Have you seen some orange-coloured, tomato-like fruits in the supermarket? These are Persimmons, the national fruit of Japan. These are cultivated in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Tamil Nadu. Here, they are called the Japanese fruit. However, it is now available in all parts of India and is slowly becoming popular. It has a sweet taste and an appealing texture, and the orange flesh almost melts in your mouth when ripe. They have little or no seeds. There are two varieties mainly, named Hachiya and Fuyu. While the Hachiya is astringent grown wild in America, the Fuyu is the non-astringent variety found in Asia. So, is it just another exotic fruit, or are there any health benefits to eating Persimmon?
These fruits are not just tasty but are also loaded with nutrients, pretty much true to the small packing quite a punch adage. They contain a high amount of Vitamin A, a good amount of Vitamin C, and smaller amounts of Vitamins B6, K, and E. They have high quantities of Manganese, along with Potassium and Copper. Additionally, they are a good source of fibre, Thiamin (B1), Folate, Calcium, Riboflavin (B2), Magnesium, and Phosphorus.
The high Vitamin A contained in Persimmons keeps our eyes healthy and helps with vision. Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two carotenoid antioxidants contained in the Persimmon peel, protect against eye issues. This aspect is especially beneficial to prevent macular degeneration that causes vision loss by impacting the retina. Vitamin A also helps people see better in the dark.
Persimmons contain flavonoid antioxidants, including Quercetin and Kaempferol. Several scientific studies have proved a link between these and a reduced risk of heart disease. Flavonoid-rich diets reduce bad cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and reduce inflammation, all leading to better heart health.
Though sweet, Persimmons are diabetic-friendly fruits. They are a good source of soluble dietary fibre, which slows the digestion of carbohydrates. This aspect prevents spikes in blood sugar levels. Besides, the peels have flavonoids that have antioxidant and antidiabetic properties. Its anti-inflammatory properties and the beta-carotene presence help reduce the chances of developing diabetes.
Reduces cancer risk
Persimmons are an excellent source of powerful antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress from causing free radicals. Oxidative stress causes diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and even neurological issues. Thus, consuming Persimmons can help bring down the risk of cancer. Additionally, inflammation is also an issue linked to these conditions. Since Persimmon has anti-inflammatory properties, it lowers disease risk that way as well. Even the high Vitamin C content helps build immunity and prevents cell damage.
The fibre benefits
Persimmons are a good source of fibre. We know that fibre helps regulate bowel movements. As already mentioned, fibre helps control blood sugar levels and keep cholesterol levels low. Also, it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which helps with overall gut health.
Apart from all these benefits, some antioxidants contained in Persimmon have a link to lowering the risk of age-related mental decline. Thus, it can become an ally in to fight against diseases like Alzheimer’s. Also, since they contain bioactive compounds that fight cell damage and prevent sun damage, scarring, etc., they benefit our skin health. The antioxidants may even help with kidney health. For those who watch what they eat, Persimmons are a low-carb diet.
Persimmons are mostly safe to eat and cause allergic reactions only rarely. You can eat them raw or ripe, though the ripe ones are tastier to eat. They can also be pureed and added to ice cream or yogurt. You can use dried Persimmons in baking pies, muffins, tarts, and cakes. Add fresh slices to cereals or muesli for breakfast for a tasty and healthy touch. Excessive consumption can cause vomiting and intestinal issues. Hence, one should limit to eating one Persimmon per day.