Persimmons are sweet delicious fruits that are good for you because they are full of healthy nutrients. The orange fruits from the persimmon tree are extremely healthy because they contain many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The health benefits of eating persimmon fruits include improving your heart health, aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, and boosting your immune system.
Some varieties of persimmon fruits are astringent and taste dry due to their high levels of tannins. There are also types of persimmons that are non-astringent and have a sweeter taste and can be eaten before they are fully ripe and still firm. Most people enjoy eating persimmons raw, but you can also use them in cooking or in baked foods.
In this article, you will learn why persimmon fruits are so good for you. You will also find out what scientific research backs up many of the health benefits of persimmons.
What is Persimmon?
Persimmon trees originate in Asia and the orange fruits are enjoyed for their taste and health benefits. Persimmon (Diospyros) belongs to the Ebenaceae family and grows in warm climates mainly in Japan, China, Brazil, and the Mediterranean area.
The sub-tropical fruit from the persimmon tree is described as a fleshy and fibrous. Researchers have also found that persimmon fruits contain bioactive compounds and phytochemicals that have great health benefits. Many of the components of persimmon fruits have strong antioxidant properties.
Persimmons are also called Sharon fruits or hurma fruit. The most common astringent variety of persimmon is the Hachiya fruit and the non-astringent sweet type is the Fuyu fruit.
What Does a Persimmon Fruit Look and Taste Like?
Persimmon is an orange fruit that looks like a tomato and has a tough skin. You can eat the skin of a persimmon as it will help you meet your daily fiber needs.
Although generally an orange sub-tropical fruit, persimmons can be yellow, brown-orange, or deep red. The orange tomato-like fruit gets its color from the high levels of carotenoids in it. These are antioxidant chemicals that promote good cardiovascular health.
Persimmons can contain between 10 and 17 grams of sugar per 100 grams. This gives persimmons a distinctly sweet taste. One of the unique qualities of persimmons is the astringent taste of this fruit. This is why eating some varieties of persimmon make your mouth feel numb.
Types of Persimmon
There are over 400 different varieties of persimmon with about 70% of the world’s production coming from China.
Persimmon trees are also native to some parts of the U.S. The American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and the Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana) are 2 native varieties. As with all persimmon fruits, these varieties also have strong antioxidant properties that are good for your health.
One of the most popular varieties of persimmon is the Japanese persimmon, or, Diospyros kaki fruit. Most varieties of the Japanese persimmon contain high levels of tannins that reduce as they mature. This is why eating an unripe persimmon makes your mouth feel dry and with astringent taste.
However, when ripe, this is a sweet-tasting fruit that has soft flesh.
Hachiya is the astringent variety of persimmon that has a dry taste if you eat the fruit before it is ripe.
Fuyu persimmons (fuyu fruits) are sweet non-astringent persimmon fruits and can be eaten with the skin even before they fully ripen.
Persimmon Fruit Nutrition Facts (Calories, Sugar, Carbs, and More)
One of the reasons why persimmons are a popular fruit is that they are very nutritious and good for you.
Calories in a persimmon
According to information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one Japanese persimmon contains 118 calories.
As with many fruits, persimmons contain sugar. A standard persimmon contains 21 g of sugar, most of which is glucose and fructose.
Carbs and fiber
Although one persimmon contains 31 grams of carbs, it also has 6 grams of fiber. The high fiber content of persimmon helps to slow down digestion and the absorption of sugar and is good for your cardiovascular health. In fact, gram for gram, persimmons have more fiber than apples and oranges.
Vitamins and minerals in a persimmon
One of the reasons why persimmons are so good for your health is that they are full of vitamins. One Fuyu persimmon contains 2,733 IU vitamin A which is over half of your recommended daily intake (RDI).
A whole persimmon also contains 12.6 mg of vitamin C which is over 20% of your daily needs. There are also vitamins E and K as well as B-group vitamins in these exotic fruits.
All varieties of persimmon contain trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Antioxidants in persimmons
One of the unique health benefits of eating persimmons is that they are a storehouse of antioxidants. Research has shown that phytochemicals in persimmons have a protective effect against a number of ailments.
Studies about the health benefits of persimmons have found they have strong antioxidant activity, and these are prevalent in persimmon leaves and fruits, for example ﬂavonoids, tannins, phenolic acids, catechins, and carotenoids.
Another nutritional benefit of Japanese persimmons is their high tannin content. Tannins are also antioxidants that kill off free radicals in the body. These free radical scavengers in persimmons have been linked to lowering the risk of stroke, treating hypertension, and having anti-cancer properties.
Persimmon Health Benefits
Let’s look in more detail at scientific studies showing why persimmons are good for your heart, digestion, and health in general.
Persimmons Promote a Strong Immune System
The fact that persimmons are packed full of vitamins means that they are a great fruit to boost your immunity.
The Journal of Food Quality reported that Japanese persimmons and American persimmons are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. Also, the researchers found that non-astringent persimmon fruits have more vitamin A and C than the astringent varieties.
