Star fruit is also known as Carambola which belongs to species Averrhoa Carambola. It is widely grown in Asia and is native to Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This fruit when cut horizontally looks like a star and hence the name. Today it is cultivated in Latin America, Caribbean and some parts of the US.
In different countries, this fruit is savored in different fashion. Star fruit is best eaten raw but can be consumed in form of Jams, jellies and juice. This fruit can be consumed whole along with the skin which is firm, juicy and crispy. This fruit is known for its restrained sugar content which is healthy and never goes beyond 4% even in a well ripe Carambola.
Nutritional Chart Of Star Fruit
Star Fruit is considered a healthy fruit with its moderate nutritional composition. A standard hundred grams of serving of star fruit provides the following nutrients.
|Energy||31 Kcal (Kilo Calories)|
|Vitamin A||66 ug|
|Vitamin B1||0.014 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.016 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.367 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.391 mg|
|Vitamin B9||12 ug|
|Vitamin C||34.4 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.15 mg|
Star fruit is high on water content with over 90% composition coming from it. It contains 2.8 grams of dietary fiber and is low fat fruit. The most abundant nutrient in this fruit is water soluble Vitamin C which makes up to 41% of daily requirement. It fulfills about 8% of our body’s Vitamin B5 requirement for the day.
Health Benefits Of Star Fruit
Antioxidants and flavonoid content make Star fruit a healthy fruit which fights conditions like cancer and inflammation effectively. Fiber makes for highly potent digestive aid and treatment of colon cancer. In this section we will discuss the important health benefits of this fruit in detail.
1. Works on Immunity
Star fruit is rich in Vitamin C, a water soluble vitamin which is considered to be one of the best anti-oxidants for the body. It provides 34 mg of Vitamin C which is 41% of daily need. As Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant it boost the immune system to fight against cold and flu amongst other common infections. The other reason to pile on this fruit is because Vitamin C is not stored in our body and gets evicted rather fast in form of excretions and sweating.
This is why fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C content super beneficial for replenishing the lost anti-oxidant in our body. Anti-oxidants improve immune function work by cleaning out the toxins and free radicals that form in our body as a result of exposure to our environment, internal metabolism and systems and food sources.
2. Allays Inflammation
Free radicals aggravate the inflammation in the body and delays the tissue repair. Star Fruit contains a high amount of antioxidant and flavonoids that is highly beneficial to protect from such inflammation. Vitamin C not only acts as an anti-oxidant which flushes out toxins but also produces collagen. Collagen is a key component which repairs and forms bones, arteries and blood vessels. This role plays an important part in healing the body and allaying the damages caused at cellular and tissue level.
3. Anti-Cancer Fruit
The incidence of cancer is on an increase to an extent that it is being referred to as a lifestyle disease. The basic process that leads to cancer begins with the production of free radicals in the body. Formation of free radicals is a natural process and does not harm until antioxidants clean them out regularly. But where there is lack of antioxidants in the body, the free radicals multiply rapidly and damage the DNA of our cells. This uncontrollable growth leads to cancer where damaged cells divide and further invade the healthy cells.
Antioxidants in form of vitamin C in Star fruit help by cleaning the body and containing the growth of these free radicals before they cause any damage to healthy cells. Star fruit contains fiber which cleanses toxin stored in the colon and since these toxins increase risk of colon cancer, it negates that risk as well. Fiber helps the body to flush these harmful toxins from colon thus protecting from colon cancer.
4. Weight Loss program
Diet is an essential part of weight loss regimen. In fact it is as important as exercising that is targeted at shaving off those extra kilos. There are some factors that make a food item ideal for inclusion in weight loss programs, these are- low fats, high water content, composition containing minerals and high fiber. All these factors make Star fruit a well deserved snack to be included in a strict weight loss dietary regime.
