Let’s introduce ourselves to a fruit that is rich in nutrients and health benefits. Persimmon is a pumpkin or heart-shaped fruit that grows on a variety of trees. Its scientific name is Diospyros Kak and belongs to the Diospyros genus. Persimmon is a fall fruit and is usually available from October to February. Persimmon typically exists in two types, Fuyu and Hachiya, which are pretty similar in nutrition content and health benefits. However, they do differ in shape and color. Fuyu is tomato-shaped, while hachiya is pale and acorn-shaped.
According to the folktale, persimmon can predict the intensity of winter weather. The shape of their cotyledon defines the quality of the season. Fork shape means a mild winter and spoon shape predicts heavy snow. However, the knife interprets the possibility of a bitingly cold season. Persimmon is a soft, edible fruit that is typically orange in color. In addition to being extremely juicy and delicious, Persimmons contain a high content of nutrition and health benefits. So, without further ado, let’s head over and see the nutrition facts of persimmons.
Nutrition Facts of Persimmon
Persimmons have a mild, honey-flavored sweet taste and a texture similar to that of an apricot. In addition to its brilliant taste, persimmons have a high nutrition value. According to USDA, 100 g of persimmon contains 70 kcal energy, 0.58 g protein, 0.19 g total fat, 18.56 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, and 12.53 g sugar. In terms of minerals, it contains 8 mg calcium, 0.15 mg iron, 9 mg magnesium, 17 mg potassium, 1 mg sodium, 0.11 mg zinc, 0.113 mg copper, and 0.6 µg selenium. Furthermore, it contains 7.5 mg vitamin C, 0.1 mg vitamin B-6, 8 µg folate, 81µg vitamin A, 253 µg beta-Carotene, 834 µg Lutein + Zeaxanthin, 0.73 mg vitamin E, and 2.6 µg vitamin K. Lastly, it contains 0.02 g saturated Fatty Acids, 0.037 g mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and 0.043 g poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
Health Benefits of Persimmon
Persimmon is not only a treat for your taste buds, but also carries a huge amount of health benefits because of its high nutrition value. Let’s have a look, Shall we?
1. Supports Digestion
Persimmons are an excellent source of fiber content. It contains almost twice the amount of dietary fiber in comparison to apples. A single serving of persimmon contains 20% of our daily intake. Dietary fiber adds bulks to the stool and stimulate peristaltic motion. This aids in moving the food through the digestive tract. Furthermore, it takes part in secreting digestive and gastric juices. As a result, it relieves the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation. Lastly, fiber aids in the secretion of good bacteria in our intestine. These bacteria positively impact our digestive system.
2. Weight Loss Agent
Due to the presence of high dietary fiber, persimmons are moderately high in calories. However, they are significantly low in fats. Dietary fiber fights against lipid intake, which is a major cause of obesity. Furthermore, it can make one’s stomach feel full for a longer period of time. Consequently, this makes it easy to reduce the intake of high-calorie snacks.
In addition to fiber, persimmon also contains magnesium. Basically, magnesium plays a vital role in weight loss as well. National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a research study to understand the impact of magnesium on weight loss. This study concluded that magnesium helps in building lean body mass, muscles, and bones. At the same time, it decreases the number of body fats.
3. Boosts Immunity
In light of the nutrition facts, persimmons are an excellent source of vitamin C. It provides almost 80% of our daily intake. Journal of Food Quality published a research study to investigate the role of Vitamin C in the healing process. The research stated that it plays an active role in the production of white blood cells and collagens. Furthermore, it assists the body in the healing process and generation of antioxidants. This strengthens our immune system. Furthermore, it protects the body against common illnesses and diseases.
Persimmon is also rich in beneficial plant compounds, such as antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce the risks of various diseases. Journal of Scientific Reports published a research study that analyzed the ability of beta-carotene to lower the risk of heart, lung, and metabolic diseases.
As we have mentioned earlier, persimmons are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Therefore, they boost the gastrointestinal system and facilitates its function. This can prevent the risk of developing colorectal cancer and related diseases.
4. Anti-cancer Properties
The nutrition content of persimmons contains a high amount of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, beta-carotene, and phenolic compounds like gallocatechin and catechins. These antioxidants provide protection against various diseases. Furthermore, they strengthen the ability of the body to get rid of free radicals. Free radicals are the by-products of cellular metabolism and cause oxidative stress. This causes the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones. Moreover, it also results in the development of tumors in various organs.
Dr. Naresh Kumar, Dr. Masood Sadiq Butt, and colleagues conducted a research study to understand the ability of carotenoids and catechins against fighting cancer. The research showed that the fruits containing these components have anti-cancer properties. Furthermore, they combat the risk of developing malignant growths and tumors.
