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Eating pears regularly may improve blood pressure, heart function: study

According to a new study, eating fresh pears can help in improving blood pressure and vascular function in middle-aged men and women who have a likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.

The clinical trial assessed the antihypertensive effects of fresh pear intake in middle-aged men and women with metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Preliminary considerations of 36 participants showed that after consuming fresh pears for 12 weeks, systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure were considerably lower than baseline levels. However, there were no changes in the control group. Further research is required to confirm the antihypertensive effects of fresh pears and to measure their effect on vascular function, researchers said.

Lead author Sarah A Johnson, who conducted the research while at Florida State University said, "These initial results are very promising. With metabolic syndrome being of such high prevalence in the US, we feel it is important to explore the potential for functional foods such as pears to improve cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure in affected middle-aged adults."

She said, "Elevated systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure, which is the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure, are strong predictors of cardiovascular disease."

Amongst the most popular fruits in the world, pears are an exceptional source of fibre and a good source of vitamin C, for only 100 calories per serving. According to researchers, one medium pear can fulfill 24 per cent of daily fibre needs. They are free of sodium, cholesterol, fat, and contain 190 mg of potassium.