Unless you’re specifically looking for persimmon in the produce aisle, there’s a chance that you’ve never come across this wonderful fruit before. Native to the far east, it’s China that produces far and away most of the world’s persimmon at nearly 50 percent. Persimmon is a pretty unique fruit, and the taste of a ripe one has been described as incredibly sweet, almost to the point where it tastes like honey.
If you get your hands on persimmon, there are a lot of different uses when preparing food. From drinks to salads to desserts and more, persimmon makes for a great addition to your meal, and your diet overall. There are also a couple of different types of persimmons, and we’ll be looking at the American version today. So let’s take a look at the nutritional value that you get from persimmons, and some of the great health benefits that come with eating them.
Nutrition of Persimmon
Each persimmon fruit (about 2.5 inches in diameter) doesn’t carry a ton of calories at 118, but might be more than some of the other fruits you’re used to. However, there is a ton of nutrition to like, as each persimmon contains a gram of protein and a massive six grams of fiber, which equates to a quarter of your daily recommendation. Of the vitamins, vitamin A is the one that really stands out with more than half of your daily value.
Vitamin C is also abundant in persimmon with 21 percent, while others that come in around the five to 10 percent range include vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folate. As for the minerals, manganese can be very hard to come by, but easy to find in persimmon with 30 percent daily value. The minerals in the five to 10 percent range include magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. There’s also almost no fat or cholesterol in persimmon with plenty of phytosterols and omega-6 fatty acids.
Though the American version of the persimmon has more calories than the Japanese one, it still makes for a healthy snack. When compared to something like a small bag of chips, you’re still saving yourself more than 100 calories by switching from processed foods to persimmon. Let’s say you save 150 calories per day by switching from an unhealthy snack food to persimmon. If that’s the case, you’re saving nearly 55,000 calories per year.
That adds up fast as you can lose more than 15 pounds over the course of the year as long as you can stick to that plan. Persimmon is also a lot more filling than a low of the high calorie foods that don’t have a lot of nutrition. One of the big reasons for that is the high amount of fiber, though we’ll get to the full fiber benefits in just a moment. Just know that eating persimmon is a fantastic snack or side dish substitute to save calories, add nutrition and increase your energy.
If you’re not eating fruits on a daily basis or taking a multivitamin, you might not be getting enough vitamin C in your diet. Fruits like persimmon are the easiest ways to get the necessary vitamin C, and you can’t have too much. Instead of having a toxic effect, your body will simply expel any unneeded vitamin C until its time to replenish. With more than 20 percent of your daily vitamin C recommendation, persimmon makes a nice dent into your count that will boost your immune system.
Getting more vitamin C helps you create more white blood cells to fight off foreign invaders that can make you sick. The most abundant vitamin in persimmon, however, is vitamin A, which is also needed for your immune system. Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant and works with other antioxidants found in fruit to fight off the free radicals that can attack your cells and cause a wide range of diseases that include cancer.
We mentioned how persimmon is a strong source of fiber, which studies show that more than 90 percent of Americans don’t get enough of in their diet. Even adding 30 percent of your daily recommendation is more than a majority of people get, so eating more fruits and vegetables like persimmon can get you to that 100 percent mark. Fiber has a wide range of benefits, starting with adding more probiotics to your digestive system, which gets rid of harmful bacteria.
Increased probiotics also solve a lot of problems that include diarrhea or constipation, making you more regular. People that get enough fiber also drastically reduce their chances of colon cancer, as well as diabetes. If most people knew how many problems both minor and severe could be prevented by getting enough fiber, then a lack of it wouldn’t be as common.
Studies have shown that persimmon has the ability to help you lower blood pressure, which is good for the many people that suffer from hypertension. Since high blood pressure is often associated with too much sodium in a diet, adding a food with almost no sodium like persimmon is one of those swaps that can save your life (and help to lose weight, further increasing your heart’s health).
Another reason that persimmon increases your heart’s health is by adding potassium, which stimulates the blood vessels to make them more efficient and increase oxygen in the blood. Overall, you reduce your chances of heart disease or heart attack tenfold when you reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. There’s not much research in terms of what persimmon does to your cholesterol, but there’s zero indication that there’s a negative effect.
When it comes to your skin’s health, the two most beneficial vitamins are vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are found in spades within persimmon. Vitamin C allows your body to produce more collagen, which results in an increase of the skin’s elasticity. Vitamin A keeps your skin healthy and glowing, and the two work together to fight off the free radicals that can cause early signs of aging such as wrinkles and spots. There’s even a benefit to your eyes and hair, as these vitamins keep your vision healthy for a longer period of time and clear your scalp to increase hair growth and volume.
Summing it Up
With all of the great benefits that persimmon has, are there really any drawbacks that you get from eating this fruit? Eating the normal amount isn’t expected to have any sort of side effects, unless of course you’re allergic to persimmon and similar foods. You just want to make sure not too much persimmon at one time, though, as it contains tannin. An overdose of tannin can be toxic to humans, leaving your mouth feeling numbed and dried.
Also be certain that the persimmon you plan on eating is ripe, as they can cause digestive problems if you eat them too early. One last note is to check what medications you might be using before eating persimmon. Because of its ability to lower your blood pressure, those that are taking medication or already have low blood pressure might want to steer clear. With all of those facts and figures in mind, feel free to add persimmon to your diet and start enjoying the great health benefits today!