Saturday, 29 December 2007

Kaki /Persimmon ( Hurma) Fruit Health Benefits...

Our grocery stores are becoming more and more exotic each day. Foods from strange and distant lands are now common in many markets, even if many of us don´t know what these often colourful fruits and vegetables are, what they taste like, and what are their health benefits. So next time you pass the persimmons, perhaps it is time to pick a few up and try them.
A team of researchers led by Shela Gorinstein from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, recently published data on the effects of eating persimmons on cholesterol metabolism. The experiments were carried out on rats and therefore extrapolation to humans may be difficult, but it is evident from Gorinsteins=s work that eating persimmons alters fat metabolism in rats. The rats normal (basal) diet was supplemented at a level of 7%. The diet also contained added cholesterol. The persimmon-supplemented diet significantly lessened the rise in blood plasma lipids. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and lipid peroxides were all lower in the persimmon group. These blood plasma lipids normally rise in rats fed a diet containing added cholesterol. Liver cholesterol levels were also reduced in the rats eating persimmons.

Gorinstein and her team concluded that persimmon possesses hypolipidemic and antioxidant properties that are evident when persimmon is added to the diet of rats fed cholesterol.
Persimmon pulp and peel are both good sources of fiber. This may explain, in part, the positive effect on cholesterol metabolism. Persimmons have also been shown to contain antioxidants such as carotenoids and polyphenols which may also affect fat metabolism. In addition persimmons are good source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. Therefore, for many reasons, adding this colorful fruit to your diet may be a good idea.
One of the tastiest fruits, persimmon is among the top of my favorite fruits. Persimmons can come in different varieties. The most common types are the tomato shaped or the heart shaped ones. Both types of persimmons are astringent prior to ripening and become extremely sweet once ripened.

When the tomato shaped persimmon is firm, usually the outer peel has a bright orange color or sometimes still greenish color while its flesh contains numerous super tiny, dense, brown spots which make the color of the persimmon flesh brownish. The denser the brown spots on the flesh, the sweeter the fruit. The fruit also may have from 4-8 brown seeds, although in some varieties, the seeds may be non-existent or so small and fresh that they are unnoticeable. I think it depends on the variety of the fruit. This type can be consumed while firm or after softened.

The heart shaped ones can look ripened on the outside with a bright orange color, but still astringent inside. In order to lose its astringency, it has become extremely soft. Similar to unripe dates, if you keep the unripe persimmons at room temperature or under the sun, they will ripen off the tree. In my opinion, the tomato shaped persimmons with the brown spot flesh are the best ones.

Persimmon fruit is a golden yellow, round or oval, flavorful, smooth textured delicacy from the East Asia. Its sweet, delicious flesh holds several health promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants that are vital for optimum health.

Botanically, persimmons belongs to the family of Ebenaceae, in the genus: Diospyros. This delicate oriental fruit is native to China. It spread to Korean peninsula and Japan very long ago, and later was introduced to California during the middle of the 19th century.

Scientific name: Diospyros virginiana. 



Persimmon fruit has a lot of nickname such Diospyros kakiOriental persimmonJapanese PersimmonKaki Persimmon or Asian Persimmon in North America, that also known as Sharon fruit.  Reuters Health, New York, study result stated that the persimmon fruit is better than apples, especially for maintaining heart health. Persimmon fruits contain fiber two times more than apples. It's also contain more complete nutrition such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and iron. Also still has a phenolic acid belonged antioxidant, a potent free radicals.

Fresh persimmon fruit contains 19.6% carbohydrates, mainly fructose and glucose, 0.7% protein, vitamin A and potassium. Each 100 g contains energy persimmon 88 cal, 15 g carbohydrates, 6 mg calcium, phosphorus 26 mg, 813 mcg of retinol, ascorbic acid and 20 mg.


Besides having many health benefits,  persimmon can also be made as cake. In the UK cake made ​​from persimmon fruit known as persimmon cake. Persimmon fruit can also keep the body look slimmer. Health experts say that the persimmon is very powerful, especially for people who want their body to stay slim. The other persimmon fruit health benefits are able to prevent heart disease, can lower cholesterol levels in the body because this fruit contains polyphenols which can lower bad cholesterol, persimmon also can be used as medicine mixture.

Persimmon fruit nutrition facts..
  • The fruit is moderately high in calories (provides 70 calories/100g) but very low in fats. Its smooth textured flesh is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g of fresh fruit holds 3.6 g or 9.5% of recommended daily intake of fiber.
  • Persimmons contain health benefiting flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants such as kitchens andgallocatechins in addition to having an important anti-tumor compound, betulinic acid. Cytokines are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.
  • Fresh persimmons compose other anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, sea-xanthin and Cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds functions as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions; thus, helps prevent "Age-related macular related macular disease"(ARMD) in the elderly.
  • Persimmons are also a very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant (especially native Chinese and American persimmons; provide 80% of DRI). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • The fruit is good in many valuable B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin...etc. These vitamins act as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.
  • Fresh Persimmon fruits also contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese, and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells. 
Health benefits of persimmon fruit...
Keeping the Body to Keep Slim..
Persimmon proved to have efficacy similar to apples. Health experts often recommend to eat an apple for people who are on a diet.