5. Improves Heart Health
According to the nutrition facts, persimmons are rich in mineral content, such as potassium. Potassium acts as a vasodilator – lowers blood pressure. Therefore, it increases the blood flow throughout the body. Low blood pressure reduces strain on the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, it protects the heart against cardio-related diseases.
In addition to potassium, persimmon also contains copper and iron. Iron plays an active role in the production of red blood cells. On the other hand, copper aids in taking up essential nutrients needed for the production of hemoglobin. Increased production of red blood cells improves the circulation of oxygen throughout the body.
Persimmons have a tangy-sweet flavor due to the presence of tannins. Tannic acid, or simply tannins, lowers the blood pressure of the body. This decreases the risk of heart-related diseases. Furthermore, the high content of dietary fiber also plays an active role in decreasing the cholesterol level in the body. They excrete the excess amount out of the system, thus improving heart health. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism published a research study that investigated the impact of tannin-rich fiber present in persimmons in lowering the cholesterol levels in the body. The research showed that individuals who consume candy bars filled with tannin-rich fiber witnessed a decrease in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
6. Improves Vision
The nutrition facts of persimmon suggest that it contains a significant amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is basically, an essential component of rhodopsin, which is a light absorbent protein present in our eyes. This protein supports the normal functioning of the cornea and conjunctival membranes. In this way, vitamin A not only improves the vision but also protects the eye from night blindness.
In addition, persimmons also contain antioxidants like lutein and carotenoid alcohol zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are a major part of the retina, a layer of light-sensitive tissues in the back of our eye. Dr. Kwak-Wai Lam and Dr. Paul Butt performed a research study that investigated the impact of zeaxanthin on eye health. The research showed that zeaxanthin acts as an antioxidant. Therefore, it has a direct link with improved vision and eye health. Furthermore, these antioxidants also protect the eye from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
7. Reduce Inflammation and Relieves Pain
Persimmons contain a high content of anti-inflammatory compounds, such as ascorbic acid, arotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin E. These are potent antioxidants that lower disease risk and reduce inflammation. In reaction to inflammation, our body releases substances, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6. Drug Design, Development, and Therapy featured a research study that analyzed the impact of vitamin C supplements on the level of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 in the body. For this purpose, 64 obese individuals consumed two 500 mg supplements of Vitamin-C every day. The study showed that the supplements significantly reduced the levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 in the subjects.
8. Anti-aging Agent
This will probably be the most favorite health benefit of persimmon for the ladies reading this. Actually, persimmons are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin A, lutein, beta-carotene, lycopene, and cryptoxanthin. These components work to reduce oxidative stress. In turn, this can diminish premature aging, such as blemishes, dark spots, and wrinkles. In this respect, a team of Japanese researchers conducted a study to analyze the role of polyphenols in reducing oxidative damage under the aging process. This research concluded that polyphenols, such as catechins and gallocatechin, present in persimmons protect the body against oxidative stress. Furthermore, it also reduces the anti-aging process affiliated with it.
9. Improve Metabolic Activity
Persimmons contain pyridoxine, folic acid, and thiamin, which are elements of B-complex of vitamins. These compounds are an important part of enzymatic activities and metabolic functions throughout the body. Furthermore, the tannin-rich fiber present in persimmons helps the digestive system break up proteins. This, in turn, speeds up our metabolism.
According to a research study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, fruits like persimmons, which are rich in dietary fiber, improves the metabolism of the body. Furthermore, it works towards the removal of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
It is important to know that excess of anything can be bad for your body and health. Although we read that persimmon is rich in nutrition and various health benefits, there are a few things you should consider before eating them.
- Unripe persimmons have a bitter taste and very tangy flavor. The high content of tannin in the fruit can pucker your mouth and make it go dry. So, make sure the fruit is completely ripe before eating it.
- Secondly, persimmons are highly rich in vitamin A. For this reason, it is best to avoid eating them with potatoes, or anything similar. Excess intake of vitamin A can be toxic for your body and result in kidney stones.
But other than this, persimmon is a great source of nutrition and health benefits. In some regions, people call it the ‘divine fruit’ because of its honey-flavored sweetness and mild texture. So there is no reason why you should stop yourself from enjoying the wonderful benefits of our beloved ‘Persimmon’.
Now that’s impressive. All this nutrition and health benefits in a little ball of Persimmon sweetness? Yes. Persimmon is rich in important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, catechins, carotenoid compounds, and many others. That is exactly the reason why they have plenty of health benefits as well.
Persimmon is a natural anti-cancer agent and boosts your immunity. It also aids in digestion, controls your blood pressure, and keeps your heart healthy. Furthermore, it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and a pain reliever. Lastly, it improves our eyesight and skin.
You can eat it raw, toss it into a salad, or incorporate it into your favorite dessert. Either way, it’s a great addition to your diet plan as well as the dessert menu.