Health Benefits of Persimmons

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Persimmon Quick Facts
Name: Persimmon
Scientific Name: Diospyros kaki
Origin Native to low and medium altitude forests of Philippine Islands from island of Luzon to the southernmost of the Sulu Islands, and is also found in southern Taiwan and Celebes in Indonesia.
Colors Yellow to red to orange
Shapes Globose or oblate berry, 5 to 12 cm by 8 to 10 cm
Flesh colors Whitish, firm
Taste Sweet, astringent
Calories 118 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin B6 (1000.00%)
Manganese (25.91%)
Carbohydrate (24.02%)
Copper (21.11%)
Vitamin A (19.43%)
Health benefits Overall health, Cancer prevention, Strengthen immunity, Digestive health, Prevent tumors
Diospyros kaki is also known as Butter Fruit, Mabolo, Camogan Ebony, Mabola Persimmon, Velvet Apple, Mabola-Tree, Velvet Persimmon, Kaki, Keg fig and Date plum. It is a medium sized tree belonging to ebony family Ebenaceae which is originated in East Asia and is cultivated in China and Japan with various varieties developed for countless centuries. It is also grown in Asia, South America, Mediterranean, Hawaii and Southern U.S. for its fruit. It is regarded as Divine fruit due to its scientific name of Greek origin which is found during autumn.

The tree measures 7 to 32 m high bearing alternate, ovate to obovate leaves about 8 to 30 cm by 2.5 to 12 cm. It is a monoecious plant which bears male and female flowers on separate plants. Flowers are four parted, yellowish to white measuring 2 cm long. Male flowers have 16 to 24 stamens and female flowers are solitary having eight staminodes. Fruits measure 5 to 12 cm by 8 to 10 cm and is round to conical to square. It is grown in moist, deep, slightly acidic and well drained loams in full sun. Though it is tolerable to wide range of soils, it prefers moist and sandy soils. It is tolerant to drought as well.

It is rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus with vitamins such as Vitamin C and A. Besides sweet and delicious taste, it contains health promoting nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex such as pyridoxine, folic acid, zeaxanthin, thiamin, beta carotene, lycopene and cryptoxanthin. Antioxidant compounds such as flavonoid, phytonutrients, gallocatechin, catechins, polyphenols and betulinic acid which is an anti-tumor compound is also present in it. This fruit is low in calories and contains astringent and non-astringent properties. It is a great source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, phosphorus and copper.

Plant

Persimmon is a much branched, dioecious and evergreen tree which grows to the height of 7 to 32 meters having stout and dark brown to black furrowed trunk measuring 50 to 80 cm in diameter and a conical crown. When young the branchlets are green, sericeous which becomes gray and glabrous. It bears oblong and alternate leaves measuring 8 to 30 cm by 2.5 to 12 cm. The upper surface is glossy and dark green and lower surface is silvery hairy. Petioles are 1.7 cm long which is densely pubescent. Young leaves are silky to hairy and pinkish to pale green. Male flowers form in 3 to 7 flowered axillary cymes or racemes on short pedicel. Calyx are deeply four lobed, tubular, villous and is about 1 cm long. The creamy to white corolla have four reflexed lobes and stamens are 24 to 30 united in pairs at base. Female flowers are axillary, solitary and somewhat larger than male flowers having 3-cleft style and 4 to 10 staminodes. Flowers are replaced by a globose or oblate berry measuring 5 to 12 cm by 8 to 10 cm. Fruits are orange, brown reddish and velvety which is crowned with persistent stiff and pale green calyx. Skin is thin and densely villous. Pulp of the fruit is firm, whitish, sweet, aromatic and astringent. Seeds are three sided, dark brown and measures up to 4 × 2.5 × 1.5 cm. Seeds are covered with whitish membrane which is transparent when fresh and becomes opaque when dried.

Flower

Usually, Persimmon trees do not bear till they reach 3 to 6 years old. The tree blooms in spring and bears flower of 2 cm (1 inch) to 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide. Female flowers grow singly and are creamy yellow in color. Male flowers appear in threes with a pink tint. Flowers have four petals and four crown shaped sepals.

