The nashi pear, more commonly known as the Asian pear, is a pear species that is native to Asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan. In some circles, the nashi pear is also known as the apple pear because its shape and texture closely resembles that of an apple. The nashi pear is can be known by many other names depending on where it is harvested. Among these name derivatives are the Japanese pear, the Korean pear, the Taiwan pear, and the Chinese pear among others.
The increasing popularity of the nashi pear, particularly in Western markets, stems from the fact that it is known to treat many common illnesses. This particular pear species can be used to treat mild digestion problems like constipation, but can also be effective in treating more serious problems like diarrhea and colic. Some ancient Chinese medicine practices have even documented use of the nashi pear in the treatment of hardened liver or liver sclerosis as well other conditions such as fever and nausea.
This boom in demand has actually led to the subsequent improvement in cultivation methods for the nashi pear. Where before the species was predominantly found in China, Korea and Japan, it is now being commercially cultivated to cater to the global demand. Australia was the first to systematically grow the nashi pear outside of China, Japan and Korea and has been doing so for about 25 years now. Other countries in Southeast Asia have also followed suit, most notably Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Even in India, the pear is already starting to command considerable attention as it has been grown in many locations in the Himalayan states. The pear is also being grown as far as Cyprus where it was first introduced in 2010 following previous investigations for suitability in the 1990s.
The nashi pear has substantial nutritional value to back its claim as a healthy fruit source on top of its medical benefits. One medium-sized nashi weighing about 4 ounces contains about 51 calories and satisfies about 3% of one’s total calorie requirement based on a 2,000-calorie per day diet. This makes pears ideal for snacking purposes because you are not likely to gain weight from just eating pears. On top of this, the nashi pear also has significant amounts of Vitamin C, as well as decent concentrations of Vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Rounding up its nutritional content are 147mg of potassium as well as trace amounts of copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.
If you are a fan of exotic fruits from Asia, the nashi pear is well worth your time. It has medicinal benefits, contains no known side effects and interactions, and has enough nutritional value to challenge the more conventional fruits on your list of favorites. It also tastes great. So the next time you visit your local grocers, look for the nashi pear and see if you can incorporate it into your list of fresh foods and stock up on. If your store does not carry nashi fruit you may suggest they put them in stock.