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9 Benefits of Persimmon Fruit

One of the more seasonally available fruits we can enjoy, the persimmon fruit benefits our bodies in ways that we may never have considered. Ranging from boosting our levels of key vitamins and minerals, to possessing a diverse nutritional profile, the benefits of persimmon fruit are far reaching. 

Whether you’re curious about the persimmon benefits during pregnancy, or you’ve heard about persimmon benefits on skin, our guide explores everything you need to know about the wintery fruit.

We’ll also answer some of the burning questions you might have, exploring how you can incorporate this beneficial fruit into your diet in exciting and varied ways.

Contents:

But if you’re already clued up on all the persimmon fruit health benefits, and are confident in what you eat and drink, then perhaps your next step is a career in nutrition.

OriGym’s industry leading sports nutrition course provides you with absolutely everything you need to kickstart your career as a nutritionist, with 7-days-a-week expert guidance, a library of tailored nutrition resources, free examination resits, and ultra flexible payment plans.

If you’re interested in learning more, download our comprehensive FREE prospectus to explore what we offer, and how it could be ideal for you.

What Is A Persimmon Fruit?

While this may seem a basic question, especially as we’ll be learning about persimmon benefits, it’s vitally important to take this opportunity to address any misconceptions. There’s a wide range of fruits on the market, and learning the differences can have a massive impact on what you consume.

Keep track of everything you eat and drink with OriGym’s pick of the best dedicated fitness journals.

A persimmon (also referred to as a persimmon fruit, or in some cases a “sharon fruit”) is a fruit that’s usually in season in late autumn, and throughout winter. Ripe persimmons are often light orange in colour, but can range from yellow to a much darker shade of orange, and are characterised by a large leaf on top.

They’re smaller than an average orange, usually growing to the size of a medium-sized tomato, or roughly 2 inches in diameter, but they more than make up for it with a unique and delicious flavour.

Often described as “honey-like”, the taste of a ripe persimmon should be silky and rich, meaning it pairs ideally with a wide range of dishes. This can drastically change if you try and eat a persimmon before it’s ripe - this is often a very bitter, sharp flavour, and one that’s usually unpleasant. 

However, make sure to catch persimmons when they’re ripe and in season, and you’ll be able to enjoy a rich, delicious, and diverse fruit. And not only is it incredibly tasty, persimmon fruit benefits us in a multitude of ways.

Persimmon Nutritional Profile

Before we explore all the persimmon fruit benefits, though, let’s first look at what makes up this delicious seasonal delicacy. Persimmon fruit benefits from an incredibly dense nutritional profile, and is packed with vitamins and minerals that provide a wide array of benefits for the body.

An average persimmon (around 2½ inches in diameter, or 168g) contains:

  • Calories: 118, 6% of your recommended daily intake (RDI)
  • Protein: 1g, 2% of your RDI
  • Fat: 0.3g, less than 1% of your RDI
  • Carbohydrates: 31g, 12% of your RDI
  • Sugar: 21g, 30% of your RDI (this is naturally occurring sugar)
  • Fibre: 6g, 24% of your RDI
  • Vitamin A: 55% of your RDI
  • Vitamin C: 20% of your RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of your RDI
  • Copper: 9% of your RDI
  • Potassium: 8% of your RDI
  • Manganese: 30% of your RDI

One of the more immediately noticeable nutritional facts about persimmon (and the persimmon fruit benefits) is it's incredibly high in Vitamin A, which is not only one of the best vitamins for energy, but is also incredibly beneficial for fighting off disease and serious illness.

It also has high levels of key minerals, such as manganese (which aids in activating key enzymes in the body), potassium (which helps the heart function effectively), and copper (which the body uses to produce red and white blood cells).

9 Persimmon Health Benefits

#1 - Enhances Digestive Health

One of the main persimmon fruit benefits is that it can seriously improve your digestive and gut health. This is due to its significant levels of fibre, which is a key nutrient in promoting regularity and good bowel and intestinal health.

An average persimmon fruit will contain 6g of fibre, which is around 24% of our recommended daily intake, meaning it provides almost a quarter of the fibre we should be eating on a daily basis.

