They’re hot right now. Sales of persimmons around the world have been steadily climbing as people discover the sweet and subtle flavours of this sumptuous fruit, which looks a bit like an orange tomato and tastes like heaven.
It’s almost winter here right now in Australia and, deprived of mangos, I can’t get enough of persimmons or Fuyu fruit, another variety.
Up until last year I always thought you could only get the ones that take eons to ripen. In actual fact there are two types: Astringent and non-astringent persimmons.
The astringent variety is the kind you have to wait forever for, till it ripens into a gooey bliss bomb of goodness, kind of like the consistency of apricot jam. Mmmm soooo good.
But the non-astringent variety is already ripe at point of purchase. They’re harder than the other kind, more like a pear or apple, but still sweet and delicious, without any hint of the tannin that gives you that horrible chalky mouth feel with the astringent kind.
And just look at the health benefits to be gained from including some, or a whole heap, of these babies in your daily feasting.
Here are 7 reasons why you should include persimmons in your diet:
- Weight-loss Warriors!
Persimmons will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, when it comes to helping shed pesky pounds.
High in fibre but very low in fat (around 2% of calories) this fabulous fruit will keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing cravings for other sugary or processed foods.
Persimmons are also very high in water content, keeping you well hydrated for exercise and proper brain function.
- Eye health
Are you worried about eye-related diseases like Macular degeneration or cataracts?
Free radicals are what cause eye retina damage. But Persimmon contains Lutein Zeaxanthin found to be very effective in maintaining and improving vision.
Persimmon fruit also contains nutrients like Vitamins A, C and K that are known for their anti-oxidant properties. Lutein Zeaxanthin, along with the aforementioned vitamins, reduces and contains the damage caused by UV rays and other eye infections. Other than vision, they also help in reducing the wrinkles on the sensitive skin around the eyes.
- Digestion perfection
We all know that roughage is super important if we want to have regular bowel movements but persimmon fruit is the perfect package for roughage because it contains both kinds of fibre in the full vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient package.
Persimmon has the perfect combination of both soluble and insoluble fibre promoting excellent digestion. Soluble fibre is digested, providing nutrients for the body, and insoluble fibre binds and pushes stools through your intestines and out of your body, effectively sweeping the digestive track clean and preventing infection as well as any chance for cancer cells to proliferate.
Fibre also prevents the constipation that frequently leads to painful anal fissures and vascular swelling around the anus (hemorrhoids and piles).
- Cancer fighting Ninja
No need for a mask and a cape, this fruity beauty is a silent ninja, working in your body to protect you from baddies.
With a complete anti-oxidant composition of Vitamins A, C, K and Lutein Zeaxanthin, persimmons protect from the damage of cancer-causing free radicals.
Production of free radicals is a natural process and is usually cleared up by the anti-oxidants in the body. However, most of our diets are deficient in anti-oxidants and this can lead to an uncontrollable and dangerous chain reaction.
The main job of antioxidants and phyto-nutrients is to neutralize these free radicals and prevent DNA damage, ultimately preventing cancerous growths from developing.
Unlike many other fruits, persimmon also contains betulinic acid, which is anti-tumor in itself and can hamper the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
Want to age yourself faster? Make sure you limit your antioxidant and phytonutrient intake. Eat lots of rubbish refined foods from a box and definitely DON’T eat persimmons (which are high in sugar, right?! 😉
The same free radicals that cause cancer also lead to premature ageing by damaging skin cells. Antioxidants and phytonutrients reverse the ageing effect by scavenging on free radicals.
Vitamin Cs, A & K, Beta Carotene and Lutein Zeaxanthan all keep the skin healthy and reduce age related wrinkling, and these are all found in abundance in persimmons.
Eat-up for youth and beauty!
- Super-dooper Immune booster
Vitamin C is a known potent agent that increases immunity and strengthens against Colds, flus and infections.
Persimmon is rich in Vitamin C and can help our resistance of these common diseases. C also aids in production of collagen and helps to absorb iron in the body, both of which keep blood vessels, muscles and bones in a fit shape.
- Heart health
Potassium is an abundant trace metal found in Persimmons. It helps to regulate optimum blood pressure in the body by widening the blood vessels and relaxing muscles in the body.
Interesting fact: Many medicines use potassium as a pain killer for muscle-induced pain.
Because it is also almost fat free with a high water content, Persimmon also works to flush out the plaque-causing cholesterol from your body and does not add to its build up.
Think of how much money you could save on anti-aging face-creams, weight-loss shakes and statin drugs simply by buying and consuming a box of persimmons today.
Sooo much more pleasurable too.
I can’t quite understand it myself, but some people don’t really like persimmons. If you’re one of those odd-bods (just kidding!) do you think you could train your tastebuds to like them?
How do you like to eat persimmons? Straight up mono? Or as part of a salad dressing, smoothie or ingredient in a salad?
Share away fruitbats! Especially your great tips for eating more persimmons…