A Persimmon a Day Can Also Keep the Doctor Away

 

We’ve all heard the saying, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. But why not an orange, avocado, or any other fruit, for that matter. I think, grab and go fruits are much more convenient to eat when you’re in hurry.

Japanese persimmon. | Yumi Kimura

With an orange or avocado, you have to contend with peeling it while with an apple, you can give it a quick rinse or even just wipe it on your shirt and take a bite. You can do the same with a persimmon, and have a lot of added health benefits as well.

What exactly is this weird looking fruit that looks like a tomato? A persimmon is a fruit from a variety of species of trees from the genus Diospyros, derived from the Greek Diós (Διός) and pŷrós (πῦρός). The Greek name literally means  “Zeus‘s wheat” but in general, it means “divine food” or “divine fruit”. The most widely cultivated type of persimmons are the Japanese persimmon or Diospyros kaki.

Persimmon trees reach anywhere between 15 to 59 feet in height. The leaves of the trees alternate and are oblong with brown-hairy petioles.

Persimmons on a tree. | Yumi Kimura

Some persimmon trees have both male and female flowers and in very rare cases a tree can have the “perfect flower.” Male flowers are pink, females flowers are creamy white, while perfect flowers are a cross between the two and contain both male and female reproductive organs.

The sweetness of a persimmon makes the fruit average about 115 calories. It has high fiber content making it a filling snack. Persimmons are also rich in antioxidants. A single fruit can provide 20 percent of  our body’s daily requirements for vitamin C and 50 percent of vitamin A. Perhaps on your next trip to the grocery store you consider picking up persimmons as a fruit option. It a delicious way to start the day, and keep the doctor away!