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The #1 Best Fruit for a Healthy Gut, Says Dietitian

This fruit could help relieve your digestive troubles.

A healthy gut includes one that doesn't make your visits to the bathroom uncomfortable or painful. A major dilemma affecting most Americans on an intermittent basis, but about four million Americans on a frequent basis, is constipation. Regular bowel movements are normally classified by gastroenterologists as having anywhere from three bowel movements a day to three bowel movements a week.

An important fruit to consume should you be suffering from constipation is pears. Pears are one of nature's highest fiber foods, delivering six grams of total fiber per fruit, with a significant amount of that being insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is known to add bulk, and softness, and act as a gentle laxative to relieve episodes of constipation. Insoluble fiber is abundant specifically in fruit skins from pears.

There are 10 different pears grown in the U.S., namely in Oregon and Washington state, which are the varieties likely showing up in your grocery stores. They include types such as Anjou to Seckel to Bosc pears. Comice and Concorde pears are regarded as some of the sweetest pears, while Bartlett and Starkrimson pears are deemed the softest and most juicy. All pear types have comparable amounts of fiber and can be interchanged to match favorite textures and flavors for recipes. Firmer pears are best for poaching, baking, and grilling, while softer pears may do better blended, canned, or even used in a soup.

Here are some creative ways to enjoy pears:

  • ToastAdd thinly sliced fresh pears atop a loaded toasted whole-grain bread or bagel with a spread like light cream cheese and sprinkled pistachios to start the day off right. Whole-grain breads also supply insoluble fiber to help ease constipation.
  • Salad: The next time you assemble a dark leafy green salad, use cubed pear pieces to add natural sweetness and a serving of fruit to your meal.
  • Oatmeal: Instead of traditional blueberries as the go-to fruit towards a warm bowl of oatmeal, mix in canned (in 100% juice) pears or fresh pears to provide a different flavor and crunch.
  • Pears and dip: Slice pears in pieces lengthwise and pick from various dips that complement pears: caramel, dark chocolate, hummus, or a fruit dip.

Try out some other ways to have fun with pears with Chai Poached Pears, Plant-Based Pear Cardamom Oats Smoothie, or this Cranberry Pear Butter Recipe.

Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD
Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD, is a nationally recognized registered dietitian. Read more