Fruit

Fruit is spherical to oval in shape and could weigh up to 500 grams. Shell is shiny, smooth and thin and its color ranges from yellow to red to orange. It contains eight seeds which possess astringent taste. Fruit softens as it becomes mature. The furry taste which is caused by tannins is lowered during the process of ripening. It has high content of carotenoids beta carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin with some alpha carotene and lutein.

Health Benefits of Persimmon

Persimmons are exotic fruits which provide sweet taste. Persimmons is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. It also possess organic compounds such as betulinic acid, gallocatechins, catechins and other carotenoid compounds. The ample amounts of nutrient are packed in it which helps to improve eye health, prevent cancer, lower signs of aging, boost immune system, promote digestion, increase metabolism, lower cholesterol, enhance cognitive function, strengthen bones, lower blood pressure and skin care. Moreover, it assist in healing process of body, lower inflammation, supports weight loss and also promote blood circulation in the body. Here are some health benefits of persimmon in detail:

  1. Overall health

Leaves of Persimmon possess a therapeutic property that helps to prevent and treat cerebral arteriosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes. It showed a meaningful neuroprotection against reperfusion injury in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, it regulates immune function and inhibits inflammation. Still further investigations are essential to carry out for knowing individual bioactive compounds which are responsible for pharmacological effects in vivo and in vitro and mode of actions. Further clinical trials and safety assessments should be performed before it is used for medicinal practices. The studies revealed the pharmacological activities such as hypolipidemic, antioxidative, hemostasis, antibacterial and antidiabetic activites as well as effects on cardiovascular system. (1)

  1. Cancer prevention

Fruit is loaded with antioxidants and anti-cancer properties which could enhance body’s ability to counteract free radicals, prevent diseases and enhance overall health. Free radicals are harmful by products of cellular metabolism that cause mutation of healthy cells into cancerous cells and could damage various organs. Persimmon has high content of Vitamin A and C as well as phenolic compounds such as gallocatechins and catechins which is associated with prevention of various cancers. Add persimmon to the diet to prevent various sorts of cancer.

  1. Strengthen immunity

Persimmon helps to enhance immunity due to the content of Vitamin C. Persimmon provides 80% of daily requirement of Vitamin C which assist in stimulation of immune system and promote production of white blood cells. WBC are primary line of defense for the body to counteract against viral, microbial and fungal infections as well as toxins and foreign bodies.

  1. Digestive health

Persimmon contains 20% of daily requirement of fiber in a single serving. Fiber assist the body process food efficiently by adding bulk to stool, stimulate peristaltic motion for food movement through digestive tract, promote secretion of digestive and gastric juices and also provides relief from diarrhea and constipation. Persimmons are high fiber fruit which enhance gastrointestinal system and prevents the chances of colorectal cancer and other similar health problems. It assists the people to lose weight by defending against uptake of lipid which is the cause for obesity. Chronic constipation could make the blood vessels around anus to swell and even bleed and rupture which is known as piles. It prevents constipation and prevents painful piles.

  1. Prevent tumors

Besides reduction in risk for cancer, it lowers the chances of tumor development. Persimmon contains betulinic acid that is confirmed an anti-tumor compound. It lowers the risk of contracting tumors by encouraging apoptosis which is also called programmed cell death. In the existence of tumor, it lowers the size and prevents metastasizing of cancer.

  1. Slows aging process

Persimmon has high content of Vitamins such as beta carotene, Vitamin A, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthins. It acts as antioxidants in the body to lower oxidative stress and also prevents the signs of premature aging such as age spots, wrinkles, fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, muscle weakness, loss of vision and other conditions. Free radicals results in faster and premature aging. Antioxidants and phytonutrients help to reverse aging effect and eliminate free radicals.

  1. Eye health

The compounds found in Persimmon are beneficial for eye health. It has zeaxanthin which is a member of vitamin B complex and is associated with improvement in eye health with its antioxidant properties. The studies show that it lowers cataracts, macular degeneration and night blindness. The studies show that Persimmon helps to maintain as well as improve vision health. The damage of eye retina causes loss of vision. Retinal damage is caused due to the production of free radicals due to oxygen’s reaction with certain molecules. This fruit contains nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin K which is renowned for its anti-oxidant properties. It is essential to prevent eye from retinal damage. Zeaxanthin and lutein lowers damage caused by UV rays and other infections associated with eye.

