The benefits of eating persimmons are plenty, from antioxidants to protecting vision. They are a fruit that pairs very well with most foods.
These orange-colored fruits are rich in a sweet, honey-like flavor that originated in China. They are scrumptious, and the persimmon trees are endowed with beautiful wood. Because of their Greek name, the persimmon fruits are also called divine fruits. This tomato-like fruit is often categorized as a berry and carries a handful of benefits. It contains low amounts of calories and can be found in various types, like the Hachiya and Fuyu, which are some of the most common fruit variants.
Persimmons also come in two main categories, astringent and non-astringent. When partially ripe, the astringent persimmon is usually bitter because of the tannins contained in the fruit’s skin. Hence, they are only eaten when fully ripe, which is after they become soft. The non-astringent type, on the other hand, can be eaten both when hard and soft. It is also known as sweet persimmon.
To that end, here is a look at some of the benefits of eating persimmons.
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One of the most significant health benefits you’ll get from eating persimmon fruit is that they are full of antioxidants. Vitamin C, carotenoid antioxidants, provitamin A, and polyphenols are the powerful antioxidants that come from the fruit. The carotenoids, i.e., beta-carotene, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and astaxanthin, are primarily found in the fruit and the skin, which is why they are orange in color.
On the other hand, the leaves, skin, and fruit of persimmons are rich in proanthocyanidins, which are antioxidants. Other studies have shown the presence of ferulic, coumaric, caffeic, and gallic acids, all phenolic acids in persimmon fruits.
Promotes heart health
Another reason why you should eat persimmons is that it improves heart health. Persimmons have tons of nutrients that help combat cardiovascular diseases, like high blood pressure and heart attacks, while maintaining good heart health. They are also loaded with antioxidants that reduce the chances of oxidative damage and oxidative stress to bad cholesterol and inflammation. In the long run, this helps slow down atherosclerosis which is harmful to the body since it causes an accumulation of plaque inside your arteries.
Persimmons are also good sources of tannic acid and gallic acid, proven to reduce high blood pressure, inflammation, and high cholesterol levels, which all are major risk factors for heart disease.
In fact, in Japan, the Japanese persimmon leaves are used to lower blood pressure thanks to the flavonoids present, which slow down the function of the angiotensin-converting enzyme(ACE). In addition, research has shown that the fruits can be used to protect the heart from a lack of oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia.
Boosts brain health
Persimmon leaves have flavonoids and triterpenoids, which carry the antioxidant trait that boosts brain cells. This, therefore, helps to improve cognitive function. They also carry a brain-protective effect and, in a study, proved to reverse learning and memory impairment. Fisetin, an antioxidant found in persimmons known for improving brain health in numerous ways, such as protecting against age-related cognitive decline, improving long-term memory, and preventing neuronal dysfunction. Ischemic strokes are known for brain damage; luckily, persimmons are used to prevent such an occurrence.
As mentioned, persimmons carry a considerable amount of beta-carotene zeaxanthin and lutein. These often build up in the retina and help protect against vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration due to aging. Persimmons are also made up of vitamin E and vitamin C which help to protect against oxidative damage. Another crucial antioxidant for eye health found in persimmons is vitamin A. This is secreted in a significant amount that equals almost 55% of the required vitamin A intake, contributing to the good health and proper functioning of the cornea and conjunctival membrane.
Chronic inflammation is often associated with arthritis, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Since persimmons have high contents of anti-inflammatory compounds, they help to reduce disease risk by reducing inflammation.
The fruit also consists of vitamin C, usually up to 20% of the required daily intake in one persimmon.
Vitamin C helps prevent inflammation, prevents free radicals from damaging cells in the body, and helps build the immune system.
Kinds of Persimmons:
There are several persimmons, but the most common are Fuyu persimmons and Hachiya persimmons.
This is because there are two categories of persimmon: astringent and non-astringent.
You’ll sometimes see all astringent fruits generalized ‘Hachiya’ and all non-astringent fruits as ‘Fuyu.’
Astringent varieties don’t become sweet until they’re fully ripe, while non-astringent types are sweet even while still firm and not quite ripe.
While there are many types of persimmon, here are 15 common types:
- Great Wall
- Maekawa Jiro
Ways to Eat Persimmons:
Chop up the fruit of the gods (persimmons0 and enjoy them with plain Greek yogurt or in a yogurt parfait, on top of cold or hot cereal, pancakes, or French Toast for breakfast or add to a leafy green and grilled salmon salad with chopped pistachios for a quick, healthy lunch. You can even add them to your green protein smoothie or overnight oats.
How to Pick Persimmons:
When you’re buying fresh persimmons, you want to pick one that feels heavy for its size and has glossy-looking skin without damage or bruises.
Persimmons are low in calories and pack a nutritional powerhouse.
Persimmons have plenty of benefits to overall human health, which is reason enough for you to add them to your diet. They are easy to incorporate into your diet and are filled with fiber, vitamins, beneficial plant compounds, and minerals. They are one of exotic fruits that pair very well with most foods. They are worth adding to your diet with benefits such as reducing inflammation, boosting the digestive system, promoting heart health, and aiding with vision.