Hydration And Pears

  • Anila VijayanBachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine & Surgery, The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University

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Overview

Water is an essential body compound to maintain its normal functioning. Water in the blood helps to carry the necessary oxygen, glucose, and nutrients to the cells. It also helps the kidneys to purify the body, helps our digestive system to function properly, lubricates the joints and eyes, keeps the skin healthy, and balances the body temperature.

Hydration is the term used to describe the ability of the body to absorb water, based on the availability and need of the water. Staying hydrated means taking enough water through eating or drinking to keep the body functioning normally. Dehydration occurs when an adequate amount of water is not taken or by losing fluids.1

Pears are a healthy sweet fruit, where the top half of the fruit is thinner in shape and has a rounded bottom giving them a pear shape, the Asian pears are round like an apple. They are commonly seen in yellow-green colour skin on the outside, and white soft flesh on the inside, both the skin and the inside flesh is edible. In this article, we can understand the importance of hydration and the role of pear in achieving it.2

Understanding hydration

Water makes up two-thirds of the body, where maintaining enough fluid is important to maintain a healthy body balance. Every cell, tissue, and organ needs water to function normally. Hydration depends on how much water the body needs, depending upon the age, climate, and level of physical activity. It is normally advised that a person should drink 6-8 glasses of water per day and also certain fruits and vegetables can provide a significant amount of water.1,3

Benefit of drinking water

  • Maintains normal body temperature
  • Lubricates the joint
  • Purifies the body and eliminates waste through sweat, urination, and bowel movements.4
  • Helps in managing body weight by reducing calorie intake when substituted with water
  • Helps in wound healing
  • More physically active
  • Carries nutrients and oxygen to the body cells which helps in the functioning of the body

Dehydration

Importance of hydration can only be understood if we know about the complications due to dehydration. Inadequate water intake or loss of fluid or blood can lead to dehydration. When the body loses more fluid than the water intake it causes disturbance in normal functioning of the body.  The body loses water through normal functions such as breathing, sweating, and urinating.5

Complications of dehydration

  • Dryness of mouth
  • Extreme thirst
  • Urine is darker than usual
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are commonly bacterial infections in any part of the urinary system, which includes kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Commonly bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and spread to the bladder. 
  • Constipation
  • Kidney stones are also known as renal calculi, where the stones occur due to the deposition of minerals and salt that form inside the kidney.
  • Acute kidney disease occurs due to underlying disease conditions when suddenly the kidney function is lost partially or completely.
  • Severe dehydration can lead to hypovolemic shock, where severe blood loss or fluid loss prevents the organs from getting the proper oxygen and nutrients that they need to function. This leads to organ failure and can be life-threatening.6

Benefits of pears

Pears are mainly categorised into two types: European and Asian. They are highly nutritious, lower the risk of certain disease conditions and help in maintaining a balanced diet. Pears are rich in fibre, water, antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C.2,7

Nutritional benefits

Pear is rich in nutrition r, where one medium size 80g fruit provides the following8 

  • 34 Kcal / 146 KJ
  • 0.2 g protein
  • 0.1 g fat
  • 8.7g carbohydrate
  • 2.2 g fibre
  • 84 mg Potassium
  • sodium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6

Health benefits

Helps in weight management and dehydration

Pears have low calories and are rich in fibre and water, which helps in feeling full after having them. Pears also contain electrolytes such as sodium, and potassium, which play an important role in maintaining fluid balance in the body which helps in normal cell function. 

Promotes gut health

Pears are an excellent source of fibre comparing other fruits and vegetables, they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Pectin is a soluble fibre seen in pear, which helps in food movement through the digestive system and reduces constipation. Pectin also promotes good bacteria in the colon (the largest part of the large intestine), which helps in staying healthy. 

Lowers risk of diabetes

Pears contain flavonoids, and anthocyanin, which are antioxidants. Pear lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Fibre present in the pear keeps the blood sugar steadier by slowing the body’s sugar absorption.

Supports heart health

Pears are rich in nutrients that benefit the heart. Anthocyanins are an antioxidant, which protects against coronary artery disease. Fibre reduces the cholesterol present, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Potassium present in the pear reduces high blood pressure.

Lowers inflammation

Flavonoids are antioxidants that can prevent the cell damage that leads to inflammation.1

May have cancer- protective properties

Pear contains anthocyanins and cinnamic acid, which protects against certain cancers.9,10

Ideas for consuming pears to stay hydrated

Pears can be brought fresh or frozen. The skin of the pears is also edible but if the person does not want to have them they can be peeled out and then can have the white flesh fruit. They can be cut into slices to consume or added to any salad of their type. Pears can be consumed in any favourable way

FAQs

Why is hydration important?

