Persimmon fruit nutrition factsSweet, delicious persimmon fruits are rich in health promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants that are vital for optimum health. Botanically, the fruit belongs to the family of Ebenaceae of the genus: Diospyros. Scientific name: Diospyros virginiana.
This delicate oriental fruit is native to China. It spread to Japan very long ago and later was introduced to California during the middle of nineteenth century.
Persimmon tree with fruit.
Photo: by Takekaju)
|Delicious Persimmon slices.|
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.
Persimmon trees classified broadly into two general categories: those that bear "astringent fruit" (whilst unripe) 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 it attains jelly-soft consistency before fit to eat. A non-astringent persimmon, on the other hand, contains less tannin and 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 flatten 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.
Non-astringent varieties: Fuyu (Fuyugaki), Gosho/Giant Fuyu/O'Gosho, Imoto, Izu, Jiro, Maekawajiro, Okugosho, Suruga, etc.
Health benefits of persimmon fruit
fruit is low in
calories (provides 70 calories/100g) and fats but is rich source of
benefiting phyto-nutrients flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants like
as well as important anti-tumor compound
acid. Catechins are known to have anti-infective,
anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small
blood vessels) properties.
Fresh persimmons contain anti-oxidant
compounds like vitamin-A, beta-carotene,
lycopene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together,
these compounds functions as protective scavengers against
oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that
play a role in aging and various disease processes.
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 related macular disease"(ARMD) in the elderly.
They are also a 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 the body develop resistance against infectious agents
and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
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.
contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of
DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus. Manganese is a
the enzyme, superoxide
dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical
Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including
c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals
as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese, and zinc). Copper is also
required for the production of red blood cells.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Dietary Fiber||3.6 g||9.5%|
|Vitamin C||7.5 mg||12.5%|
|Vitamin A||81 IU||3%|
|Vitamin E||0.73 mg||5%|
|Vitamin K||2.6 µg||2%|
Selection and storage
Preparation and serving methods
persimmon fruits can
be used in
cookies, cakes, puddings, salads and as a topping for breakfast cereal.
fruit pudding is
dessert which uses fresh fruits.
Dried fruits are also used as snacks or used in desserts. They are used widely to make the traditional Korean spicy recipe, sujeonggwa, while the matured, fermented fruit is used to make persimmon vinegar called "gamsikcho"