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Health, Nutrition Benefits of Persimmon


Sat 16 Nov 2019 | 09:31 PM
Hassan El-Khawaga

Persimmon is fleshy fibrous tropical, deciduous fruit. It is commonly cultivated in warm regions of the world, according to Dr. Magdy Badran.

Generally, over 400 species of persimmon are planted globally. Aside from vitamins and minerals, persimmons contain a wide array of plant compounds, which can positively impact your health.

Conditions like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and obesity are all linked to chronic inflammation. Choosing foods that are high in anti-inflammatory compounds like persimmon can help reduce inflammation and lower disease risk.

Nutrition Profile

Persimmons are fat-free and are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and natural sugar.

Its sweet, delicious flesh is packed with much health-promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants vital for optimum health.

Though small in size, persimmons are packed with an impressive amount of nutrients. One persimmon (168 grams) contains: 118 calories, 31 grams carbs, 1 gram protein, 0.3 grams fat, 6 grams fiber, 55% of the Reference Daily Intake ( RDI) of vitamin A, 22% of the RDI of vitamin C, 6% of the RDI of vitamin E, 5% of the RDI of vitamin K, 8% of the RDI of vitamin B6, 8% of the RDI of potassium, 9% of the RDI of copper and 30% of the RDI of manganese.

Persimmons are also a good source of thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and folate. These vitamins act as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.

The leaves of the persimmon fruit are also high in vitamin C, tannins and fiber, as well as a common ingredient in therapeutic teas.

Persimmon Is a Very Good Source of Vitamin-C

Persimmon health benefits come primarily from the substantial vitamin C it provides. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, essential for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It aids in the absorption of iron, promotes wound-healing, and it may also help to prevent disease.

Vitamin C plays an important part in our immune function by improving the activity of some immune cells and also allowing our immune system to communicate and coordinate its attack against invaders.

[caption id="attachment_91317" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Three Persimmons on A Wooden Table Three Persimmons on A Wooden Table[/caption]

Vitamin C deficiency results in a reduced resistance against certain pathogens whilst a higher supply enhances several immune system parameters.

People with adequate levels of vitamin C are thought to be better able to fight off infections compared to people with vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C may also help prevent acute respiratory infections.

Persimmons are Super Fiber Food

These colorful fruits are loaded with fiber, making them a weight loss-friendly food. Persimmon is a perfect snack. Persimmons are a high-fiber fruit that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

One fruit has 6 grams of dietary fiber, which is 25% of the daily requirement for adults.

Studies show a diet high in fiber can not only aid digestive health, but it helps you maintain a healthy weight which lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and may help to lower blood cholesterol.

Excellent Source of Powerful Antioxidants

Persimmons contain beneficial plant compounds that have antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants help prevent or slow cell damage by counteracting oxidative stress, a process triggered by unstable molecules called free radicals.

Oxidative stress has been linked to certain chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Persimmons contain flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as catechins and gallocatechin in addition to having an important anti-tumor compound, betulinic acid.

Catechins found to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties.

Diets high in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants found in high concentrations in the skin and flesh of persimmons, have been linked to lower rates of heart disease, age-related mental decline, and lung cancer.

Some of the other antioxidant compounds found abundantly in this fruit are vitamin-A, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin.

Persimmons are also rich in carotenoid antioxidants like beta-carotene, a pigment found in many brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

Studies have linked diets high in beta-carotene to a lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and metabolic disease.

Supplementation of persimmon can improve plasma lipid metabolism and total antioxidant activity. Scientific investigations provided evidence that the whole persimmon or its parts hold lipid-lowering effects in hypercholesterolemic rats.

Persimmon leaf powder improved plasma and hepatic lipid levels profile partly via increased fecal lipids excretion. These beneficial effects may be due to the properties of its phenolic compounds and high fiber content.

Additionally, a study in over 37,000 people found that those with a high dietary intake of beta-carotene had a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Support Healthy Vision

Persimmons are high in vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin — all nutrients that support healthy vision.

Due to the rich orange colors in persimmons, they naturally pack the power of Vitamin C, lycopene and beta-carotene, which are great for eye health.

Persimmons provide lots of vitamin A and antioxidants that are critical for eye health. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, critical for immune function, vision, and fetal development.

Vitamin A supports the functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea. Moreover, it is an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein necessary for normal vision.

Persimmons also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoid antioxidants that promote healthy vision. These substances are found in high levels in the retina, a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye.

Diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of certain eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, a disease that impacts the retina and can cause vision loss.

A study in over 100,000 people found that those who consumed the highest amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40% lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration than those who consumed the least amounts.

How to Eat a Persimmon

Persimmons can be added to a variety of dishes to provide an extra boost of nutrition. These fruits can be eaten raw, cooked or dried.

They are commonly added to everything from salads to baked goods and more. They pair excellently with both sweet and savory foods. They can be enjoyed alone, pureed into a sweet jam, or added to your morning cereal, yogurt or oatmeal.

Fresh fruits can be cut into quarters or eaten like an apple. Dried persimmons can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads and a topping for cereals.

Roast persimmons in the oven and drizzle with honey for a tasty and healthy dessert. Bake persimmons with chicken or meat for a unique flavor combination.