  1. Normalize blood pressure

Persimmon contains ample amounts of potassium which acts as vasodilator and helps to lower blood pressure by increasing the flow of blood to various body parts. The low blood pressure causes strain in cardiovascular system and prevents occurring of heart diseases. It has vasodilating organic compounds which lowers blood pressure and makes it a good fruit for heart health.

  1. Promotes circulation

Persimmon contains copper which is a vital element in forming new red blood cells. In the absence of copper, the essential nutrients could not be uptake to form additional hemoglobin. The increase in healthy circulation of red blood cells promotes cognitive function, tones muscles, metabolism as well as energy levels, cellular growth and repair wounds.

  1. Increase metabolism

It has Vitamin B complex such as folic acid, pyridoxine and thiamin that are vital parts of various enzymatic processes as well as metabolic functions in the body. These elements assure that the system of the body function efficiently by promoting overall metabolism. Moreover, it promotes level of energy, improve digestion and increases muscle tone.

History

Locating the start off date for persimmons could be challenging since they appear to have beginnings in nations across the world, particularly in the United States (prior to the settlers arrived), Mexico and Central America, and Japan. What we appear to point to the most is definitely the capability of the colonial bumblers to demonstrate exactly how clueless they’d eventually be within their descendants. Upon first plucking persimmons from trees, which seem like little orange tomatoes, they discovered that they were extremely sour and not actually work consuming. The Native Americans needed to explain to them that the fruit should be left within the trees till October to mature. Within their unlimited wisdom, the settlers in the beginning thought it was the frost which made the main difference. We are able to assume the whole Native American population collectively sighed and also rolled their eyes. Whenever we began to discover the title of persimmons, the Algonquin Indians were talking about them as “putchamin,” “pasiminan,” and also “pessamin” (it all relied on the dialect of the specific group), that isn’t much of a extend to get at the term “persimmon” at all. There’s definitely several comfort to take from the simple matters in life.

At the same time, things in Asia were developing quite diversely. Whilst there are actually local persimmon trees in America, probably the most widely used variety actually originates from Japan, although more honestly it comes down from China. See, the Japanese persimmon could be the national fruit of Japan and is also a broadly well-known fruit for all manner of traditions; however it first gets a start growing in China. Oh well, no requirement for sour persimmons here. Through the 1800’s, Japanese persimmons were exported towards the US and have become the standard variety that we all know as well as love nowadays. At least, we would if persimmons were as popular as oranges or even bananas.

Types of Persimmon

1. Fuyu Persimmons

 Fuyu Persimmons‘Fuyu’, also referred to as Fuyugaki, typically the most popular non-astringent tree in Florida .This particular fruit is smaller, more gratifying and similar in color, yet appearing like a squashed tomato, and is also delicious whilst still firm. The fruit is seedless and is also great for fresh consuming or even cooking. The Fuyu ripens in November and is as fairly sweet and also crisp just as one apple. They’re well-known by their “flat” bottoms and also squat shape structure. It ripes just after picked from the tree, therefore buying rock-hard fuyus and also allowing them to ripen in your own home could be a excellent technique. Frequently consumed as raw, utilized in salad and also have a moderate pumpkin taste.

2. Hachiya Persimmons               

Hachiya Persimmons Hachiya persimmons fruits are generally mouth-puckeringly sharp until completely mature. Ripe Hachiyas are incredibly gentle – and therefore are regularly melted like a silky smooth pulp inside. They’re extended as well as in oval form. It’ll mature as soon as selected, so that you can keep on the kitchen counter to utilize. This kind of persimmon comprises roughly 90 % of the accessible fruit. It really is recognizable by its acorn like shape. This particular persimmon is sour till it will become soft ripe.