Hydration plays an important role in the body's function, the water in the blood brings nutrients to cells, helps the kidney to purify the body, helps the digestive system, lubricates the joints and eyes and helps in maintaining normal body temperature.

How many pears can a person eat in a day?

Pears are rich in nutritional value and can have 2 pears a day which meets the dietary recommendation.

Can I eat a whole pear including skin?

A person can have a pear as a whole, including the skin. The skin of the pear contains most of the nutrients, especially the fibre and antioxidants. The inside white flesh part includes more water content which helps in hydration.

How can you properly hydrate?

Drinking plenty of water, and fruit juice and having fruits that contain more water helps in stay hydrated. At least a person should have 6 - 8 glasses of water per day, this also can vary according to the climate, and physical activity.

Can a diabetic person eat pears?

Yes, a diabetic person can have pears. Pears are rich in nutrients, fibre and water. Pears have nutritional benefits that help the blood sugar to remain normal. It also decreases the risk of having type 2 diabetes.

Can I drink tea to hydrate rather than water?

No, it is not advised, as tea contains more diuretic effects. Drinking more tea can cause more water to be excreted from the body. It is a wrong concept to drink tea to hydrate instead of water. 

Summary

Water is an essential body compound to maintain its normal functioning. The water in the blood brings nutrients to cells, helps the kidney to purify the body, helps the digestive system, lubricates the joints and eyes and helps in maintaining normal body temperature. Pears have low calories and are rich in fibre and water, which helps in feeling full after having them. Pears also contain electrolytes such as sodium, and potassium, where they play an important role in maintaining fluid balance in the body which helps in normal cell function. Pear lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes and fibre reduces the cholesterol present, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Pear contains anthocyanins and cinnamic acid, which protects against certain cancers.

References

  1. Judge L, Bellar D, Popp J, Craig B, Schoeff M, Hoover D, et al. Hydration to maximise performance and recovery: knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours among collegiate track and field throwers. Journal of Human Kinetics [Internet]. 2021 Jul 28;79:111–22. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336541/
  2. Reiland H, Slavin J. Systematic Review of Pears and Health. Nutr Today. 2015 Nov;50(6):301-305. doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000112. Epub 2015 Nov 23. PMID: 26663955; PMCID: PMC4657810.
  3. Ousey K, Cutting KF, Rogers AA, Rippon MG. The importance of hydration in wound healing: reinvigorating the clinical perspective. J Wound Care [Internet]. 2016 Mar 2 [cited 2024 Jan 13];25(3):122–30. Available from: http://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/10.12968/jowc.2016.25.3.122
  4. Perrier ET, Armstrong LE, Bottin JH, Clark WF, Dolci A, Guelinckx I, et al. Hydration for health hypothesis: a narrative review of supporting evidence. Eur J Nutr [Internet]. 2021 Apr [cited 2024 Jan 13];60(3):1167–80. Available from: https://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00394-020-02296-z
  5. Périard JD, Eijsvogels TMH, Daanen HAM. Exercise under heat stress: thermoregulation, hydration, performance implications, and mitigation strategies. Physiological Reviews [Internet]. 2021 Oct 1 [cited 2024 Jan 13];101(4):1873–979. Available from: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/10.1152/physrev.00038.2020
  6. Taghavi S, Nassar Ak, Askari R. Hypovolemic Shock. [Updated 2023 Jun 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513297/
  7. Li X, Wang T, Zhou B, Gao W, Cao J, Huang L. Chemical composition and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of peels and flesh from 10 different pear varieties (Pyrus spp.). Food Chemistry [Internet]. 2014 Jun [cited 2024 Jan 13];152:531–8. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0308814613018657
  8. Sabtain B, Farooq R, Shafique B, Modassar M, Ranjha AN. A narrative review on the phytochemistry, nutritional profile and properties of prickly pear fruit. Open Access J. Biog. Sci. Res. 2021;7. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bakhtawar-Shafique/publication/348929397
  9. Wigner P, Bijak M, Saluk-Bijak J. Clinical potential of fruit in bladder cancer prevention and treatment. Nutrients [Internet]. 2022 Mar 8 [cited 2024 Jan 13];14(6):1132. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/6/1132
  10. Zou D ming, Brewer M, Garcia F, Feugang JM, Wang J, Zang R, et al. Cactus pear: a natural product in cancer chemoprevention. Nutr J [Internet]. 2005 Dec [cited 2024 Jan 13];4(1):25. Available from: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-4-25

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Anila Viijayan

Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine & Surgery, India

A homoeopathic physician with a wealth of knowledge accumulated through rigorous education and extensive clinical experience. Beyond confines of clinic, have expertise in conducting seminars, writing insightful articles, and actively participating in medical communities. Additionally, possesses a comprehensive understanding of medical insurance processes and managing health clinic solely.

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