Health Benefits and Side Effects of Persimmon Fruit
About the Persimmon Fruit
Though named as a fruit, Persimmon in fact is a berry. There are various varieties of Persimmon fruit available all across the globe; but the widely common one is known as the Japanese persimmon, which has a Chinese origin. Though it has an East Asian origin, its scientific name Diospyros kaki, is associated with the Greek language, with the genus named Diospyros and family named as Ebenaceae.1
The term Diospyros means "food of the Gods" and indeed Persimmon is an extremely beneficial fruit for health purposes. Undoubtedly, it is the national fruit of Japan.2 In fact, the variety that is largely available in the larger grocery stores is the Japanese variety.
Persimmon roughly resembles a tomato and has a color that varies from yellow to a brilliant orange. The color of the fruit changes depending on the maturity. The fruit is quite big and varies from somewhat close to a small orange to a grapefruit. Even the shape differs, depending of the variety. It can be circular to squarish or even like an acorn. The skin of Persimmon fruit is thin and the flesh is rich, gelatinous, creamy and extremely sweet when ripe.
Health Benefit of Persimmon Fruit
Many people consume Persimmon regularly and many haven't tried it yet. However, once you know about the health benefits of Persimmon fruit, it is quite likely that the fruit will make a place in the regular diet. Various studies has suggested several health benefits when Persimmon fruit is periodically consumed.3
Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Benefits of Persimmon Fruit. Persimmon fruit has a very minimum fat content. Even its carbohydrate content is quite low and hence, those, who are dieting and want to shed their extra pounds by maintaining a good diet, can be highly benefited with this fruit. Those, who want to follow a low calorie diet for maintaining a good weight and not for shedding off excess weight, can rely on persimmon fruit. It is a great breakfast accessory as a regular size persimmon is very low on calorie content and contains only 70 calories. On the other hand, it contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals that need to be provided to the body, but are cut short as most of the foods and fruits are cut down from the diet list because of their high calorie content.
Natural Energizer. Persimmon is a very sweet fruit and the sugar content works as a natural energizer. The huge quantity of sugar in persimmon helps in staying energized. Hence, kids as well as those who engage in physical exercises as well as sports activities that require a great deal of energy, can be highly benefited with Persimmon fruit. The sugar content and also the high potassium content in Persimmon helps in eliminating fatigue and exhaustion. Those, who suffer from stress and fatigue, should include Persimmon fruit in their regular diet.
Persimmon Fruit is Beneficial in Maintaining Good Metabolism. From the already mentioned benefits of weight loss and natural energizer, it is already understood that persimmon fruit will maintain a good metabolism. The high folic acid, pyridoxine and thiamine content of this fruit helps in maintaining the functionality of every organ.
Therefore, the metabolism is increased. This, results in improved digestion, high energy levels, toned muscles and boosted immunity system. Persimmon has antioxidant property that helps to neutralize free radicles which can be harmful to body cells.4
Diuretic Benefits of Persimmon Fruit. There is a very rich potassium and calcium content in Persimmon fruit. Those, who suffer from renal problems, should consume one persimmon fruit every day as it helps in alleviating water retention. In fact, regular consumption of Persimmon fruit can even avoid water retention problem efficiently. Since persimmon contains a high content of potassium, it is better to consume this fruit rather than consume the diuretic drugs, as they result in significant loss of potassium.
Health Benefit of Persimmon in Preventing Cold and Flu. A number of inflammation problems, infections and cold and flu can be prevented by consuming persimmon regularly. This is because persimmons fruit contains a rich quantity of vitamin C that builds the body's immunity to fight against these infections.
Detoxification and Liver Health Benefit of Persimmon Fruit. Detoxification of the body is very important and persimmon does that effectively. With a very high anti-oxidant content, persimmon can get rid of the toxins from the body, especially from the liver and maintain liver health. The free-radicals are captured and eliminated from the body with the help of these anti-oxidants.
Controls Blood Pressure. Persimmon is found to control high blood pressure levels and thereby, prevents a number of diseases and health hazards. The high potassium content of Persimmon fruit acts as a vasodilator and thereby increases the blood flow throughout the body. Thus, the blood pressure reduces.
Heart Health Benefit of Persimmon Fruit. With a good blood pressure, a number of cardiovascular diseases are controlled. Low blood pressure level helps in straining the cardiovascular system and thus, it prevents the heart diseases. Along with the blood pressure maintenance, persimmon fruit also helps in preventing the heart diseases by its high water-soluble fibre content.
