Sweet Nutrient-Rich “Eye Candy”
Winter typically halts the production of most in-season fruit, however, there are some fruits that are the most abundant during the colder months. Persimmons are one of them, as they typically peak from October-February.
Persimmons are known as the “Fruit of the Gods” by ancient Greeks for their many health benefits. You may see them most frequently during these months at local grocery stores, but be careful not to mistake them for tomatoes. Persimmons have an appearance and external texture of a tomato, with a slightly similar hue. Unlike tomatoes, persimmons are more orange in color and have a delectable, candy-like sweetness to them.
For those who look forward to persimmon season, there are added health perks to pleasing their palate with this sweet-treat. Due to the rich orange colors in persimmons, they naturally pack the power of Vitamin C, lycopene and Beta-carotene, which are great for eye health.
In addition to those key eye-healthy nutrients, persimmons are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help protect your eyes against debilitating eye disorders, like cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is most common in adults over 50 and can cause blindness and distorted central vision. A diet rich in a wide variety of fruits (like persimmons) and vegetables can help decrease your risk of AMD or eye disease.
Persimmons can be enjoyed alone, pureed into a sweet jam, or added to your morning cereal. There are many ways to enjoy this nourishing and scrumptious fruit, but fair warning: biting into one before its time may disappoint your taste buds. Unripe persimmons may taste more bitter than sweet, so when you’re at the market make sure to choose ones with a softer texture to yield the best flavor.