Flat belly..
Persimmons are known for their stomach-soothing properties, so eating the fruit may help you feel less bloated or constipated. Note, however, that in rare cases, eating too many persimmons, especially on an empty stomach, can lead to a bizarre (an intestinal obstruction) because of the fruit's highly fibrous properties.These aren't the only reasons to hunt down persimmons at your local grocery store. Persimmons contain high levels of antioxidants like vitamins A and C. When choosing persimmons, keep in mind that there are two different varieties : hachiya, which are orange-red, shaped like acorns, and soft and jelly-like when fully ripe; and fuyu, which are yellow-orange, shaped like tomatoes, firmer when ripe, and can be sliced like apples.


Preventing heart disease..
Eating a persimmon fruit each day can help you prevent heart disease. Antioxidant compounds contained in the persimmon able to maintain the flexibility of blood vessels so there is no blockage.

Lowering Cholesterol Levels..
Persimmon fruits contain polyphenols that may serve to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

Low Calories fruit..
The fruit is low in calories (provides 70 cal/100g) and fat but rich source of fiber.Just one persimmon contains six grams of fiber, which is already about a quarter of your recommended daily value. Fiber digests slowly, so it keeps you fuller longer.

Hypertension or high blood pressure..
Persimmon fruit juice added a little warm water and drink once a day.


Coughing up phlegm and asthma..
Take two pieces of dried persimmon and then add a little water and then steamed until cooked. Then puree and add 1 tablespoon of pure honey.

Treat Stomach Pain..
Fresh persimmon contains 19.6% carbohydrates, mainly fructose and glucose, 0.7% protein, vitamin A and potassium.


Cravings cure: The fiber in persimmons, called pectin, is responsible for another appetite-controlling feature: pectin helps regulate blood-sugar levels to keep them from spiking, which can help prevent blood-sugar-crash-related cravings.

Diarrhea
Prepare some pieces of the dried persimmon, then you boiled to a pulp and mixed with sticky rice and slices of orange 2 pieces only. Mix until smooth, remove from heat and consume is to patients with diarrhea 3 times a day.

Persimmon Fruit Nutrition Facts Table
Principle           
Nutrient Value
   Percentage of RDA
Energy
70 Kcal
3.5%
Carbohydrates
18.59 g
14%
Protein
0.58 g
1%
TotalFat
0.19g
1%
Cholesterol
0 g
0%
Dietary Fiber
3.6 g
9.5%
                           Vitamins
    
Choline
7.6 mg
1.5%
Folates
8 µg
2%
Niacin
0.100 mg
1%
Pyridoxine
0.100 mg
7.5%
Riboflavin
0.020 mg
1.5%
Thiamin
0.030 mg
2.5%
Vitamin C
7.5 mg
12.5%
Vitamin A
81 IU
3%
Vitamin E
0.73 mg
5%
Vitamin K
2.6 µg
2%
Electrolytes
Sodium
1 mg
0%
Potassium
161 mg
2.5%
Minerals
Calcium
8 mg
0.8%
Copper
0.113 mg
12.5%
Iron
0.15 mg
2%
Magnesium
9 mg
2%
Manganese
0.355 mg
15%
Phosphorus
17 mg
4.5%
Zinc
0.11 mg
1%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-α
0 µg
--
Carotene-β
253 µg
--
Crypto-xanthin-β
1447 µg
--
Lutein-zeaxanthin
834 µg
--
Lycopene
159 µg
--
  
Persimmon fruit (Diospyros virginiana),
Japanese, fresh,
Nutrition Value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)



Availability of Hachiya Persimmons in India
The persimmon market in India is limited for a number of reasons, mostly because of low demand and paucity of supply. The relative newness of persimmons in India means that the country still lacks organization and technology necessary for broad cultivation.

However, several of India’s cooler regions grow persimmons: Examples include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and the hills of Uttar Pradesh. The temperate regions of Kullu, Mandi, Solan, Chamba, and Shimla are best for persimmon growth. A few trees also grow in the chilly Coonoor hills of Tamil Nadu.

Persimmon cultivation has potential, though, as a single tree may bear 200 kilograms of the fruit per year. In Himachal Pradesh alone, 2009 figures reveal that the state grew 224 tons. Some of the fruits reach Delhi’s Azadpur Market, reputed to be the largest wholesale market for fruits and vegetables. Regrettably, persimmons tend to go overseas to China and Japan, rather than hit the stores of India.

Fruiting season begins in mid September and lasts until November, sometimes December.

Prepared & Collection by M.Ajmal Khan.

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