The season of persimmons commenced mid-march in the state of Victoria. It is predicted that it will run up until the middle of May. According to experts in the industry, the crop is looking better than ever. Since the rainfall was steady and the weather conditions were pleasant, the fruits blossomed into an awesome colour.
For centuries, persimmon fruits (along with their leaf and seed extract) have been used in Eastern folk medicine to treat a range of conditions. Here are some of the benefits supported by modern science.
Persimmons offer an exceptionally high level of lutein and zeaxanthin, two forms of beta carotene that tend to accumulate in the retina. These compounds act as antioxidants, protecting against vision loss from age-related macular degeneration. Additionally, the vitamin C and vitamin E content of persimmons also guards against oxidative damage.
Persimmons contain a natural compound called fisetin, an antioxidant with several brain benefits. Fisetin enhances long-term memory, prevents neuronal dysfunction, and protects against age-related cognitive decline.
Fisetin, which can also be found in apples, strawberries, and lotus root, has also been reported to reduce brain damage caused by ischemic strokes. And by increasing serotonin levels, fisetin provides anti-depressant effects.
When it comes to heart health, fruits and vegetables reign supreme. A large review of studies shows that getting 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day cuts heart disease rates by 28% and the risk of premature death by 31%.
The potassium in persimmons reduces blood pressure, while folate and vitamin C help prevent strokes and heart attacks. With 6 grams of fiber per fruit, eating a persimmon or two contributes towards the recommendation of at least 25 grams per day.
Fruits in the orange and yellow category, including persimmons, have been shown to reduce the rate of colon cancer in women. The beta carotene content is believed to help control the growth and spread of cancer cells. Persimmons are also a good source of fiber, which is essential for good digestion and the regular removal of toxins from the body.
Persimmon leaves are rich in beneficial plant compounds that are thought to help with a variety of ailments. Recent research has studied their potential for bone health, finding that the polysaccharides in persimmon leaves inhibit the genetic expression of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for bone breakdown. These findings indicate possible benefits in the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, as well as periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis.