Persimmon Fall Trio Smoothie

Persimmons are such a curious fruit.  I’ve eyed them up in the grocery store and Produce Junction for weeks now, and finally decided to give these little beauties a try.  At first glance they look a bit like a weird tomato, but rest assured, these sweet gems have great flavor!

Persimmons origins go back to ancient China. Fate intervened in the 1880’s when a United States Commander brought back a native Japanese persimmon variety to Washington, D.C. Now, persimmons are grown in California where hundreds of different varieties flourish. This brightly colored, glossy red-orange skinned fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C, and rich in fiber.

Although there are countless different varieties of persimmons, only two are commercially available. There are distinguishable by their shape.

Hachiya: This type of persimmon makes up approximately 90 percent of the available fruit. It is identifiable by its acorn like shape. This persimmon is tart until it becomes soft ripe.

Fuyu: This persimmon is gaining popularity here as it is in Japan. Similar in color, but looking like a squashed tomato, this variety is smaller, sweeter, and is edible while still firm.

Selecting a ripe persimmon is a bit tricky and will depend on the type that you buy.  I used Hachiya persimmons for this recipe, which are ripe when they are really soft, almost mushy.  Fuyu persimmons, on the other hand, are ripe when they are firm.  It’s important to know the difference, because if you buy a firm Hachiya persimmon you’ll sorely regret it, as it will taste very bitter!

Apart from all the uses it has, Persimmon is a very healthy fruit. If it happens to be a fruit of your liking or if you have always wanted to taste it, there are numerous health benefits as reasons to include it in your diet.

Here are 7 health benefits of this delectable fruit that you may not have known:

1. PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS

  • Persimmon fruit is a great addition for those who are working towards healthy weight and body mass. Weight loss regimen usually incorporates light and low-calorie food items in the diet.
  • Eating food items like Persimmon that are high on fiber during weight loss program makes you feel fuller and for long.
  • Fiber rich food is also beneficial as it reduces the craving of sugar or processed food. So persimmon fruit can be the best food for your weight loss program.

2. PROTECT AND NOURISH EYE

  • Persimmon contains Lutein Zeaxanthin which is an Isomer and the most common Carotenoid alcohol present in nature.
  • Many studies and current treatments have found this Isomer to be very effective in maintaining and improving the vision. It works on retina and arrests eye related degenerative diseases like Macular degeneration. It is also known to prevent the incidences of cataract.
  • Eye retina damage is the cause of eye vision loss. Retinal damage is caused due to free radicals produced as a result of oxygen’s reaction with certain types of molecules.
  • Persimmon fruit containsnutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K that are known for their anti-oxidant properties. These nutrients are extremely important to protect the eye from retinal damage.
  • Lutein Zeaxanthin along with the aforementioned vitamins reduces and contains the damage caused by UV rays and other eye infections. Other than the vision, they also help in reducing the wrinkles on the sensitive skin around the eyes.

3. IMPROVE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

  • Persimmon fruit has a high amount of fiber. Fiber provides roughage during digestion which is essential to improve digestion process.

4. FIGHTS CANCER

  • Persimmon contains highly beneficial nutrient which protect from free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for cancer.
  • Antioxidants and phyto-nutrients neutralize these free radicals and prevent DNA damage. Exposure to oxygen of some molecules causes damage at cellular level. These damaged cells then continue to multiply even when not required. This way they invade the healthy cells ultimately destroying them and leading to cancerous growths.
  • Persimmon owing to a complete anti-oxidant composition of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Lutein Zeaxanthin protects from the damage of free radicals. They flush these free radicals from the body so that they do not cause damage to the healthy cells.
  • Persimmon also contains betulinic acid which is anti-tumor in itself and can hamper the growth of cancerous cells in the body.

5. PROTECT FROM AGEING

  • Free radicals are not only responsible for causing cancer but also lead to faster and premature ageing. Free radicals damage skin cell and stimulate ageing which is faster than normal. But antioxidants and phyto-nutrients reverse the ageing effect and protect from early ageing by scavenging on free radicals.
  • Vitamin C is a very effective anti-oxidant when it comes to skin care. It is a water-soluble vitamin which means that it is not stored in the body and needs to be replenished regularly through the dietary sources.
  • Vitamin A and Vitamin K keep the skin healthy and reduce age related wrinkling. Apart from these vitamins, Beta Carotene and Lutein Zeaxanthin have also shown a lot of promise as anti-oxidants in many studies. These anti-oxidants have been found to increase the longevity of human age by protecting from free radical damage and improving general health and consequently the immune system.

6. VITAMIN C FOR IMMUNITY

  • To stay protected from common disease it is important to eat high nutritive food. Vitamin C has been found to be a potent agent that increases immunity and strengthens against Cold, flu and infections.
  • Persimmon fruit is rich in Vitamin C and can increase a resistance from these common diseases. Apart from this, Vitamin C aids in production of collagen and helps in absorbing iron in the body. It also helps in keeping blood vessels, muscles and bones in a fit shape and aid in their ongoing maintenance.

7. MATTERS OF HEART

  • Potassium is an abundant trace metal found in Persimmon fruit. It helps in regulating optimum blood pressure in the body by widening the blood vessels and relaxing muscles in the body.
  • In fact many medicines use potassium as a pain-killer for muscle induced pain.
  • A healthy and consistent blood pressure does not put undue stress on the heart and its function. This way it helps in up keeping the cardiovascular health and its functionality.
  • Persimmon is almost a fat-free fruit but has a high water content which flushes put the cholesterol and does not add to its build up.

For my first foray into the persimmon arena, I decided to incorporate them into a smoothie.  That’s always my favorite way to try new fruits  This particular smoothie features a trio of in-season Fall fruits that when combined create a really light and beautiful flavor profile.

I dare you to take the persimmon plunge!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Hachiya persimmon
  • 1 small apple, cored
  • 1 small pear, cored
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
  2. Blend until emulsified.
Smoothies and SuchAlicia Uhl