February is American Heart Month. All month long we encourage you to make small, simple changes to help you eat smart for your heart. Eating a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains gives your heart the nutrients it needs to function properly. Having a healthy heart lowers your risk of developing diet-related illnesses. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants are vital to help support heart health.
Eating a diet filled with fruit is even linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, apples and pears because of their high fiber and antioxidant levels. In fact, in a study that looked at data from the Iowa Women’s Health Study, researchers found that pears and apples were the most protective against heart disease, compared with other common fruits. Having a strong heart is about balancing healthy lifestyle choices and eating quality foods. Lifestyle practices can also protect you against diet-related illnesses. Be sure to exercise regularly, get quality sleep, and limit alcohol and tobacco.
According to the American Heart Association, many factors contribute to cardiovascular disease, including diet, activity level, age, and your genes. However, eating more fruits and vegetables may help fend off a heart attack or stroke, as fruits and vegetables include a lot of things that are good for your heart, such as fiber and potassium. Since diets rich in fruits and vegetables are usually lower in fat and calories, they can help keep your body at a healthy weight.
Eat More Fruit
There are over 2,000 varieties of fruits in the world. Whether you like sweet, soft, or tangy, there is a fruit for you! Although you may not have access to all the fruits in the world, you do have access to several fruits with your FarmboxRx. In each box you can expect to find a few different pieces of fruit including apples, oranges, kiwi, and pears! This month’s pears are especially tasty because we’ve teamed up with our friends at USA Pears.
Did you know that pears are one of the healthiest foods you can eat? Not only are they the perfect treat when you’re craving something sweet, but they are filled with several nutrients the body needs to perform. Pears have fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, just to name a few. This month’s FarmboxRx contains fresh USA Pears. While USA Pears offers ten different varieties, this month you can find delicious Green Anjou and Red Anjou (pronounced on-ju) pears in your boxes. These pears are known for their soft texture and juicy, sweet flavor. You can pick up a pear as a mid-day snack or make it the star of your next dish. Pears pair well on any plate and can be eaten raw, grilled, or baked. They can also be roasted, as seen in this month’s Warm Roasted Pears & Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe.
Pears do not contain any sodium, fat, or cholesterol, making them a great food for supporting a healthy heart. Apples and pears are considered two of the most protective foods against heart disease when compared amongst other fruits. Heart disease is the primary cause of death in the United States, and stroke is the third leading cause of death, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is a general term for diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels. Fats that we eat travel through our blood and are important ingredients that help our bodies function properly. But when we eat too much unhealthy fat, like saturated fat, trans fat, or cholesterol, these fats can build up and block blood flow to the heart or brain. This is how a heart attack and stroke can happen.
At only 100 calories, pears are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They are high in fiber and water, and help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Pears are also antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells against harmful free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause damage to your cells down to the DNA level. Your FarmboxRx box features Green and Red Anjou USA pears. Similar in shape, these egg-shaped pears are the pear-fect addition to your diet when you want something sweet, satisfying, and nutritious.
According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, whole fruits are highly recommended for a healthy eating pattern.
Three key nutrients fruits contain are fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. All three are found in the mighty pear.
Pears are a tasty fruit that can help you reach your health goals. The fiber in pears helps your body feel fuller for longer, which can help with weight loss. This nutrient can also help lower your blood sugar and improve how your body reacts to insulin, which is especially important for people with diabetes. Made up of 80% water, eating more pears can even help you reach your hydration goals. With two of the several varieties in your FarmboxRx deliveries, enjoy the fresh Green and Red Anjou pears from USA Pears as a simple snack or the star of a recipe.
Be sure to try out this month’s Warm Roasted Pear & Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe and use the hashtags #FarmboxRx and #USAPears if you share photos on social media. We can’t wait to see how it turns out!
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat any illness or condition. If you have questions or concerns about your health, seek advice from your physician.
- American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Circulation. 2006; 114:82-96.
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Health Statics, Fastats.
- Harvard Health Publishing https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
- Harvard Health Publishing https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721#:~:text=A%20study%20published%20in%20today’s,as%20a%20more%20complicated%20diet
- Cleveland Clinic https://health.clevelandclinic.org/free-radicals/
- USAPears.org – https://usapears.org/pear-nutrition/