Pears For Mood Enhancement

  • Ibraheem Bin-Suhayl Master of Science - MS, Biomedical/Medical Engineering, Imperial College London


There doesn’t need to be a saying on how mood is important to everyone, with many saying that finding happiness is the meaning of life. Even from a more objective standpoint, we all know a positive mood can make us more motivated to work and improve our outlook on life. We can make all social interactions more enjoyable! This is backed by scientific studies with a 225-study review showing how happiness is associated with and may increase the chances of a successful life.[1]

It’s a well-discussed topic with happiness and maintaining a positive mood being such an important aspect of life. Throughout history, many practices have been discussed, such as different philosophies, finding the right career, and even simple things such as exercise.

However, diet is an important aspect that is often neglected despite our dependence on what we eat. As the saying goes, you are what you eat.

And of the many flavours and types of food, fruits are unfortunately not chosen by many of us, and in some cases, unavailable. The low intake of fruit has been noted by researchers, showing that the average consumption of fruit and vegetables is lower than recommended in many countries, including the UK.[2] This is especially unfortunate, as fruits have been shown to have many physical health benefits, as well as mental health benefits.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on pears and explaining how they can boost your mood, both by directly affecting brain signals and indirectly affecting your overall physical health.

Nutritional composition of pears 

To understand why pears are helpful and can have so many benefits, we need to look at what’s inside them. To the naked eye, pears may look rather simple. But they contain many minerals, fibre, and other molecules with benefits ranging from antioxidant effects to reducing blood pressure.

Vitamin C 

Pears are a great source of Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, an essential nutrient found in many citrus fruits. It is necessary to help certain proteins function and act as an antioxidant, which will be covered in detail later.[3]

Insufficient levels of Vitamin C can lead to low mood and irritability, and extremely low levels can cause scurvy, the disease often associated with 17th-century pirates and sailors of that period. Vitamin C consumption is often inadequate in many countries, including the UK, so there’s a good chance that increasing your Vitamin C consumption can lead to beneficial effects.[4]


Pears are also a great source of potassium, which is vital to various internal functions in the human body, such as normal functions of the liver and heart.[5] Like Vitamin C, potassium intake levels in the UK are lower than recommended, so you may be one of the many who would benefit from increasing the amount of potassium in your diet.[6]

Phenolic compounds

Pears have a variety of phenolic compounds, a type of chemical produced in plants. They have many health benefits due to their antioxidant abilities, which will be discussed in detail later.

One of these phenolic compounds is chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most common phenolic compounds in pears. It has a variety of health effects, ranging from anti-obesity to anti-anxiety.[7]

Another type of phenolic compound is flavonoids which studies indicate can have a positive effect on cognition.[8] It’s possible that their effects on executive dysfunction can explain how lifetime consumption decreases the risk of depression.[9] However, the overall scientific results are inconclusive.

Dietary fibre

Pears are a good source of natural fibre, as they have relatively high amounts of the molecule lignin and the sugar fructose.[10]

Dietary fibre is important for gut health and digestion and prevents constipation due to its laxative properties. Its importance for gut health is shown as it helps prevent diverticulitis, a disease that causes stomach pains that is more common in older people.[11]

It also seems to aid the helpful bacteria in your gut that are part of the microbiome. At the same time, other studies have suggested that dietary fibre reduces the risk of Type II diabetes by increasing the effectiveness of insulin and also helps with cardiovascular health. 

Fibre has also been suggested to help reduce chronic inflammation and reduce overall mortality, though it’s not clear what the order of cause and effect is. It is especially relevant here as fibre also seems to reduce the risk of depression.[12]

Pears and physical well-being 

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients in pears, let’s go over how their effects can lead to a healthy body while considering the importance of a healthy body to your mind. As they say, a healthy body means a healthy mind.

Antioxidant properties

As the human body uses food to live, it produces free radicals as a side effect. At low levels, these can be helpful to human life, but if they get too high, they can cause a lot of damage to your cells, increase inflammation, and increase the risk of several diseases, including cancer.

These free radicals can be increased by UV damage, smoking, etc. Antioxidants help remove these free radicals from the body and are known for their many health benefits. Removing these free radicals can lower the chance of many diseases such as cancer.

As mentioned before, pears have a variety of compounds, such as phenolic acids and vitamin C, which have antioxidant properties. So, by choosing to include more pears and other fruits in your diet, you can supplement your antioxidants and give your body a helping hand in preventing cellular damage.

Impact on inflammation 

We’ve already discussed how antioxidants can reduce inflammation, but what does this realistically mean? Like free radicals, inflammation can be helpful to the body, especially when temporary, as it can be used to deal with foreign objects but can become harmful if it persists for too long and causes chronic inflammatory diseases.

