5 Reasons Persimmons Are Also Called The Fruit of the GodsNutrition
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
The persimmon has many nicknames: “The Apple of the Orient,” “The Fruit of the Gods,” “Jove’s Fire,” “Nature’s Candy” and more. This fruit originally comes from China, but there are other varieties, including the Japanese, American, Indian and the black persimmon.
Aside from the seed and the calyx, the entire fruit can be eaten. The persimmon can be consumed cooked, dried, raw or fresh. However which way the fruit is prepared, the flavor changes noticeably but is still sweet. In fact, you can even eat it when it’s very ripe, whereas most fruits would be considered “rotten.” But it’s soft, sweet and delicious pulp is just the beginning of this fruit’s extensive reputation.
While persimmons are a great treat for snacks, salads, smoothies and desserts, they also have a grip load of health benefits. Persimmons may reduce signs of aging, improve your eye health, lower your blood pressure and help you lose weight!
Here are just a few of the basic nutritional benefits that all types of persimmons contain:
Persimmons may help improve your eyesight.
Persimmons contain a significant amount of vitamin A, which is a vitamin needed to help improve eyesight and vision health. Vitamin A is the essential component of the light absorbing protein called rhodopsin, which helps support the normal functioning of your cornea and conjunctival membranes. Vitamin A may also help with the health of your heart, kidneys and lungs.
Persimmons may strengthen your immune system.
Persimmons are a great source of vitamin C, which is responsible for strengthening your immune system. Vitamin C not only may help shield you from the common cold, but it also may increase collagen production, which may improve elasticity in your skin, speed up healing and generate antioxidants in the body. Vitamin C also has the potential to prevent the development of certain cancers, asthma and cardiovascular disease.
Persimmons may promote a healthy digestive system.
Fiber may help you with your digestive system. Luckily, persimmons have a healthy dose of fiber! Healthy amounts of fiber may prevent constipation and help regulate your bowel movements. Persimmons also possess tannins, which are polyphenols that help the body digest protein, speed up metabolism and offer relief from diarrhea. Tannins may also be used to treat inflammations of the mouth and throat.
Persimmons may help with diabetes.
Persimmons may also be a great treat for diabetics! Persimmons contain bioactive molecules like proanthocyanidin, carotenoids, tannins, ﬂavonoids, anthocyanidin, catechin, etc. that fight against diabetes, oxidative stress and cardiovascular illnesses. Because persimmons are hefty in fiber, they may help curb your hunger levels, which is known to be a big problem for diabetics. Persimmons can also help regulate blood sugar levels.
Persimmons may increase your energy levels.
Persimmons are a powerhouse for natural energy, thanks to its high levels of potassium and electrolytes. According to many clinical trials, increasing your potassium intake can lower your blood pressure, which protects your body from cardiovascular related illnesses like stroke. Aside from these amazing health benefits, a single glass of persimmon juice can give you the energy needed to start your day off right!
Need more incentive to add this delicious fruit to your daily diet?
Check out more essential vitamins and minerals just one Japanese persimmon contains:
- Magnesium, 15 mg. Magnesium helps the body in so many ways, including with losing weight. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), magnesium speeds up the growth of lean body mass and helps build muscle and bones while decreasing body fat.
- Calcium, 13 mg. Did you know that calcium can potentially decrease your risk for colorectal cancer? According to recent studies, a lack of this mineral may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Having a healthy intake of calcium not only may help prevent colorectal cancer but also maintain strong bones and teeth in the process.
- Phosphorus, 29 mg. Phosphorous is mainly known for its oxygen-carrying functions within our red blood cells, along with cell reparation. Phosphorous also works with calcium to help maintain strong bones and teeth.
- Folate, 13 mcg. Most adults need about 400 mcg of folate daily. If you are pregnant, you may need more. Folate is essential for cell growth and many other bodily functions. To see how much folate you need, click here.
- Choline, 12.8 mg. Choline is a nutrient that was recognized as an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1998. “The importance of choline in the diet extends into adulthood and old age. In a study of healthy adult subjects deprived of dietary choline, 77% of the men and 80% of the postmenopausal women developed signs of subclinical organ dysfunction (fatty liver or muscle damage)," reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- Lycopene, 267 mcg. Lycopene is an anti-inflammatory compound. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an underlying cause of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, is chronic inflammation. “Lycopene has been shown to have anticancer activity against breast cancers by a variety of mechanisms and with varied potency depending on the genetic mutations of the cancer,” reports NIH. “Dietary lycopene has been associated with decreased risk of death from prostate cancer.”
- Lutein + Zeaxanthin, 1401 mcg. These are carotenoids (plant pigments that give many fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors). They are also antioxidants located in the eye. It makes sense that these materials may be great for your eye health. “Lutein and zeaxanthin filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. Of the 600 carotenoids found in nature, only these two are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye,” reports the American Optometric Association.
Persimmons are rumored to taste the best when eaten on their own. When ripened enough, the pulp can be eaten from the fruit with a spoon. Persimmons can also be mixed in with other fruits (like a fruit salad) to enhance the flavor to new heights!
Check out more healthy recipes that use persimmons here.
Judging by the plethora of health benefits of the persimmon, it’s no surprise why some call it a superfood! Are there any persimmon recipes you want to share with us? We’d love to try them!
Healthy food is medicine.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.