Enjoying a diet that’s rich in fibre (which persimmon fruit benefits us with) will not only prompt regular and more consistent bowel movements, it also promotes a much more streamlined approach to digesting the food we eat, which is essential for keeping our stomachs healthy.

Consuming a good amount of fibre will also ensure that your blood sugar levels stay at a manageable level, which is absolutely vital when considering more serious issues such as Type-2 diabetes.

Fibrous foods (such as the persimmon fruit) have benefits that often go beyond just promoting regularity - they can help to clear up issues such as constipation, and ease the symptoms of issues like IBS.

If you’re looking to keep your stomach in shape, check out our guide to the best abdominal muscle stretches.

#2 - Boosts Heart Health

Our heart is perhaps the most important organ in our bodies, and one of the benefits of persimmon fruit is that it can help augment and boost our overall cardiovascular health.

As you might already be aware, heart disease is an incredibly serious issue, and one that affects people across the globe. One of the key nutrients in persimmons has proven to be incredibly effective at lowering the risk of heart disease, and other heart-related issues.

A recent research review discovered that flavonoids (a specific kind of antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables, including persimmons) drastically reduced the risks of heart disease and related cardiovascular issues.

In fact, these specific antioxidants are found in particularly high levels in persimmons, making them ideal for antioxidant consumption, as well as being an ideal food to protect your heart and cardiovascular system.

Not only is the risk of suffering from heart disease reduced significantly, but one of the further persimmon fruit benefits relating to the heart is that it can reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol found in the bloodstream.

Lower levels of bad cholesterol means your heart is much healthier, and blood can be pumped around the body in a much more efficient manner, leading to increased blood flow to the necessary areas of the body, such as the lungs and brain. 

Explore more foods that improve your lung health in OriGym’s complete report.

#3 - Increases Antioxidant Levels

Antioxidants are an integral nutrient that we take in through our diet, and they offer protection against “free radicals”. These molecules cause oxidative stress, which damages key cells and structures within our bodies. Antioxidants counteract these molecules, inhibiting them and ensuring they are beneficial for our body.

One of the biggest persimmon fruit benefits is that it provides a significant boost to our antioxidant levels.

As crucial as antioxidants are to stopping oxidation from occurring, our bodies sadly don’t produce them in a high enough quantity to protect our bodies effectively, and so finding a food that contains high levels of antioxidants is ideal, making this one of the biggest persimmon fruit health benefits.

These powerful compounds offer incredible protection against severe issues, such as specific kinds of cancer (namely lung cancers, as proven in this study), heart disease, and chronic deteriorative conditions.

We’ve already touched upon the specific antioxidants called flavonoids, which significantly improve our heart health, but another of the persimmon benefits is that they contain high levels of beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene supplements the benefits of flavonoids, as well as providing significant benefits when it comes to combating heart disease, as well as other cardiovascular illnesses and issues.

#4 - Improves Eye Health

Our eyes are integral to what the majority of us do on a daily basis, and keeping them as healthy as possible is integral to ensuring that they function as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Perhaps one of the more understated persimmon fruit benefits is that they’ve been scientifically proven to aid with your overall eye health, and even prevent certain conditions from developing.

The high quantity of Vitamin A means that the persimmon fruit benefits your vision massively - Vitamin A maintains the integrity and strength of the key components of your eyes, including the cornea and the connecting membranes between your eyes and brain. 

In fact, one persimmon fruit contains over half the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, as well as significant quantities of the previously mentioned beta-carotene antioxidants, which aid in preventing age-related degeneration of vision.

These specific antioxidants are found in large amounts in the retina, one of the key components that make up our eyes, and are responsible for maintaining the overall integrity of the retina, the cornea, and other crucial aspects of the eye.

#5 - Aids With Weight Loss

We’ve already touched upon the high fibre content of persimmons, but this abundance of fibrous material comes with an additional benefit - it can seriously aid you on your weight loss journey.

One of the main persimmon health benefits is that this fibre content prompts you to feel “satiated”, or fuller for longer. This principle is often present in other highly fibrous foods, but the fibre content of persimmons is of particular importance because it’s ideal as a snack.

This feeling of fullness also comes with a small calorific value - an average persimmon fruit contains just 118 calories, which forms around 6% of an average adult’s recommended daily intake.

When you combine the small calorie intake with those feelings of satiety, it’s clear that one of the more understated persimmon fruit benefits is its ability to create feelings of fullness while still being low in calories.

The persimmon fruit’s ability to lower blood sugar levels can also act as a natural appetite suppressant, meaning that you’re less likely to snack on unhealthy foods or drinks.

However, if you’re still craving snack foods, explore healthier alternatives in OriGym’s complete guide to the best high protein vegan snacks.

#6 - Diverse Flavour Profile

Perhaps one of the more understated persimmon benefits is its diverse and interesting flavour profile. While we often discuss the health benefits of persimmon fruit, it is equally important to discuss its versatility, and how it can be easily implemented into your diet.

First and foremost, as we’ve already touched upon in a previous persimmon fruit benefits section, this seasonal treat is an ideal snack food. Low in calories, and high in a vast array of vitamins and minerals, persimmons are perfect for a busy work day.

Their high levels of antioxidants also means that consuming them as a snack gives an additional welcome boost to your body’s natural defences. They’re also among the best foods for energy, as their slow-burn fibre content provides consistent and healthy energy throughout the day.

You can also oven-dry persimmon fruit slices to create dried persimmon (simply roast on a low heat for an hour and a half, or until the edges begin to curl), which combines all the persimmon health benefits with a crunchy but punchy flavour.

Not only that, but their rich and silky flavour means they function as an effective addition to a winter salad, providing a boost of additional flavour to what might otherwise be a bland or flavourless meal.

Their sweet, honey-like taste also means they can form a delicious yet healthy sweet pie filling, in a similar way to pumpkin. Mixed with pecans (one of the healthiest nuts) and a healthy crust, this is an easy yet healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

#7 - Reduces Levels Of Inflammation

Inflammation is a naturally-occurring phenomenon that happens in the body. While our body may do this slowly by itself, we can speed up this process, and high levels of inflammation can create serious and often irreversible issues, ranging from degenerative conditions to specific kinds of cancer. 

Inflammation occurs as a natural defence against illness, virus, and disease, but can remain after the threat has been repelled, and cause issues for our immune system.

One of the most important persimmon fruit benefits is that it can reduce those levels of inflammation, and therefore drastically reduce our chances of suffering from these diseases.

Key components found of the persimmon fruit (namely the sarcocarp - the flesh of the fruit - and the calyx - the leaves found on top that are removed before eating) significantly reduce levels of inflammation in the body, a recent study found.

By including persimmon fruit (and all of the persimmon benefits) as a key source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in your diet, you’ll not only protect yourself from developing conditions that can often be debilitating, you’ll also aid your body in maintaining those defences that keep you safe from day-to-day pathogens.

Strengthening our immune system is one of the most important things we can do to keep our bodies as healthy as possible - learn more in our comprehensive exploration of the best vitamins to boost your immune system.

#8 - Lowers The Risk Of Certain Cancers

Cancer is undoubtedly one of the biggest killers of adults in the UK. It’s been conservatively estimated that at least 1 in 3 of us will suffer directly from a form of cancer in our lifetimes. 

One of the major persimmon fruit benefits is that it’s been proven to lower your risks of developing certain forms of cancer, including more common forms such as prostate and breast cancers.

The science supports this, too. A recent study uncovered numerous anticancer and chemoprotective elements in persimmons, which lead to a much reduced risk of developing cancers, as well as fighting the earlier signs of the illness, and even protecting cells.

We’ve also already touched upon the high antioxidant content that forms another of the persimmon fruit benefits, but it’s worth noting that these also offer additional protection for our cells. 

Specific antioxidants found in persimmons (called “carotenoids”) protect our cells, and aid in rebuilding the cellular structures that are often damaged by cancerous cells. This, combined with the additional persimmon benefits, can offer significant mitigation against cancer and the mutations that cause it.

Integrating persimmon fruit into a diet that includes foods that boost your immunity, as well as healthy lifestyle choices, can help you substantially reduce your chances of developing cancer in your lifetime.