Other than the antioxidant effects described previously, pears have molecules, such as chlorogenic acid, that have a direct effect on the chemical signals used by cells to create and maintain inflammatory responses.[7] By affecting this signalling, we can tell the cells to stop the inflammation, leading to less discomfort and a happier outcome.

Cardiovascular health and weight benefits 

One of the phenolic compounds found in pears are catechins which have been found to increase vasodilation and reduce the narrowing of arteries.[13] This can help reduce the risk of a diagnosis of hypertension and lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

The benefits of pears for cardiovascular health go hand in hand with their beneficial effects on weight loss. Pears contain chlorogenic acid and natural dietary fibre, which seem to encourage weight loss, as shown by several studies, with one showing a reduction in waist circumference in humans.[14] This research is in line with other general evidence that increased consumption of fruit and vegetables reduces obesity.[2]

Pears and mental health 

Impact on cognitive function 

Many of the nutrients we discussed before have an important effect on our brains and the way we think.

Phenolic compounds in pears are one of the main nutrients that help us think better. For example, flavonoids are a type of phenolic compound found in pears, and they have been shown to help reduce cognitive decline, with elderly people possibly benefiting more.[8] Chlorogenic acid, another phenolic compound, reduces anxiety in mice and may protect brain cells from damage and inflammation due to its antioxidant properties.[7] These nutrients that help us think better would also likely help boost our mood, as negative and depressive thoughts are caused by having unrealistic expectations about life and ourselves.

Indeed, it was shown that lifetime consumption of flavonoids could reduce the risk of depression.[9] Other studies have shown that a higher intake of fruit and vegetables, and their antioxidant nutrients, is associated with reduced odds of depression and suffering from distress, with scientists concluding that eating a healthy diet is important for our mental health.[15]

The antioxidant nutrients in pears also have a more direct effect on our mental health.Our brain cells communicate with each other using a type of chemical called neurotransmitters. One of these neurotransmitters is called serotonin known for its importance to happiness. It has been shown that antioxidant molecules help to create more serotonin in the brain by preventing the breakdown of tryptophan, which is needed to create serotonin.[16]

Stable blood sugar levels 

Finally, pears contain many natural sugars, which makes them a great source of energy to use throughout the day. If you get hangry, you can eat pears as a quick snack to fill yourself up and return to your usual mood. They’re especially great due to their low glycemic index, which means they will make you feel full without causing your blood sugar levels to vary wildly and spike, which can increase the risk of diabetes and of developing negative moods.[17]

Practical tips for incorporating pears 

Now that we’ve covered both the physical and mental health benefits of pears and their nutrients, we need to think about how we can incorporate them into our diet.

While pears can be used in several different recipes such as pies, it is definitely worth considering just eating them raw. Some scientific evidence suggests that the synergy between nutrients in whole food is more important than the individual nutrients themselves, and some foods lose nutrients when they are cooked.[18] [19] So, eating pears as a snack during the day may be the best way to get the most nutritional benefits. Due to their effects on reducing obesity, pears may be a tasty and healthy snack for those on a diet.[20]

Make sure to eat pears soon after they are bought, as the levels of the protective antioxidant nutrients, such as Vitamin C and phenolic compounds, drop by 75% after one week in domestic storage.[21]

Potential considerations and precautions 

Before you go off to use your newfound knowledge of how healthy pears can be, you may want to check a few things first to make sure you’re entirely safe.

Allergies and sensitivities: 

Allergies can exist for many different types of food, and pears are no exception. Oral Allergy Syndrome is caused by some people’s allergic reaction to certain types of pollen. Pears contain similar proteins to those found in birch pollen which some people are allergic to.

If you have this allergy, you should avoid eating pears and certain other types of fruit, including apples and cherries. You can see the link here for more information:

However, if your allergies are mild enough, you may be able to tolerate eating pears by cutting away the peel or cooking it as part of a larger recipe. Keep in mind though, that this may reduce some of the health benefits of nutrients such as the phenolic compounds discussed earlier. 

However, if you can’t eat pears or you simply don’t like them, many other fruits contain a high amount of antioxidants and fibre. One example are blueberries, which are well-known for their high antioxidant levels.

Moderation in consumption 

If you can eat pears, do note that despite their many health benefits, they can’t solve every problem and should be consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet. Eating 100 at once won’t make you the happiest person on the planet, but will probably cause some form of stomach problems, especially considering their laxative effect. Pear juice has been linked to diarrhoea problems in children, and it is not recommended for young infants.[22]

Also note that pears shouldn’t just be something you have in the short-term to fix a temporary low mood. If we lack their nutrients, we should attempt to make them a long-lasting addition to a healthy and balanced diet to make ourselves the best we can be. Prevention is better than cure.

Consulting with a healthcare professional

Finally, if you have health problems such as a persistent low mood or constipation, there is no better advice than that from a healthcare professional. The information in this article serves only as a general guide to inform people about their dietary choices. For anything more serious, please see your GP for personalised advice about what is best for you.