Beta-carotene is in abundance in most varieties of persimmons. This antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables an orange color has been linked to cancer prevention and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Persimmons are Good for Your Heart Health
One of the many health benefits of Fuyu persimmons is that they contain antioxidants that are good for keeping your heart in good health.
Studies have shown that these orange fruits that look like tomatoes are rich in carotenoids. Consuming fruits rich in carotenoids such as persimmons help prot
The benefits of persimmon fruits for your heart mean that you can include them in a cardiac diet.
Let’s look at 2 specific ways why consuming persimmons boost your cardiovascular health.
Persimmons help lower blood pressure
Compounds in persimmon flesh and peel are excellent for helping to manage hypertension.
Some studies show that tannins in persimmons help to lower blood pressure and inhibit enzymes that can cause high blood pressure.
One study involving rats found that persimmon leaves also have benefits. Consuming persimmon leaf tea could have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, learn what you can do to treat hypertension naturally.
Persimmons are good for reducing cholesterol
Another reason why kaki fruits are good for your heart is that they help lower high cholesterol.
One study found that the tannin-rich fiber content of persimmon fruits has a cholesterol-lowering effect. The study involved 40 individuals with high cholesterol, some of whom were given cookie bars containing 5 grams of persimmon fiber. The ones consuming the persimmon bars had the greatest reduction in cholesterol.
Persimmon leaves also have positive effect on cholesterol. Another study found that extracts of persimmon leaves improved blood circulation and reduced plasma cholesterol levels in rats fed a high-fat diet.
Find out how to bring your cholesterol down naturally to safe levels.
Persimmons Aid Digestion
Fruits from the persimmon tree are great for helping to improve your digestive health.
One persimmon fruit (168 g) contains almost one-quarter of your daily fiber needs. Soluble fiber in fruits such as persimmons helps to bulk up stool and normalize bowel movements. Fiber is also important for your digestion as it helps protect your bowel health.
Another benefit to your digestion of consuming persimmons is that fiber in the fruit improves your gut health. Researchers have found that fiber-rich foods improve “good” bacteria which are necessary for a healthy microflora. Consuming fruits such as persimmons can help to increase the number of probiotics that aid digestion.
Due to their high fiber content, persimmons help you feel fuller for longer which may help to maintain a proper body weight.
If you feel that your digestion isn’t working as it should, find out what else you can do to improve your digestive health.
Persimmons Promote Healthy Eyesight
The high vitamin A content of persimmons (such as fuyu or hachiya persimmons) means that they can help to protect your vision from age-related eye diseases.
One whole persimmon contains 55% of your daily vitamin A needs. Studies have shown that vitamin A is essential to protect the cells in your retina and eyes. Vitamin A helps all your visual processes and helps to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Other studies have shown that beta-carotene rich fruits such as persimmons should be included on a diet to help protect eyesight and good vision.
Learn about other foods that are essential for good eyesight and can help prevent cataracts. You could also juice persimmons to help boost your vision.
Persimmon May Help Reduce Inflammation
Regularly consuming persimmons and other anti-inflammatory foods can help to lower chronic inflammation.
Short-term inflammation is necessary for your body to heal itself. However, long-term inflammation has been linked to chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Why are persimmon fruits good for lowering inflammation?
As already mentioned in this article, persimmons are one of the best fruits for getting ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Research has shown that ascorbic acid is necessary to boost the immune system and alleviate many inflammatory diseases.
One of the unique nutritional benefits of persimmons is their high level of tannins. The journal PLoS One published a study showing the anti-inflammatory potential of persimmon tannins. In animal studies, tannins from persimmons helped to lower pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduce inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory effect of persimmon fruits also benefits the liver and helps to reduce blood fat and bile acid absorption.
Other studies have shown that therapeutic compounds in persimmon peel and fruit can help to reduce inflammatory processes and type
You could also add a few chunks of persimmon to make a delicious anti-inflammatory smoothie.
How to Eat a Persimmon
If you want to enjoy the health benefits of persimmons, then you should make sure and choose ripe, sweet varieties that have a juicy flesh.
In general, Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent sweet sub-tropical fruits and have a vibrant orange color. Usually, sweet persimmons look like a tomato with a flat base. Some types of persimmon such as Sharon fruit are astringent when growing but taste sweet when fully ripe.
Some people say that eating Hachiya persimmons before they are ripe will leave your mouth with astringent and dry taste due to the tannins in the fruit.
Persimmons will continue to ripen after picking and will become soft. Some persimmon varieties are almost mushy when ripe, and eating them with the tough peel may be messy.
To eat your ripe persimmon, you should cut off the leaf-like flower stem from the top of the fruit. Cut the fruit in half and remove the inner stem and seeds if they are present. You can eat the persimmon fruit along with the peel because the skin isn’t toxic.
You can add persimmons to fruit salads, eat them raw, add to smoothies, or use in baking.
Persimmon Side Effects
Persimmon fruits are very healthy for you because they contain fiber, vitamins A and C, as well as a good amount of manganese. There are no known side effects from eating persimmons in reasonable food amounts.
Doctors from WebMD say that eating a lot of Japanese persimmons may lower blood pressure. So, if you take hypertension medication, you should closely monitor your blood pressure.