Persimmon's Potential In Managing Blood Sugar Levels

  • Victoria VandyReproductive and Developmental Biology – Imperial College London, United Kingdom

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Introduction

The major sugar in your blood and your body's main energy supply is blood sugar. Your blood sugar levels come from the meals you eat each day. Glucose is broken down by your body before being released into your bloodstream.1

Your insulin level (a hormone created by your pancreas) plays a crucial position in the uptake and use of glucose in your body.2 The accumulation of sugar in your body can be hazardous and result in high blood sugar levels which can damage your blood vessels.

For this reason, controlling your blood sugar level is critical, especially for individuals with diabetes. We will be delving into the possibilities of persimmons in managing blood sugar levels and share some recipes to incorporate persimmons into your daily diet.

Before understanding the potential benefits that persimmons can have when it comes to regulating your blood sugar level, let's get a deeper understanding of how blood sugar is regulated in the body and the factors affecting it. 

Factors affecting blood sugar level

Many factors can affect your blood sugar levels, including your physical activity, diet, stress levels, and overall health. Understanding how all these factors affect your blood sugar level is essential, as it can help prevent complications related to low or high blood sugar.3

Having a balanced diet will provide your body with all the nutrients it needs and a sustained energy source. Carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein all play an essential role in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. 

Nutritional content of persimmons

Persimmons are an orange-yellow, tomato-shaped fruit that has a jelly-like texture.4 These fruits are native to China. It's a sweet, honey-flavoured fruit with twice as much fibre as apples. Understanding the nutritional value this fruit has can potentially help in maintaining your blood sugar levels.

Nutritional components of persimmons

Fibre

Persimmons are rich in fibre (a carbohydrate). This contributes to the digestive health and helps to regulate sugar absorption.5 This is very beneficial if you want to manage your blood sugar levels. 

Natural sugars

Persimmons contain natural sugars but their overall sugar content is moderate in comparison to other fruits. This makes it a good alternative if you are trying to be cautious with your sugar intake. 

Antioxidants and phytochemicals

Persimmons contain antioxidants, which protect your cells from radicals, and phytochemicals, which strengthen your immune cells. These compounds can manage inflammation and oxidative stress which has been associated with diabetes and blood sugar regulation. 

The benefits of including persimmons in your diet

Including persimmons in your diet can have the following benefits: 

  • Potential prevention of blood sugar spikes
  • Overall improvement in health and well-being due to the fruit being nutrient-rich 
  • Weight management as the fibre content promotes feeling full
  • Anti-inflammatory effects 
  • Improved skin health

If you have diabetes, including persimmons in your diet would involve some planning and nutritional awareness.

In the next section, we will look at some practical ways in which you can include persimmons in your meals. It's important to remember that even though persimmons have a lot of nutritional benefits, moderation is very important. You need to control your portion sizes to ensure you don't cause significant fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.6

Recipes to try

You can eat persimmons on its own by simply slicing them up or adding them to your oats or cereal for breakfast. If you want to try out some other recipes you can try these quick and easy ones that take less than 30 minutes to prepare. 

Breakfast

Persimmon smoothie bowl

Ingredients 

  • Frozen fruits of your choice
  • Greek yoghurt 
  • Sliced or chopped persimmons
  • Granola, cranberry, and chia seed (optional)
  • Coconut flakes (optional)

How to prepare

Blend frozen fruit, greek yoghurt, and your persimmons until it is smooth. Pour your smoothie into a bowl and add your granola, chia seed, cranberry, and coconut flakes for extra crunch and nutrition. 

Persimmon and yoghurt parfait

Ingredients

  • Sliced or chopped persimmons 
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Granola (or toppings of your choice)
  • Chia seeds and honey (optional)

How to prepare

In a bowl, layer Greek yoghurt, persimmons, and granola. Repeat this and create layers. Drizzle the top of the bowl with honey and chia seeds. 

Lunch

Persimmon salad with goat cheese and pecans

Ingredients

  • Sliced or chopped persimmons
  • Salad leaves (of your choice)
  • Goat cheese 
  • Pecans 
  • Vinaigrette (of your choice) 

How to prepare

Place your salad leaves in a bowl, and add your persimmons, goat cheese, and pecans on top. Drizzle some vinaigrette over the salad and mix.

