Here’s why we love persimmons! For one, it’s known as ‘food for the gods’!
With a string of accolades to its name, the persimmon is practically fruit royalty. The orange fruit has been referred to in ancient times as “food for the gods”, thus begetting its classification in the genus Diospyros of the Ebony family which literally translates into God food in English.
The persimmon is also the national fruit of Japan. The hoshigaki or hand-dried persimmon is an indispensable element of traditional Japanese New Year celebrations.
A True Delicacy
It is not difficult to understand the popularity of persimmons. The fruit, which fits squarely in your palm and is no larger than an apple, has a sweet taste unlike any other fruit. Its taste ranges from being crispy and delicately sweet when not fully ripe to a nectar-sweet and jelly-like texture when fully ripe. You have to taste it to know for yourself!
Keep the Doctor Away with One a Day
For starters, the “food for gods” is low in calories and fats, and yet is a plump source of dietary fiber.
It also has high levels of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that builds up one’s immunity and resistance against nasty infections and illnesses. These antioxidants also have the added benefits of neutralizing free radicals in the body. Just one slice of the fruit can contain up to 40mg of Vitamin C, a third of the recommended daily allowance for an adult.
The list of antioxidants in persimmons can go on forever. Antioxidants prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals. The latter can cause cell change and lead to cancer.
Apart from high concentrations of antioxidants, there is also betulinic acid, an anti-tumour compound and catechin, which has anti-infection and anti-inflammatory properties.
Good news for those out there seeking to delay the natural ageing process. Persimmons contain anti-oxidant compounds like Vitamin A, beta-carotene, lycopene, etc present that eradicate free radicals and reactive oxygen species that cause ageing and disease.
Zeaxanthin, another compound found in persimmons, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in our eyes. It has antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions that can prevent “Age-related macular disease” in the elderly.
Even persimmon skin is good for you. A study in Japan found that persimmon peel contains different phytochemicals that have anti-ageing benefits!
Image from persimmon.usegrid.net