Is this the most underrated fruit on Earth?

Apples and pears are both juicy, tasty, healthy and great for your smile. So they’re equally popular, right? Not even close. Almost 70% of U.S. shoppers purchased fresh apples in 2018, compared to just 32% buying fresh pears. Apples ranked as the second most popular fruit with bananas coming in first place. Pears, however, finished at a lowly 15th, just a bit below limes.1

It’s time to recognize pears as the unsung hero of good oral health. With many varieties of pears in season during winter, now is a good time to get up to speed on their benefits for your teeth and the rest of your body.

Oral health benefits

Like apples, pears are crunchy and high in water content, which helps dilute their sugars and stimulate saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles from your mouth. This makes them an excellent alternative to sugary and starchy snacks.

Pears provide a lot of vitamin C and can be up to 100 times less acidic than some fruits that are also rich in vitamin C like lemons and limes. This makes pears considerably less likely to damage tooth enamel. They also help reduce the acidity of plaque, which can help prevent tooth decay.

A medium-size pear provides nearly 25% of an adult’s daily fiber needs.2 Foods rich in fiber help keep your teeth and gums clean.

In addition to their oral health benefits, pears are good for you because they:

• Keep you feeling full longer due to their high fiber content

• Help with digestion

• Supply a plant compound called "flavonoids" that can be helpful in preventing Type 2 diabetes and stroke and may help with weight control

• Protect healthy cells to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other diseases because they are packed with antioxidants

• Provide potassium — one of the body’s most important minerals because it regulates heartbeat and blood pressure along with muscle and nerve function

• Contain just 100 calories per serving, with no sodium, cholesterol or fat

Pears are especially delicious eaten raw when fully ripe. They can also be enjoyed poached, grilled, baked or many other ways. You can work them into your diet in a smoothie, salad, yogurt and salsa, to name just a few. Now that you know their healthy advantages, reach for a pear when you want a convenient snack that’s great for your smile. 

Two great ways to savor pears

Try these tempting recipes to enjoy the healthful benefits of pears. 

1. Warm pear with cinnamon ricotta


1 small pear, halved and cored

1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat broiler or toaster oven. Place pear on baking sheet and broil 10 to 12 minutes until tender. Combine ricotta and cinnamon in a small bowl. Top warm pear with ricotta mixture. 

2. Tasty pear smoothie


1 pear with seeds and stem removed

1 cup ice

1 cup fresh spinach

1 frozen banana

2/3 cup almond milk


Place ice, spinach, banana, pear and milk in blender in that order. Blend for 1 minute. Pour into glass.