Fiber makes you full faster and keep you feeling full for longer which curbs the appetite naturally. Water rich fruits and vegetables make up for the lost water in the body due to heavy exercises. This keeps your body well hydrated and fit. On the other hand, a healthy composition of minerals ensure that your electrolyte balance is maintained. Electrolyte manages the neuro transmission and regulates muscle function in the body. If you exercise regularly, then frequent cramping up can indicate low electrolyte levels in the body.
5. Maintain Blood Pressure & Heart
Star fruit contains nutrients like potassium and sodium that not only are important contents of electrolyte but also have roles that maintain blood pressure. High sodium is dangerous and can elevate the blood pressure. The levels of sodium are kept in check by Magnesium. Magnesium is the metal that regulates the muscle function of the body including that of heart muscles. The contraction and expansion of Heart muscles create heart beat and a regular heart beat facilitates blood flow.
Apart from muscle control, low fat content and nil cholesterol makes for a very healthy food supplement. This way it lowers the bad cholesterol which can lead to plaque and finally block the passage of arteries. Along with this it is lowest in calorie. Fiber content makes it highly beneficial for the cardiovascular system. These functions together lead to a healthy heart and optimizes its functioning.
6. Improves Iron Absorption
Iron is what makes the pigment hemoglobin which lends the color “red” to our blood. But more than the color it provides our body a vehicle that transports oxygen to all parts and organs. Usually deficiency of Iron is quite common and widespread, especially in third world countries where nutrition for all poses a challenge. This deficiency is called Anemia and it comes with symptoms like paleness on tongue, dark under eye circles, persistent drowsiness, headaches, tiredness and dizziness.
Even with high amount of iron rich food, you might not be able to get all the benefits because iron needs Vitamin C for effective absorption. Of all the nutrients, Star fruit has Vitamin C as the most abundant in its composition. By facilitating the absorption of Iron, Star fruit indirectly leads to better hemoglobin levels and alleviate Anemia.
7. Aids Digestion
Digestion is an important process that helps our body in assimilating and absorbing the nutrients well. Star fruit contains impressive amount of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs a lot of water and softens the bulk of stools. Softer stools are easy to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. Fiber especially the soluble fiber promotes the growth of good bacteria which keeps yeast infection in check and also aids better digestion.
Better digestion and healthy bowel movements protect the gastrointestinal tract from stress, rupture and infection. It also leads to regular cleaning out of the intestines which can help in fighting various infections and other gastrointestinal disorders.
8. Boosts milk Production
Some women, especially the first time mothers sometimes find that they are producing inadequate amount of milk . Inability to feed breast milk can affect the woman negatively and at times it is just a hormonal imbalance that leads to this issue. It is a common problem and is usually rectified by administering hormonal pills but there are many natural remedies that can help you in increasing and sustaining high amount of milk; Star fruit is one of those effective home remedies.
Some women may not experience the inadequate flow in the beginning but as the baby’s appetite increases this issue may come knocking at the door. So with a well balanced diet, consume a glass of Star Fruit juice or just the fruit itself can alleviate this problem.
9. For a Radiant Skin
As mentioned earlier, free radicals and toxins are cleared by anti-oxidants like Vitamin C from the body. This flushing of toxins also leads to better skin in more than many ways. It controls and arrests the problem of acne which plagues most the teenagers. A glass of Star fruit juice everyday or every other day can give you very well hydrated and smooth skin. Apart from acne, in adults Star fruit can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and delay ageing symptoms in general. The elasticity and tautness lent by Vitamin C in star fruit is sure to add to the glow of your skin and its health.
Side Effects You Must Be Careful About
It is recommended not to eat star fruit if you are facing kidney problem in form of recurrent kidney stones. Even if you had incidence of stones, it is recommended that you steer clear of this fruit. Oxalate is the main content in composition of star fruit that is responsible for this problem. Oxalate is the mineral that makes up majority of kidney stones by getting stored in kidney and eventually creating build ups that choke the pores that filter the blood.
People with weak kidneys can face very dangerous and in some cases fatal consequences by consuming this fruit on a regular basis. The symptoms of Star fruit intoxication may be hiccups, insomnia, nausea, vomiting and mental confusion.