Persimmons are orange or red-brown fruits that grow on trees like plums. These fruits look like a small, but rather flat tomato that are capped by a calyx.
Persimmons have 2 varieties namely, stringent and non-astringent, the latter being pleasingly sweet. To avoid bitterness, the paler varieties of the fruit should be consume only when very ripe, and usually peeled.
A comparison of apple and persimmon fruits by an international group of researchers showed that persimmons contain significantly higher concentrations of minerals, dietary fiber and phenolic compounds, which are instrumental in fighting atherosclerosis, the main cause of heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.
The study appeared in the February 1 Web edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The monthly peer-reviewed journal is published by the American Chemical Society, which is the world’s largest scientific society.
This is the first comparative study of persimmons, including apples which evaluates their anti-atherosclerosis capabilities, according to lead researcher Shela Gorinstein, Ph.D., a research associate at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, located at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
Persimmons contain “relatively high contents of phenolics, fibers, minerals and trace elements, which makes persimmon preferable for an anti-atherosclerotic diet,” according to Gorinstein and her colleagues.
When compared to apples, persimmons have significantly higher levels of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron. Consuming 1 medium-sized persimmon, or about 100 grams daily, is enough to help fight atherosclerosis, according to Gorinstein.
Other fruits also help fight against heart disease and people should include them in their diet as well.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is found throughout the body. While a certain amount of cholesterol is needed, too much builds-up in the arteries, which can cause them to narrow and harden. This forces your heart to work harder, in order to pump blood throughout the body.
Studies have shown that persimmon fruit could help in lowering cholesterol levels effectively.
In a study that was published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 40 participants were given a bar containing either high or a low dose of persimmon fiber for 3x daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, both groups had shown significant decreases in their levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
Other ways to help in lowering cholesterol naturally and quickly include consuming plenty of soluble fiber, exercising regularly and increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Nutrients of Persimmon:
- Dietary fiber in persimmon is high and water content is 80% of the total fruit mass.
- Vitamin A – 33% of RDA
- Manganese – Contains approximately 18% of your body’s daily requirement.
- Vitamin C – 13% of RDA
- Vitamin B6 – 5% of RDA
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