Rich in nutrients, they are the ideal snack for children and adults who practice physical activity. All the properties and a healthy recipe
They peep into the stalls of the markets between September and December and are loved by the whole family for their sweet and unmistakable flavor. Yet little is known about persimmons (also called lotuses), so much so that the American Heart Association has dedicated an in-depth study on this fruit on its website, as revealed by Ansa.
Properties for health
Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, they are an excellent source of fiber. A single fruit contains about 6 grams and provides 55% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Their colorful appearance indicates the presence of beta-carotene, an antioxidant linked to a lower risk of heart disease. They also contain flavonoids, precious for heart health, as they promote a lowering of blood pressure, less inflammation and a reduction in "bad" LDL cholesterol. A single fruit also contains more than 20% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Valid allies for children and athletes
Thanks to their richness in nutrients, they represent the ideal snack for children who perform physical activity, as long as – underlines Dr. Fausto Aufiero in his book "The nutritional and therapeutic role of foods" (Vis Sanatrix Naturae) – do not have a diabetic inheritance, and for athletes who complain of widespread muscle pain due to the accumulation of lactic acid after a demanding performance. Endowed with high nutritional power, persimmons quickly replenish muscle sugar deposits and also provide nutritional support for the nervous system thanks to the simultaneous presence of vitamin A and electrolytes, which accelerate membrane exchanges. Without prejudice to the various contraindications, the nutritional usefulness of persimmons is evident in those physiological or pathological situations that require highly energizing foods.
Uses in the kitchen
To make the most of the nutritional benefits persimmons have to offer, according to Pennsylvania State University nutrition expert Professor Penny Kris-Etherton, it's important to pair them with the right types of foods. Depending on their maturity, they mix well with yogurt. Adding to smoothies, with a handful of blueberries, gives more nourishment to the recipe. Dried persimmons, which can be baked, are a healthy snack or homemade muffin ingredient. A salad with persimmon that includes avocado will also help in the absorption of carotenoids.
Perfect for those who are careful about the use of white sugar but do not want to give up dessert is the persimmon and cocoa pudding recipe that Dr. Marilù Mengoni gives us, taken from her book "Psychoalimentation. Feeding the body and mind ". Making it is very simple: you will only need 2 ripe persimmons, 2 heaping tablespoons of raw cocoa powder and a vanilla bean. First, remove one end of the vanilla bean, cut it gently lengthwise, open it and with a small teaspoon (or with a rounded tip knife) scrape the inside in order to catch the seeds. Wash the persimmons and put them with all the peel in a powerful blender; add cocoa, vanilla seeds and blend well. Put the pudding thus obtained in glasses or cups and let it rest for half an hour in the fridge before serving.
Did you know that …
Consumed in the initial phase of maturation, they have astringent properties, while when they become very soft and sweet they have a laxative effect. This last property on the intestinal tract is also guaranteed by the vanilla variety which, despite its richness in sugars, is astringent even when fully ripe.
Due to the high content of vitamin A, they represent fruits that are contraindicated in all liver diseases, gastritis and pancreatitis. “Not suitable for diabetics – concludes Dr. Aufiero in his book – persimmons will cause bloating and intestinal flatulence, both for hepatic aggravation caused by excess vitamin A, and for the fermentation of cellulose and complex sugars ".