Overall, we’ve covered the many important nutrients that pears have, such as Vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fibre. We’ve seen how they have many physical and mental health benefits, such as an enhanced mood or reduced risk of cancer, largely due to the antioxidant properties of the nutrients. By understanding their health benefits, we can begin to make a positive change to incorporating this often neglected fruit into our daily diets.

Each person differs with what they can and cannot use, so if pears don’t work for you, try another source of dietary fibre and antioxidants.


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  • Pem, Dhandevi, and Rajesh Jeewon. “Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Benefits and Progress of Nutrition Education Interventions- Narrative Review Article.” Iranian journal of public health. vol. 44,10 (2015): 1309-21.
  • Vitamin C [Internet]. NHS; [cited 2023 Nov 19]. Available from:
  • Rowe S, Carr AC. Global vitamin C status and prevalence of deficiency: A cause for concern? Nutrients. 2020;12(7):2008. doi:10.3390/nu12072008
  • Office of dietary supplements - potassium [Internet]. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2022 [cited 2023 Nov 19]. Available from:
  • Reddin C, Ferguson J, Murphy R, Clarke A, Judge C, Griffith V, et al. Global mean potassium intake: A systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysis. European Journal of Nutrition. 2023;62(5):2027–37. doi:10.1007/s00394-023-03128-6
  • Tajik N, Tajik M, Mack I, Enck P. The potential effects of chlorogenic acid, the main phenolic components in coffee, on Health: A Comprehensive Review of the literature. European Journal of Nutrition. 2017;56(7):2215–44. doi:10.1007/s00394-017-1379-1
  • Yeh T-S, Yuan C, Ascherio A, Rosner BA, Willett WC, Blacker D. Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and subjective cognitive decline in US men and women. Neurology. 2021;97(10). doi:10.1212/wnl.0000000000012454
  • Khalid S, Barfoot K, May G, Lamport D, Reynolds S, Williams C. Effects of acute blueberry flavonoids on mood in children and young adults. Nutrients. 2017;9(2):158. doi:10.3390/nu9020158
  • Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Advances in Nutrition. 2012;3(4):506–16. doi:10.3945/an.112.002154
  • 1. Ma W, Nguyen LH, Song M, Jovani M, Liu P-H, Cao Y, et al. Intake of dietary fiber, fruits, and vegetables and risk of diverticulitis. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2019;114(9):1531–8. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000000363
  • Barber TM, Kabisch S, Pfeiffer AF, Weickert MO. The health benefits of dietary fibre. Nutrients. 2020;12(10):3209. doi:10.3390/nu12103209
  • Mangels DR, Mohler ER. Catechins as potential mediators of Cardiovascular Health. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2017;37(5):757–63. doi:10.1161/atvbaha.117.309048
  • Watanabe T, Kobayashi S, Yamaguchi T, Hibi M, Fukuhara I, Osaki N. Coffee abundant in chlorogenic acids reduces abdominal fat in overweight adults: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1617. doi:10.3390/nu11071617
  • McMartin SE, Jacka FN, Colman I. The association between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health disorders: Evidence from five waves of a national survey of Canadians. Preventive Medicine. 2013;56(3–4):225–30. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.12.016
  • Strasser B, Gostner JM, Fuchs D. Mood, food, and cognition. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2016;19(1):55–61. doi:10.1097/mco.0000000000000237
  • Penckofer, S., Quinn, L., Byrn, M., Ferrans, C., Miller, M., & Strange, P. (2012). Does glycemic variability impact mood and quality of life?. Diabetes technology & therapeutics, 14(4), 303–310.
  • Reiland, H., & Slavin, J. (2015). Systematic Review of Pears and Health. Nutrition today, 50(6), 301–305.
  • Brookie, K. L., Best, G. I., & Conner, T. S. (2018). Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 487.
  • de Oliveira, M. C., Sichieri, R., & Venturim Mozzer, R. (2008). A low-energy-dense diet adding fruit reduces weight and energy intake in women. Appetite, 51(2), 291–295.
  • Kevers, C., Pincemail, J., Tabart, J., Defraigne, J. O., & Dommes, J. (2011). Influence of cultivar, harvest time, storage conditions, and peeling on the antioxidant capacity and phenolic and ascorbic acid contents of apples and pears. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 59(11), 6165–6171.
  • Cole, C. R., Rising, R., & Lifshitz, F. (1999). Consequences of incomplete carbohydrate absorption from fruit juice consumption in infants. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 153(10), 1098–1102.
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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Ibraheem Bin-Suhayl

Master of Science - MS, Biomedical/Medical Engineering, Imperial College London

Ibraheem is a passionate scientific writer graduating with neuroscience and biomedical engineering degrees at university. Though interested in learning about many topics ranging from mythology to anthropology, he is especially keen on neurotechnology, and has laboratory experience working in a lab with EEG and electrode equipment.

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