Persimmon is a type of fruit generally available from September through December. When ripe, persimmon has a light yellow-orange flesh inside, a soft jelly-like texture, and looks like a tomato. It can be sweet like honey or knit your mouth and cause an unpleasant aftertaste.
They come in many sizes and shapes; some appear more heart-shaped though others look more even-shaped or round, like a small pumpkin.
Ripe persimmons vary in color from a darker red to a light yellow or orange. People often compare darker persimmons to tomatoes.
When it comes to persimmon skin, many people don’t know whether you can eat the skin of a persimmon. The simple answer is yes, you can eat the skin of a persimmon. However, the type of persimmon will decide whether you can eat its peel without any issues.
There are several factors you need to consider, like which type of persimmon you are eating, whether you are eating a ripe persimmon or an unripe persimmon, etc.
To learn more about certain types of persimmons and whether eating their skin is okay, continue reading.
Can You Eat the Skin of a Persimmon?
Yes, you can eat fuyu persimmon skin without any problems. You can also eat the skin of hachiya persimmon, but it needs to be ripe. Otherwise, it will taste astringent and bitter.
Whether or not to remove the thin skin depends on the fruit’s ripeness, variety, and type. In some varieties, the peel gives persimmon a tart taste since it contains many tannins. However, carefully removing the peel will get rid of the astringent aftertaste.
There are over 400 different types of persimmons worldwide, but only two varieties of commercial persimmons are available in most western markets – fuyu and hachiya.
Tannin, which gives persimmon astringency, interferes with the normal functioning of the intestines, causing constipation and discomfort.
However, when the persimmon is fully ripe, you can have it with a peel. So, it depends on the type of persimmon you prefer. To avoid any accident, ensure to know which type you are eating.
So, should you peel persimmons? I don’t like the persimmon skin of fuyu or hachiya and always peel my persimmons. It is just how I prefer to eat them – soft, silky smooth.
Let’s learn more about these two varieties of Persimmons.
Fuyus are originally Japanese persimmon type and among the most typical Asian persimmons in farmers’ markets and grocery stores throughout the United States. These are mainly seedless (persimmon seeds are generally found in fruits that come from a female persimmon tree).
Fuyu, also known as non-astringent or sweet persimmon, is somewhat sweet, with firm flesh. These persimmons have a tomato-esque, squat shape along with a flat base.
Unlike its astringent counterpart, Fuyu persimmon skins are okay to eat if they are still quite firm. You can also use these varieties in savory and sweet dishes or enjoy raw persimmons.
Hachiyas, likewise known as astringent or bitter persimmons. It’s among the most widely grown varieties of persimmon in California. These types of persimmons have bright orange skin and an acorn-like shape.
You should only eat this type of persimmon once fully ripe. Before a Hachiya persimmon reaches peak ripeness, it will have a nearly chalky, inedible taste.
If you want to avoid such an unpleasant surprise, let Hachiyas ripen completely until they are about to burst and soften. This confirms that the tannins of persimmon will have dissipated, and you will have smooth, sweet persimmon on your hands.
Ripe Hachiyas are peeled and hung up to completely dry and make the famous Japanese treat Hoshigaki. So, this type of persimmon is better consumed without the peel unless ripe.
Why Does Persimmon Skin Taste Bad?
Persimmon skin tastes so bad (astringent) because it contains tannins. Because of this, an unpleasant sensation of tightening of the mucous membrane in the mouth is created.
Thus, some varieties, like hachiya persimmon skin, taste bad. Therefore, many people reject consuming persimmon skin for this reason. However, you can avoid this by choosing the fuyu type or the right degree of ripeness in the hachiya type.
Is Persimmon Skin Toxic?
No, persimmon skin is not toxic, but if you overeat it, it is dangerous to form phytobezoars – a dense accumulation of plant fibers in the stomach.
The fact is that persimmon skin fiber is not completely digested. And tannins bind to food proteins and form compounds that are deposited on the surface of undigested plant fibers, glued into a tight ball, and linger in the stomach.
With persimmon, it is essential not to overeat it with the skin. Nutritionists recommend being content with one fruit per day per season.
It has a few calories, and it has much sugar. In general, persimmon skin stores vitamins and important trace elements. Therefore, it is important to focus on your well-being when eating products and introduce them in small quantities, observing the body’s reaction. So you can avoid allergies and undesirable consequences.
What Happens If You Eat Persimmon Skin?
Now that we have established that hachiya persimmon skin is edible if the fruit is ripe, you might wonder what happens if you eat the skin of an unripe hachiya persimmon.
Here is the thing, the tannins present in the persimmon skins that give this fantastic fruit its astringent flavor can be dangerous in large amounts. However, most of the tannins are in the peel, so it is better to remove them.
Tannins in persimmon skin can interfere with the digestive process, forming a sticky mass and gluing pieces of food together.
Therefore, children under three should not be given persimmons with skin. In addition, doctors recommend not giving persimmon to children under three years of age due to an insufficiently formed digestive apparatus.
