By Mohammed Rashid, Qarshi industries Pakistan
Diospyros kaki is the botanical name of Persimmon or Japani Phal. Diospyros comes from the ancient Greek words, this means more or less "divine fruit", though its literal meaning is more like "Wheat of Zeus".
This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended to East Asia, California, Europe and Brazil.
Its trees have been classified broadly into two general categories: those that bear "astringent fruit" (whilst unripe) and those that bear "non-astringent" fruits. An astringent cultivar, which is commonly cultivated in Japan known as “Hachiya,” is high in tannins and must be allowed to ripen fully until it attains jelly-soft consistency before fit to eat. A non-astringent persimmon, on the other hand, contains less tannin and can be eaten while it is crispy as in apples. Astringency can be removed by treating the fruit with carbon dioxide or alcohol.
1. They are also a very good source of vitamin-C. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
2. 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.
3. Persimmons are replete with many phyto-nutrients flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants. Catechins and gallocatechins as well as important anti-tumor compound betulinic acid contained in this fruit is said to be highly beneficial for health. Catechins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties.
4. Fresh persimmon fruits contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper and phosphorus. These minerals are believed to be powerful free radical scavengers and boost the production of blood cells.
Copyright Hortist, 2013