Persimmon is a multi-trunked or single-stemmed deciduous tree, which grows up to 25 ft. in height. They grow best in areas that have moderate winters and relatively mild summers.
Persimmons trees are broadly classified into two general categories: those that bear "astringent fruit" until they are soft ripe and those that bear "non-astringent" fruits. An astringent cultivar, which is commonly cultivated in Japan known as “Hachiya” is high in tannins and must be allowed to ripen fully until to become jelly soft in consistency before it is fit to eat. A non-astringent persimmon, on the other hand, contains less tannin, can be eaten while it is crispy as in apples. Astringency can be removed by treating the fruit with carbon dioxide or alcohol.
During each season the tree bears, numerous fruits that vary by cultivar from spherical to heart to flattened or squash in shape. They also greatly vary in size from as little as a few ounces to more than a pound. The color of the fruit varies from light yellow-orange to dark orange-red. The entire fruit is edible except for the seed and calyx.
1. The fruit is low in calories (provides 70 cal/100g) and fats but is rich source of dietary fiber.
2. Persimmons contain many health benefiting phyto-nutrients flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants like catechins and gallocatechins as well as important anti-tumor compound betulinic acid. Catechins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.
3. Fresh permissions contain anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds functions as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that plays a role in aging and various disease processes.
4. zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions; thus, helps prevent "Age related macular disease"(ARMD) in the elderly.
5. The fruits are also very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant (especially native Chinese and American persimmons; provide 80% of DRI). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
6. The fruit is good in many valuable B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin...etc. These vitamins act as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.
7. Fresh Persimmon fruits also contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
The information here is intended for interest only and must not be use as a treatment for health problems. Please consult a qualified nutritional therapist for more information and recommendations.
Write up: Courtesy to Nutrition & You
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