Fiber and antioxidants make pears one of the best foods for heart health. Eating this nutrient-dense fruit as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can decrease stroke and heart disease risk.

A number of research studies have linked antioxidant-rich fruits, like pears, to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Fiber in pears also protects the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels. A Harvard study found that for every 10 grams of fiber eaten, heart attack risk went down by 14 percent.

A lengthy research study on the colors of fruits and vegetables linked eating more white-flesh fruits (like pears) and vegetables to a decrease in stroke occurrence. In the study, participants ate an average of 118 grams of white-fleshed produce per day. Increasing that total by 25 grams led to a 9 percent decrease in stroke risk. Antioxidants called flavonoids, which pears have particularly high amounts of, are believed to be the reason white-fleshed produce prevents strokes.

Snacking on a pear for a fiber and antioxidant boost is a great way to keep your cholesterol levels low and protect your heart. On our blog, The Stem, we give you many ways to fill up on pear nutrition.