Persimmon fruit is a form of berry that is found mainly in Far East Asia. It was originated in China and introduced in Korea, Japan, India and Pakistan. Only later on it was brought out to the west in Europe, America and other countries. It is the national fruit of Japan. This is an extremely beneficial food for health and its translation of its scientific name, Diospyros, is ‘the food of the Gods’. The most common types of persimmon fruit are Fuyu, which is flat at the bottom, and Hachiya. Persimmon fruit is a seasonal fruit (autumn fruit) that is available from September to December.
The colour of the persimmon fruit changes depending on the maturity and the cultivator. It varies from yellow to bright orange. There are two variants of persimmon fruit, the astringent type, which is inedible due to its high tannic acid content and, the non-astringent type, which loses its tannin content as it ripens. The leaves of the persimmon have a preserving effect on food wrapped within. They are mostly used for wrapping sushi.
Persimmon fruit has low levels of fat and proteins and high levels of vitamins and minerals. It contains Vitamin A, B6 and C, manganese, copper, phosphorous, potassium, calcium and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fibre. This fruit also acts as a natural laxative.
Benefits of Persimmon Fruit
- The persimmon fruit contains the necessary vitamins and nutrients for healthy hair. Vitamin A, B and C, helps in better hair growth and make the hair thick.
- The persimmon fruit has natural anti-aging properties which fight away the free radicals in the body, which thus delays the signs of aging. Regular consumption of this fruit makes the skin look young and healthy.
- This fruit also helps brighten the skin tone due to the presence of Vitamin A and C. It provides a natural glow to the skin.
- Lycopene, an antioxidant present in persimmons, acts as a natural sunscreen and protects the skin from UV rays. This antioxidant is also beneficial in retaining moisture in the skin and prevents fine lines and wrinkles.
- Persimmon fruit heals cuts and wounds on the skin and can also be used as an insect repellent.
- Persimmon fruit contains a lot of antioxidants which helps the body to build resistance against infections and harmful diseases. It keeps the immune system strong.
- It helps in weight loss as this fruit has high fibre content which keeps the stomach full for longer periods of time thus reducing the cravings.
- This fruit maintains cardiovascular health since persimmon fruit contains potassium. This helps to reduce high blood pressure and prevents the occurrence of other heart conditions related to hypertension.
- Due to a sufficient amount of Vitamin A present in persimmon fruit, regular consumption of the fruit can prevent various eye illnesses like macular degeneration or conjunctivitis. The antioxidants also reduce age-related degeneration like blurriness and tunnel vision.
15 home remedies of persimmon fruit for hair, skin and health
- Cut a ripe persimmon fruit in half and spoon out the pulp and put it in a mini-chopper. Process the pulp until completely smooth. This forms persimmon puree. Apply this puree on the face and leave it on for 20 minutes, after which it should be washed off with water. Repeat this process once or twice a week for improved skin complexion.
- Juice out 6 tangerines and place it in a bowl with one peeled sweet potato. Spoon out the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits and blend these in a jar. Stir in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and drink this juice. This concoction helps to increase the strength of the immune system with all the vitamins and nutrients present in the ingredients.
- Blend in the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits along with half a cucumber, 5 leaves of green lettuce, a slice of ginger, one-third of a medium-sized beet and 2 carrots. Drink this blended mix for better hair, nails and skin. The antioxidants and minerals in the ingredients help one grow thicker and healthier hair and have clean, glowing skin.
- Juice out a large green apple and the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits and drink this mixture 3 times a week to resolve any stomach burn or to get rid of intestinal parasites due to the high amount of vitamins and antioxidants present in the fruit.
- Dab the juice of the persimmon fruit on areas of the skin that have cuts, wounds, varicose vein marks or bleeding gums, with a cotton pad.
- Another parasite cleanser for the body using persimmon fruits is by drinking the juice of half a persimmon on an empty stomach, immediately after waking up and just before going to bed. This drink flushes out the intestinal parasites present in the body within days of having this drink. If one cannot withstand the bitter taste of this juice, mixing equal parts of apple juice is a good alternative. This will also further enhance the desired outcome.
- Add one cup of water into a blender, followed by the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits and one mango, one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, 2 ice cubes and 5 ounces of almond milk. Blend this combination until all the ingredients are mixed finely and finally add 2 cups of baby spinach and blend at high speed for 30 seconds. The smoothie should have a creamy texture. Drinking this liquid increases the immune system of an individual and raises the fibre content in a person’s body.
- A meal replacement smoothie is quite beneficial for a person for wholesome cleansing, increasing the health benefits, along with having a nutritious meal providing a long-lasting effect on the body. To make this blend the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits with 2 oranges, peeled and de-seeded, one peeled banana, half a teaspoon of grated ginger and half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder into 8 ounces of water. This concoction should be had in halves. Leave a gap of half an hour between consuming the 2 halves of this drink.
