Persimmons: An Ancient Chinese Health Food

ps4The one advantage to writing this blog is it gives me an excuse to try foods that I just haven’t taken the time to taste.  In the last few weeks you may have noticed the appearance in the wet markets and grocery stores of an  orange colored fruit that  resembles a tomato. This rather plain looking specimen is  the nutritionally remarkable persimmon fruit.

Turns out persimmons are one of the fall fruits  that packs a powerful nutritional  punch. This fruit is so good that in one study comparing the heart healthy benefits of apples to persimmons, persimmons came out tops in almost every category from having more fiber to being far richer in helpful anti-oxidants. Prompting one researcher to quip” a persimmon a day will keep more doctors away”.

Persimmons have been cultivated in China for “1000’s of years” and part of the Chinese diet for just as long. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, persimmons are a “cold” food (yin energy) and  powerful in expelling pathogenic heat. Persimmons are used to treat diarrhea,high  blood pressure and hardening of the arteries among other ailments.

This time TCM aligns very well with western nutrition as the persimmon is a very good source of fiber, one medium fruit has 6 gms of fiber, nearly 25% of the recommended level for a heart healthy diet. Persimmons are rich in the anti-oxidants, beta-carotene and lycopene, both powerful anti-cancer agents . One persimmon provides over 50% of the recommended daily levels of vitamin A and 25 % of the recommended level of vitamin C. Vitamin A plays an important role in strenghtening your immune system while vitamin C is an important anti-oxidant , reducing inflammation that can lead to artery damage.

All this in a sweet, creamy fall fruit.   Persimmons are in season through November so don’t delay and treat yourself to a healthy bite today.

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Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun !