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Eating Persimmons at Frost's Descent

BY Taiwanese Food and Drug Administration

Frost's Descent is the last solar term of the fall season, when temperatures gradually fall, frost descends, and the summer heat has fully dissipated. This is also the season when persimmons are the most abundant; fresh, sweet, and a deep tangerine color, persimmons are traditionally eaten during Frost's Descent. 

Persimmons are rich in vitamins, iodine, potassium, and other minerals which help to maintain regular body function. The organic acids contained in persimmons also aid in digestion and increase appetite. Although persimmons are both delicious and nutritious, people should not abuse them; some may feel gastrointestinal discomfort or even suspect food poisoning after consuming too much of persimmons.

Actually, persimmons are rich in tannin, which binds to proteins and may condense into blocks. When eaten together, persimmons and proteins interact and become difficult to digest and absorb, causing gastrointestinal discomfort and even colic symptoms, but definitely not food poisoning.

Thus, persimmons should be consumed in moderate amounts separately from foods rich in protein, such as seafood, eggs, dairy products, and bean products in order to reduce the burden on the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, persimmons are considered a high-potassium food, so consuming them in tandem with potassium diuretics or cardiovascular medication may result in a reaction between the food and the medicine, causing the increased risk of arrhythmia. So, persimmons should be consumed separately from these medications. Please note: other high-potassium foods include green vegetables, tangerines, oranges, and bananas. 

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