February is American Heart Month, and we are inspired to enjoy some delicious recipes that showcase pears. Winter fruit intake is so important to heart health, especially fruit in season – pears fit the bill. Certified by the American Heart Association, pears add Vitamin C and fiber to your heart smart cart, and complements so many foods.
A little history – pears have long been lauded for their sweetness – the description “gift of the Gods” was coined in Roman times. Pears were excellent travelers, and made their way around the world on traditional travel routes. In America, they landed on the Eastern shores and then made their way via the Lewis and Clark trails to the Pacific Northwest. Pear production in those states is over 550,000 bushels per year, and the pear is officially Oregon’s state fruit.
Pears have had some excellent research show they are a very good choice for vascular health – pears, along with other white-fleshed produce, were shown to reduce risk of stroke in the Women’s Health study. Stroke 2011;42:00-00 The median intake of white-fleshed produce, including pears, apples, and vegetables, showed that each increase of 25 grams (over base intake of 118 grams per day) lowered risk of stroke by 9%. Powerful results!
Enjoy some wonderful winter recipes that include pears – check these out, and find more at the USApears.org website. Remember to check the neck for slight give – that shows it is ripe for a delicious snack or recipe.