Persimmons are sweet and rich-tasting fruits that many describe as similar to delicious caramel or honey. However, many pregnant women wonder if they can safely enjoy this beautiful orange fruit.
Persimmons are safe to consume during pregnancy in normal amounts. Persimmons contain tannins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Keep reading to learn about the safety and health benefits of persimmons during your pregnancy.
Is it Safe to Eat Persimmon When Pregnant?
Overall, persimmons are a safe and delicious fruit to consume in moderation during pregnancy. Let’s discuss some of the main considerations for eating persimmons.
With origins in China, the persimmon is a tomato-shaped fruit available in various forms, including fresh, cooked, or dried. Additionally, persimmon is commonly used in jellies or jams, beverages, pies, and puddings.
Persimmons contain molecules known as tannins, a class of astringent compounds that are often found in tea and fruit.
There is much conflicting information about tannins, with some studies discussing their potential for reducing nutrient availability, exacerbating nausea, and more.
However, other research confirms that tannins have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and other benefits (source: Toxin Reviews).
Studies have demonstrated that when consumed in normal amounts, such as up to 15,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, tannins do not cause adverse effects in pregnant women (source: Toxin Reviews).
The primary type of persimmon you can find in U.S. grocery stores is the Fuyu persimmon. This persimmon variety is shaped like a tomato with a bright orange color. It can be consumed semi-ripe or under-ripe.
The acorn-shaped Hachiya persimmons have much more tannin content. Since tannin concentration decreases as the fruit ripens, stick with ripe or over-ripe Hachiya persimmons (source: Phytochemistry).
A ripe persimmon will have a beautiful orange color and a slightly soft texture, just like a ripe tomato.
Pregnant women must thoroughly clean all produce they consume (source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]). Wash your persimmon under clean and running water to decrease the risk of foodborne illness.
What Are the Benefits of Persimmon for Pregnancy?
A small persimmon that weighs approximately 170 grams contains over six grams of dietary fiber (source: U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA]).
It is recommended that women consume 25 grams of fiber daily if they are under age 51, and 21 grams if they are older than 51 (source: Mayo Clinic).
Consuming adequate amounts of dietary fiber during pregnancy can help prevent constipation, abdominal pain, and more (source: American Pregnancy Association). It can also lower blood cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar (source: Mayo Clinic).
Additionally, persimmons are rich in vitamin A, specifically beta-carotene (source: USDA). Vitamin A plays a crucial role in eye and ocular health, bone development, and skin and mucosal protection (source: Nutrients).
Persimmons also contain a small amount of folate (source: USDA). Folate is crucial during pregnancy as it helps to prevent congenital disabilities and heart abnormalities (source: American Pregnancy Association).
Finally, persimmons are an excellent source of antioxidants, primarily due to their tannin content (source: Advances in Horticultural Science). Antioxidants help the body fight harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress (source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health).
Countering the effects of oxidative stress is important during pregnancy, especially in women with higher maternal age or obesity (source: Antioxidants).
Overall, persimmons are a safe, delicious, and healthy snack to enjoy during your pregnancy.