Persimmons: One of Nature’s Mighty Secrets

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Persimmons, a golden-orange fruit, is full of health benefits that are surpassed by none. They can be harvested in the fall, usually after a frost, or purchased in a market that carries a large variety of fruits. There are two main types of Persimmons – Hachiyas and Fuyua.   The Hachiya is what most of us are accustomed to in the wild (don’t forget to check for bugs if you pick your own). They attain a jelly like texture when ripe and ready to eat, whereas the Fuyua Persimmons are hard and crisp and can be eaten like an apple or peeled and sliced.  The Fuyua are the best to dry and make a sweet chewy fruit resembling dried apricots.

Persimmons, one of Nature’s secretsPhoto: Donna Warfield Smith

Now, here’s the best part.  Did you know that persimmons contain an anti-cancer/anti-tumor compound called Betulinic acid, which helps fight against lung, colon, prostate, breast, and skin cancers? They have phytonutrients called Catechins which are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-aging.   They can help soothe sore throats, digestive problems, colds, viral infections, constipation, and acid reflux.  Persimmons are great for liver health as they neutralize harmful toxins and help cure damage from free radicals.  All this may seem a little farfetched, but this list can go on and on.

Persimmons, one of Nature’s secretsPhoto: Wikimedia/Geomr

A good tea for acid reflux is made by combining 2 quarts of water, 3 sticks of cinnamon, and  ½  cup sliced ginger or 2 teaspoons dried ginger in a pot, simmer for 30 -60 minutes. Remove the pulp, add 1 cup of dried persimmons, and let soak.  Store in the fridge for up to a week.  Sip ½ cup each day for reflux. Persimmons also helps prevent age-related macular degeneration. Try using persimmons in salads,  jelly, sorbets, and smoothies. Dried persimmons can be found at your local health food store.  As always, check with your doctor before changing any medical routines or medicines.