3. Among (Yemon)         

Among (Yemon)Among (Yemon) persimmon fruits within the season between the month of September to November. This particular fruit is oblate in shape on four sides. Among (Yemon) persimmon fruit ranges 2 1/4 in (5.7 cm) in long and 3 1/4 in (8.25 cm) in broad. The fruit will become fairly sweet after, when it will become soften. The fruit might be seedless or even along with few seeds and therefore are dark in color round the seeds. Among (Yemon) persimmon fruit requires a subtropical to mild-temperate climate to grow.

4. Tsuru-No-Ko(Stork Egg)          

Tsuru-No-Ko(Stork Egg) Chocolate Persimmons – it really is Japanese variety with a bright red orange colored skin that is occasionally diamond shaped with a tiny black patch at the very top. Tiny amount of alcohol exhibit from the seeds leads to tannins within the flesh to clump together and reduced the astringency. This particular fruit turns the pulp into brown color by providing the nickname called “chocolate”. The flesh is red and brown colored, pretains fairly sweet consistency and also hot and spicy, rich as well as fragile whenever its ripes.

5. Maru Persimmons     

Maru Persimmons Maru Persimmons are pretty, circular and also oblong in form along with reddish orange skin and also that contains cinnamon colored flesh and in addition it appears like an Orange fruit. This particular fruit could be ingested whenever textures approximately ripen. This sort of fruit is mild and crunchy consistency in comparison to the tsurunoko fruit. Juicy, with a spicy taste which hints of coffee and cinnamon.

Traditional uses        

  • Ripe fruits are used to treat constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • The cooked one is used for treating diarrhea.
  • Dried ripe fruit is used for treating bronchial complaints.
  • Grounded powder is useful for dry coughs.
  • Juice extracted from unripe fruit is used as a cure for hypertension.
  • Peduncle is helpful for treating hiccups and coughs.
  • Hiccups could also be treated with calyx.
  • Juice extracted from unripe fruit is used to reduce blood pressure and stem of the fruit provides relief from cough.

Precautions          

  • Persimmon could rarely cause lumps or bezoars that block digestive tract.
  • The people with digestive problems should consume it in small quantities.
  • The seeds of persimmon causes vomiting and dizziness.
  • Not to be consumed on an empty stomach because it contains high content of tannin, this could result in diarrhea.
  • Allergic people should not consume it.
  • Use in limited quantities for children.

How to Eat    

  • Ripe fruit is consumed fresh or added to salads.
  • It is fried or stewed like vegetable.
  • Mix the flesh to other fruits in salads.
  • Season the flesh with lemon juice or lime and serve it as dessert.
  • Stewed the flesh in syrup.
  • Fry the flesh cut into strips in butter and serve it with sausage, ham or other spicy meat.
  • It could be processed into jams and ice creams.
  • In California, Israel and China, fruits are dried and consumed as energy snack.
  • Fruits are made into wine, cider and molasses.
  • Fruits are also used to make cakes, pies, desserts and bread.
  • Leaves are used to enhance flavor of pickled radishes.
  • Roasted seeds are used as a substitute for coffee.
  • Flesh is used in syrups, marmalades and puddings.
  • Leaves are used to make teas.

Other Facts    

  • In Philippines, woods are used to make handicrafts, musical instruments, veneer, exterior work and special furniture.
  • Pulp is used in cosmetics for making face packs due to its firming qualities.
  • Fuyu and Hachiya are the two types of persimmons available commercially.
  • Persimmons belong to berry family and is originated from China.
  • Some persimmon is seedless and flowers of these types do not require to be pollinated for producing fruit.
  • In wild, Persimmon could live up to 75 years.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=896176#null

https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/31660/

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Diospyros+kaki

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/19575

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d401

http://www.floracatalana.net/diospyros-kaki-l-f

https://www.wikihow.com/Eat-a-Persimmon

https://glowpink.com/blog/persimmon-fruit/

http://wiki-fitness.com/persimmon-fruit-health-benefits-and-nutrition-facts/

https://thatsitfruit.com/blog/10-interesting-facts-about-persimmons/

http://www.softschools.com/facts/plants/persimmon_facts/1456/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/persimmons.html

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