For Constipation. Those, who are suffering from constipation, can be highly benefited with Persimmon. This fruit has a very rich content of water soluble fibres. This works as a natural laxative and hence, those, who have bowel problems, can enjoy relief.
Health Benefits of Persimmon Fruit for Preventing Cancer and Other Diseases. As we all know, free radicals are a prominent cause behind different kinds of cancer or malignancies and the only way to get rid of them is to consume as much of anti-oxidant rich foods as possible, as these are capable of removing the free radicals from the body. Persimmon is one such fruit that contains a very rich quantity of anti-oxidants. Hence, they can well prevent cancer. Not just the cancers, but various other diseases that are promoted or accelerated by the free radicals, are prevented by the regular consumption of Persimmon fruit. Along with the antioxidants, the catechin and gallocatechin phenolic compounds as well as vitamin A and C also help in preventing many other diseases as well. The other important nutrients and powerful ingredients present in the persimmons that help in fighting diseases are betulinic acid, beta-carotene and sibutol. Even the high calcium content in Persimmon helps in fighting osteoporosis.
Skin Health Benefits of Persimmon Fruit. The astringent content of persimmon fruits helps in opening the skin pores and thus, smoothening the fine lines. Consequently, the skin becomes youthful and radiant. When the fruit is used in facial masks such as by mixing the pulp of persimmon with some lemon juice and egg yolk, it gives a radiant looking skin.
For Skin Allergies and Sensitivity. Though this is a long process and those who are suffering from chronic skin allergies and sensitivity will be benefited from this fruit, persimmon indeed can help with a number of skin problems. For that the unripe persimmon fruit needs to be soaked in water and left in the sun for 7 days and then continued for 3 more days, after removing the fruit solids. After 10 days, the strained water should be applied on the problematic areas of the skin with cotton. This will gradually reduce the skin sensitivity.
Hiccups. How persimmon treats hiccups is not clear, but this amazing fruit is widely used by Chinese medical practitioners and works great on persistent hiccups problems. Soaking persimmon stems with a few pieces of cloves and a little ginger for 10 minutes and then drinking this water in slightly warm state will help in reducing hiccups.
Health Benefits of Persimmon Fruit for Different Organ Functions. As already mentioned, persimmon is rich in antioxidants, vitamins like vitamin A and beta carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthins and many more; all these have a very positive impact on the functionality of various body organs. These reduce stress and oxidation in the skin and thereby, ageing is prevented. All the signs of ageing such as wrinkles, spots etc. are reduced and prevented to a great extent. In fact, vision loss and Alzheimer's disease, which are common consequences of ageing, are well prevented by the consumption of persimmon fruit on a regular basis.
Persimmon Fruit is Beneficial for Blood Circulation and Production of Blood. One of the main ingredients available from a persimmon fruit is a good quantity of copper and copper is a very important factor in the production of blood cells. Hence, with the consumption of this fruit, blood cell production and also its circulation are increased.
Side Effects of Persimmon Fruit
Persimmon fruit is very commonly known for its health benefits. However, what many people do not know is that it has certain limitations for consumptions that can also result in side effects, if not maintained properly. These side effects are mentioned below.
Persimmon contains a good amount of tannin. Hence, if this fruit is taken in empty stomach, it results in diarrhea. It should also be consumed in a limited quantity.
Those, who have a low blood pressure, should not eat this fruit as it can further lower the blood pressure, leading to more serious health problems associated with low blood pressure.
The sugar content in persimmon fruit is really high and hence, those, who suffer from diabetes, should stay away from this fruit.
Many people mistake that eating the fruit with the skin will add to the beneficial effects. In contrary, the fact is that most of the tannic acid is concentrated in the skin. Hence, the skin should never be eaten; otherwise, this would lead to the formation of stone in the stomach.
Even eating the fruit with "cold foods" like fish, crab or shrimp, will lead to the formation of stone in the stomach. This is because these are high protein foods and the tannic acid, by acting on these proteins, forms the stone.
Retrieved October 12, 2009., Published in Nova Acta Soc. Sc. Upsal. iii. 208, author Carl Peter Thunberg, [Thunb.] (1780); later in Fl. Jap. 157, author Thunb. (1784).
Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) fruit. hidden phytochemicals and health claims
Antioxidative activity of persimmon and grape seed extract. in vitro and in vivo. Ahn HS, Jeon TI, Lee JY, Hwang SG, Lim Y, Park DK. Nutr Res. 2002;22.1265–1273.