#9 - Protects Skin From Signs Of Aging

Perhaps one of the more publicised persimmon fruit benefits is its ability to combat the signs of aging, and protect the skin from the challenges and stresses of daily life, as well as improving your overall complexion.

Our skin is often at the forefront of what we do, and looking after it can prove a challenge, especially with all the expensive creams and solutions available. However, persimmons offer a huge boost to our overall skin health. 

Recent research into the persimmon benefits on skin discovered that not only do the leaves of the persimmon fruit have an anti-aging effect on the body, but the flesh of the fruit itself provides numerous benefits, including mitigating against skin problems such as spots or wrinkling.

These persimmon health benefits can be easily overlooked, but given the persimmon’s adaptable nature when it comes to including it in your diet, it’s often considered as a fantastic natural remedy when it comes to the signs of aging.

The high levels of antioxidants found in persimmons can also benefit the skin, especially given that their main function is to rejuvenate and regenerate the body internally. Certain antioxidants have been shown to positively affect the skin, and maintain a youthful appearance.

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Potential Persimmon Side Effects

While there are numerous persimmon fruit benefits, it’s equally important to consider any potential persimmon side effects, too. It’s a delicious and nutritious fruit, but there are some possible downsides to be aware of.

 

#1 - Can Cause Stomach Issues

One of the main persimmon side effects is that it can cause stomach issues, usually down to its significant fibre content. While persimmon fruit benefits from being diverse and flavourful, it can be easy to over-consume the wintery treat.

The high fibre content can promote regularity and good bowel health, but they can cause stomach cramping and soreness, especially if you consume too many, or if you’re not accustomed to having fibrous foods as part of your diet.

This is easily avoidable - adjusting gradually to having persimmon fruit in your diet, perhaps by eating half of one per day, before upping your intake to one or two fruits per day, can mean that your fibre tolerance increases naturally. 

However, consuming large amounts of persimmons on a daily basis can lead to more serious issues, such as gastrointestinal blockages. These are referred to as bezoars, and can cause more severe issues, as well as being immensely painful. 

However, this requires a huge over-consumption of persimmons, and by simply eating 1 or 2 of this diverse fruit per day, you’ll be able to easily avoid the more serious issues. They’re ideal as a breakfast food, with a cup of beneficial black coffee, as an accompaniment for your favourite salad, or baked into a delicious dessert.

#2 - Can Trigger Allergies

One of the more surprising persimmon side effects, the colourful seasonal fruit has been reported to trigger allergic reactions in a small number of people, with symptoms ranging from a mild cough and sneezing, to more serious issues, such as anaphylactic shock.

While this is a very small minority of people, it is definitely an issue that’s worth being aware of, especially if you’re new to the persimmon fruit and its benefits, or you’ve only tried it in small quantities before.

Allergic reactions are generally mild in response to persimmons. This will generally include a cough, sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat and rashes, but can extend to more serious symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. 

If you’re concerned that you might be allergic to persimmons, it’s best to immediately remove the food from your diet, and contact your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing more severe symptoms. 

We’d suggest replacing it with an equally beneficial fruit - explore more in our comprehensive report on the best superfruits.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Where Can I Buy Persimmons?

Now that we’ve learned about the persimmon benefits (and side effects), it’s natural that you might wonder where you can purchase this appetising winter fruit. 

We’ve already touched upon its seasonal availability, and that’s perhaps the key piece of information to keep in mind when you’re looking to experience all the persimmon fruit benefits.

It’s farmed predominantly in Asia, and is generally picked during the late autumn and winter months, meaning it will likely be available on supermarket shelves and in more specialist shops between November and February. 

However, when in season, these are widely available, and can be purchased at most supermarkets and food shops. They’re usually inexpensive, and are found with the rest of the fruits and vegetables. 

You might also want to look into purchasing your persimmons online, especially if you’re looking to try dried persimmons. We’ve sourced a great option on Amazon, but sadly these are often subject to the same seasonal restrictions as the fresh variety, and may not be in stock should you try to purchase them as a summer snack.

These not only possess all the same persimmon health benefits as their non-dried counterparts, but they make an ideal snack if you’re looking to start vegan weight training.

