mothers can eat a pear with the skin after thoroughly cleaning/scrubbing it. Consuming fruits and veggies with edible peel or skin can increase your fiber and overall nutritional intake (4).
3. Does eating pear cause gas?
Pears provide several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Eating pears during pregnancy is good because it enhances your health by increasing your immunity, relieving constipation, flushing out toxins, etc. Pears do not have any side effects, but you should ensure that they are properly cleaned before eating. Avoid them if you are diabetic or generate gas. Even if you do not have any such issues, consuming any food in moderation is better. Always consult your doctor if you face any discomfort or are introducing the food for the first time.
View Profile ›
Jyoti Benjamin(MS, RD, CSO, FAND, CD)
View Profile ›