- Blend in 1 peeled banana with half a cup of peeled and de-seeded papayas along with the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits. To this, add half a head of romaine lettuce and blend until the texture is smooth and consistent. Here, the papaya being so rich in antioxidants and enzymes helps promote digestive health.
- Another smoothie using persimmon fruit includes one peeled banana, the pulp of one persimmon fruit, one cup of chopped pineapple, one large carrot, chopped, 2 cups of chopped baby bok choy and 8 ounces of water. Blend all these ingredients in a blender at high speed for one minute or until it is a smooth and thick liquid. Pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties that help with digestion and carrots protect the eyes from degenerating.
- Blend the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits, 2 peaches (can be frozen or fresh), one carrot, half a cup of pumpkin puree, half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, a dash of nutmeg, 3 cups of baby spinach and 10 ounces of water, together. The pumpkin helps to lower blood pressure and boost a person’s vision.
- Take the pulp of 2 persimmon fruits, one cup of blackberries, 1 large carrot (that has been chopped), 2 cups of baby spinach, one peeled banana, one cup of baby kale and one cup of unsweetened coconut milk. Blend these together and have this drink every other day or thrice a week. This drink provides the minimum quantity of iron and calcium that the body requires on a daily basis thus, maintaining the strength of the bones in the body.
- Crush a persimmon fruit and mix it with equal parts of water. This mixture acts as a natural insect repellent.
- Blend in one frozen persimmon (chopped), one cup of non-fat milk, 2 teaspoons of honey and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg. Have this drink every other day. This smoothie will boost weight loss and help in achieving clean and bright skin.
- Peel and quarter 2 ripe persimmon fruits and freeze them overnight. Blend the frozen fruit with one cup of thick plain yoghurt and half a cup of milk. Add a teaspoon each of honey, nutmeg and cinnamon. Blend and add more milk till the smoothie acquires the desired consistency. This smoothie, along with being tasty, is also beneficial as the combination of yoghurt and persimmon fruit gives a nice sheen to the hair and also helps in improving digestion.
- This fruit should be consumed in limited quantities.
- People who suffer from low blood pressure should not have this fruit as persimmon fruit is known to reduce blood pressure. Hence, it could be harmful to those with low BP.
- People who are patients of diabetes should also refrain from consuming persimmon fruit or have it in small amounts due to the high sugar content in the fruit which could raise the blood sugar level exponentially.
- Do not eat this fruit along with cold foods like fish or shrimp. The protein from these foods reacts with the tannic acid in the fruit to form stones in the stomach.
- Always consume the fruit when it is ripe. Unripe persimmon fruit has high tannic acid content.
- Since persimmon fruit contains high levels of tannin, if consumed on an empty stomach, it could result in diarrhoea.
- Allergic reactions to this fruit are quite rare but to be on the safe side, first have a taste of the fruit as a test and wait for a day or two and observe if one feels anything that might not be normal.
- Children should be given this fruit in very limited quantities with extra caution (preferably after consulting with a doctor) as it can cause a lot of problems. This fruit can sometimes be toxic to children.
Myths and Facts
Myth: Persimmon fruit should be eaten with the peel intact. It provides added benefits.
Fact: This is untrue as most of the tannic acid in the fruit is concentrated in its skin. It is always better to peel off the skin and eat because if it is consumed with the skin, it could result in the stone formation or other issues in the digestive tract.
Myth: Eating persimmon fruit raw is the best way of eating it.
Fact: Eating the fruit raw is alright but it certainly isn’t the best way to eat it. To enhance the benefits at the same time, to minimize the negatives, drying, baking or freezing the fruits is helpful as this reduces the tannin level in the fruit and enhances the sweetness.
Myth: The tannin present in persimmon fruit is not that useful and is not required for other purposes.
Fact: This is not true. Unripe persimmon fruit is full of tannin which can be used for brewing sake and preserving wood, which is a regular practice in Japan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can the leaves of the persimmon fruit be utilized for consumption purposes?
A: There are quite a few uses of persimmon leaves among which the most common is making persimmon leaf tea. The persimmon leaves are cooked like tea or coffee but it is more like a caffeine-free energy drink.
Q: Is persimmon fruit safe for infants?
A: Infants who are 8 to 10 months old can start having persimmon in their diet. It is safer and non-allergenic when cooked and is tasty for children to eat. However, sometimes children do not react well to certain foods and hence it is safe to consult with the paediatrician before adding this fruit into the baby’s diet.
Q: Can the persimmon fruit be consumed straight from the tree?
A: No, the persimmon fruit cannot be consumed raw, plucked out of the tree. The fruit needs to be cured before making it edible. The process of curing is necessary to remove astringency caused by tannins. One of the most common ways to cure persimmon fruit is by placing it in an air-tight container with an apple and banana overnight. The apple and banana release ethylene gas, which cures the persimmon fruit.