How Do You Eat A Persimmon?

This is perhaps a question you might have if you’re new to this wintery fruit, and are looking to reap the persimmon fruit benefits we’ve just discussed. It’s harder exterior might be off-putting, but its sweet and delicious flesh more than makes up for it.

Persimmons are an ideal alternative to more traditional fruits (such as apples or pears), as not only do you gain access to the myriad benefits of persimmon fruit, but you can eat them with the skin on.

However, the leaves can taste very bitter, and may be off-putting, so it’s best to remove these when eating the fruit, especially as it can spoil the rich and decadent taste we’d normally associate with persimmons.

You might also choose to slice persimmons, especially if the skin is too tough for your teeth, or you’re opting to use them in a recipe. They pair well not only with other fruits, but they’re an ideal healthy alternative for other, more carb-heavy options (such as potatoes). 

They also function well as part of a paleo or ketogenic diet - check out OriGym’s ultimate guide to natural eating for further information.

Before You Go!

Whether you came into this article wondering “just what are the benefits of persimmon fruit”, or you wanted ideas on how to make the most of the health benefits of persimmon fruit, our guide aimed to provide answers and ideas for all tastebuds.

Persimmon fruits are a deeply flavourful and diverse fruit, and when we consider that alongside all the persimmon benefits we’ve just explored, it’s easy to see why they’re an ideal alternative to some of the other fruits we eat on a daily basis.

But if you’re already well aware of the health benefits of persimmons, and you’re looking to take your expertise to another level, then perhaps a career in nutrition could be your next step.

OriGym’s industry leading sports nutrition course offers the ultimate in service, with 7 days a week expert guidance, an expanding library of bespoke nutritional resources, a guaranteed post-course interview, and payment plans to suit all budgets.

Download our comprehensive prospectus today, and learn more about what we offer, and how it could be perfect for you.

 

References:

  1. John W. Erdman, Jr., Douglas Balentine, Lenore Arab, Gary Beecher, Johanna T. Dwyer, John Folts, James Harnly, Peter Hollman, Carl L. Keen, G. Mazza, Mark Messina, Augustin Scalbert, Joseph Vita, Gary Williamson, Jerrilynn Burrowes, Flavonoids and Heart Health: Proceedings of the ILSI North America Flavonoids Workshop, May 31–June 1, 2005, Washington, DC, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 137, Issue 3, March 2007, Pages 718S–737S, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.3.718S
  2. Mayne, S.T. (1996), Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. The FASEB Journal, 10: 690-701. https://doi.org/10.1096/fasebj.10.7.8635686
  3. Kim, H.-J., Park, T.-S., Jung, M.-S., & Son, J.-H. (2011). Study on the Anti-oxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Sarcocarp and Calyx of Persimmon (Cheongdo Bansi). Journal of Applied Biological Chemistry, 54(2), 71–78. https://doi.org/10.3839/jabc.2011.013
  4. Yaqub, S., Farooq, U., Shafi, A., Akram, K., Murtaza, M., Kausar, T., & Siddique, F. (2016). Chemistry and Functionality of Bioactive Compounds Present in Persimmon. Journal Of Chemistry, 2016, 1-13. doi: 10.1155/2016/3424025
  5. An, B.-J., Kwak, J.-H., Park, J.-M., Lee, J.-Y., Park, T.-S., Lee, J.-T., Son, J.-H., Jo, C. and Byun, M.-W. (2005), Inhibition of Enzyme Activities and the Antiwrinkle Effect of Polyphenol Isolated from the Persimmon Leaf (Diospyros kaki folium) on Human Skin. Dermatologic Surgery, 31: 848-855. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31730

Written by Chris Allsobrook

Editor

Chris is a former English teacher, turned content editor. He holds a first-class honours degree in English Language and Creative Writing from the University of Central Lancashire, before going on to complete his teacher training, and obtain a PGCE at Liverpool John Moore’s.

Chris is a keen runner and is currently undertaking both his fitness instructing and personal training qualifications here at OriGym. 

Outside of fitness, you’ll often find him gaming, watching the football, cooking, or spending time with his family.

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