Persimmon and chicken wrap 

Ingredients

  • Grilled or oven-baked sliced chicken breast
  • Sliced persimmons 
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Spinach and goat cheese
  • Balsamic sauce

How to prepare 

Season and prepare your chicken according to your preference. Lay out your tortilla. Place your sliced chicken, persimmons, spinach leaves, and crumbled goat cheese on the tortilla wrap. Drizzle the balsamic sauce and roll up your tortilla. 

Dinner

Salmon and persimmons lime salsa

Ingredients

  • Broiled salmon
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • ½ tsp of salt, black pepper, and chilli powder 
  • 2tbs of lime
  • 1tsp of honey 

Perssimon salsa

  • 1 persimmon, diced 
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice and chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • ½ tsp hot sauce and grated ginger 

How to prepare

Preheat the broiler line on a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon on the foil, skin side down, and season it with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, honey, and chilli powder. Brush this onto the salmon fillets. For 6-8 minutes broil salmon, your salmon should be crisp and easily flake with a fork. Prepare salsa by tossing persimmons, lime juice, chopped cilantro, olive oil, ginger, and hot sauce. Place your salmon fillet and top with a generous amount of salsa. 

Considerations for individuals with diabetes

The inclusion of persimmons in your diet can be flavorful and healthy, particularly in individuals managing diabetes. One of the important benefits of persimmons is their moderate glycemic level, which suggests a slower and steadier release of glucose into your bloodstream.

This will make a huge difference in people suffering from diabetes. Diabetic people need to be vigilant and monitor their blood sugar stages regularly whilst introducing new ingredients like persimmons to their eating regimen. 

While persimmons present promising attributes, individuals with diabetes need to bear in mind the interactions with medications. Consulting with healthcare experts is crucial for personalised recommendations tailored to one's specific health circumstance. They can provide insights into the amount and frequency of persimmon to have which will align with your diabetes management plan.

Summary

In summary, the potential of persimmons in managing blood sugar levels makes them a very valuable addition to a balanced and diabetic-friendly diet. The fruit's moderate glycemic index, coupled with its fibre content, contributes to a gradual controlled release of sugars into your bloodstream. It's very important to approach dietary changes holistically and consider individual health factors.

Consulting healthcare professionals ensures a safe and tailored approach to integrating persimmons into a diabetes management plan. While acknowledging persimmon's potential benefits, ongoing research in this field is encouraged to deepen our understanding of its specific impact on blood sugar regulation and overall health for individuals with diabetes.

References 

  1. ‘Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar’. The Nutrition Source, 5 Aug. 2013. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/. Accessed 24 Jan. 2024.
  2. Wilcox, Gisela. ‘Insulin and Insulin Resistance’. Clinical Biochemist Reviews, vol. 26, no. 2, May 2005, pp. 19–39. PubMed Central. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1204764/.
  3. CDC. ‘Manage Blood Sugar’. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Apr. 2021. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/manage-blood-sugar.html. Accessed 24 Jan. 2024.
  4. Persimmons. Available from: http://www.flavorandfortune.com/ffdataaccess/article.php?ID=368. Accessed 24 Jan. 2024.
  5. Kaushik, Rohit. ‘Persimmon- Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts’. PotsandPans India, 6 Feb. 2023. Available from: https://www.potsandpans.in/blogs/articles/persimmon-health-benefits-uses-and-important-facts.
  6. Aralikar, Dr Shilpa. How Can a Well-Balanced Diet Help Control Blood Sugar Levels? Available from: https://continentalhospitals.com/blog/how-can-a-well-balanced-diet-help-control-blood-sugar-levels. Accessed 24 Jan. 2024.

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Victoria Vandy

Reproductive and Developmental Biology – Imperial College London, United Kingdom

I am a recent MSc graduate in Reproductive and Developmental Biology, driven by a profound passion for women's health, particularly within the fertility industry. I firmly believe that credible health information should be readily accessible, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their well-being and embrace a healthy lifestyle. My dedication to education and empowerment, especially for women, is expressed through my enthusiasm for research and medical writing. I aspire to contribute to society by spreading knowledge and fostering empowerment, particularly in the realm of women's health.

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