Pears are one of the ancient fruits, with a history that pre-dates Christianity by 2,000 years. Some of the earliest writings place pears origin in China, and there are records of pear orchards in Greece in Homer's time. Homer aptly referred to them as a "Gift from the Gods". Pears belong to the species Pyrus communis. Mother Nature protected the easily bruised pear by making it better when picked while firm. Unlike most fruit, pears improve in both texture and flavor after they are picked. Store unripe pears at room temperature, ripe pears may be refrigerated.As a fruit, fresh pears have no cholesterol, sodium or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy, due to the presence of natural sugars. Pears are nutrient dense- they are high in fiber, a good source of vitamin C and provide the important mineral potassium all for under 100 calories per medium pear.
A medium pear contains 198 mg of potassium. Although it is an important mineral lost easily through dehydration or perspiration brought on by active lifestyles or strenuous exercise, potassium is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, as well as carbohydrate and protein metabolism.