Persimmon contains a lot of water and dietary fiber, which have a slight laxative effect. With caution, it is worth eating it for people suffering from constipation and hemorrhoids.
When overeating, persimmon can cause the opposite effect: diarrhea and vomiting.
Persimmon Skin Benefits
Now that we discussed the dangers of eating persimmon skin, it would be nice to mention some persimmon skin benefits.
Persimmons, whether sweet or bitter, are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so they have excellent health benefits.
The skin of persimmon has flavonoids that have antioxidant and antidiabetic properties. Flavonoids help the body to fight against AGEs or advanced glycation end products that increase the chances of diabetes and other long-term side effects on the body due to diabetes.
The high dietary fiber in persimmons skin also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, thereby preventing the spike of glucose in the blood.
Although persimmons have antidiabetic properties, overdosing on the fruit or the peel can have a negative effect, so have it in moderation.
Another excellent health benefit of this colorful fall fruit is the cytotoxic effects of its extracts. Because of its rich bioactive and anti-inflammatory properties, persimmon skin and flesh extracts could kill colorectal cancer cells, according to the study.
Good For the Heart
There is a lot of potassium in persimmon skin. In the fight against atherosclerosis, persimmon overtook even apples. The beneficial properties of persimmon skin have a good effect on increasing the elasticity of blood vessels. It reduces their fragility and is suitable for people suffering from varicose veins and bleeding gums.
Fight Against Aging
Persimmon skin contains many antioxidants. Beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, is found in persimmon skin in higher quantities than in pumpkins, carrots, or bell peppers. If you eat about 150 g of persimmon, you’ll get up to 20% of the daily norm of this vitamin, which is essential for cell renewal in our body. Beta-carotene also fights free radicals, protecting cells from destruction and slowing down the aging process.
Good For Digestion
The fiber and pectin contained in persimmon remove toxic substances accumulated in the intestines from the body, stimulating its work. But it is important to remember one thing. You should take ripe persimmon for the health of the gastrointestinal tract because an unripe one can be harmful.
Unripe persimmon has too many tannins, especially in the peel, which slow down the digestion process. As a result, they stick pieces of food together, leading to stool retention and pain in the stomach. For this reason, persimmons are not given to children under three years old – they have not yet fully formed the digestive system.
Good For Blood
A decrease in hemoglobin levels is associated with blood loss and a lack of nutrients, infections, and deficiency of vitamins and trace elements, primarily iron. In this sense, the benefits of persimmon for our bodies are immense. Its use serves as a prevention of iron deficiency anemia and improves the functioning of hormonal glands.
Persimmon promotes the production of red blood cells and thins and cleanses the blood, enriching the body with oxygen. Persimmons should be included in the menu if there is a tendency for varicose veins or rosacea.
Improves Eye Health
Persimmon skin is rich in lutein, which is a component that keeps the eyes healthy and helps prevents eye diseases such as cataracts.
In addition, the flesh of persimmon is also rich in Vitamin A, which improves night vision and the eyes’ overall health. This essential micronutrient in persimmon also prevents damage to the eyes.
Helps During Pregnancy
Iodine is needed for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Let there be less of it in persimmon than in seaweed, but it can also satisfy a partial need. This is the undoubted benefit of persimmon for pregnant women, who need about 250 micrograms of iodine daily.
Lack of iodine affects brain issues and slows down mental & physical development in children. Also, persimmons have a beneficial effect on reducing the swelling of the face and limbs.
Good For Immunity
Persimmon stimulates the immune system due to the content of vitamins C and B5. As a result, it increases the number of white blood cells, helping the body resist bacterial and viral infections. To get the effect, eating persimmons three times a week is enough.
Benefits of Dried Persimmon with Peel
Particular attention should be given to the dried persimmon. Our beloved fruit can be dried in the open air or a ventilated room. Dried persimmon can be very beneficial. For example, it neutralizes the effects of alcohol, improves digestion, reduces bleeding (with hemorrhoids), restores vascular tone, and normalizes the heart.
Ensure you don’t overeat dried persimmons to avoid digestion problems.
How Often Can You Eat Persimmon Skin?
One ripe persimmon a day is usually the recommended dosage. Although it has great health benefits, the human body cannot digest large amounts of persimmon.
According to a study, overeating persimmon, especially dried ones, can block the intestines.
In addition, too much persimmon skin in a day can also lead to several issues, such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.
Because persimmon skin is highly astringent, eating this colorful fruit on an empty stomach is also not recommended.
You can get persimmons at supermarkets and farmers’ markets from late summer (September) through December. Try to get it from your local Asian supermarkets for the best persimmons.
While choosing persimmons, you should avoid ruptured, bruised, or lopsided ones available at the supermarket. And remember the variety of persimmon you are buying is very important. Also, remember to check their ripeness.
Please avoid unripe hachiya persimmons, as they are always astringent. And never consume unripe hachiya persimmon with peel. You can only eat persimmon with peel if it is fully ripe.