Star fruit also known as Carambola, 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 a different fashion. Star fruit is best eaten raw but can be consumed in the form of Jams, jellies, and juice.
This fruit can be consumed whole along with the skin that is firm, juicy and crispy. This fruit is known for its restrained sugar content that is healthy and never goes beyond 4% even in a well ripe Carambola.
Star Fruit is considered a healthy fruit with its moderate nutritional composition.
A standard hundred grams of a serving of star fruit provides the following nutrients.
Star fruit is high in water content with over 90% composition coming from it. It contains 2.8 grams of dietary fiber and is low-fat fruit. (1)
It contains 3 grams of dietary fiber total 11% Total RDA and is low-sugar fruit.
The most abundant nutrient in this fruit is water soluble Vitamin C, which makes up to 57% of daily requirement.
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Antioxidants and flavonoid content make Star fruit a healthy fruit that 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 that is considered to be one of the best anti-oxidants for the body. It provides 34.4 mg of Vitamin C which is 57% of daily need.
As Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, it boosts the immune system to fight against cold, flu and other common infections. (2)
The other reason to pile on this fruit is because Vitamin C is not stored in our body. They are lost in the form of excretions.
It is why fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C content super beneficial for replenishing the lost antioxidant in our body.
Vitamin C are also required for better absorption of Iron. (3)
Antioxidants improve immune function by cleaning out the toxins and free radicals that form in our body as a result of exposure to environment and internal metabolism systems. These free radicals are responsible for degenerative and chronic disease. (4, 5)
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 are highly beneficial to protect from such inflammation.
Vitamin C not only acts as an anti-oxidant that flushes out toxins but also produces collagen. Collagen is an essential component that repairs and forms bones, arteries and blood vessels. (6)
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 an increase to an extent that it is being referred to as a lifestyle disease.
The primary 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 a lack of antioxidants in the body, the free radicals multiply rapidly and damage the DNA of cells.
This uncontrollable growth leads to cancer where damaged cells divide and further invade the healthy cells.
Antioxidants in the form of vitamin C in Starfruit help by cleaning the body and slow down the growth of these free radicals before they cause any damage to healthy cells. (7)
Star fruit contains fiber that cleanses toxin stored in the colon, and since these toxins increase the risk of colon cancer, it negates that risk as well. (8)
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 losing off those extra kilos.
Some factors 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 Starfruit a well-deserved snack to be included in a strict weight loss dietary regime.
Fiber makes you full faster and keeps you feeling full for longer that curbs the appetite naturally.
Water-rich fruits and vegetables make up for the lost water in the body due to heavy exercises. It keeps your body well hydrated and fit.
On the other hand, a healthy composition of minerals ensures that your electrolyte balance is maintained.
Electrolyte manages the neurotransmission and regulates muscle function in the body. If you exercise regularly, then frequent cramping up can indicate low electrolyte levels in the body.
See also: Health Benefits of Caraway Seeds
5. Maintain Blood Pressure & Heart
Star fruit contains nutrients like potassium and sodium that not only are valuable contents of the 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 minerals that regulates the muscle function of the body including that of heart muscles. The contraction and expansion of Heart muscles create heartbeat, and a regular heartbeat facilitates blood flow. (9)
Apart from muscle control, low-fat content and nil cholesterol makes for a very healthy food supplement.
This way it lowers the bad cholesterol that leads to plaque and finally blocks the passage of arteries. Along with this, it is low in calorie.
6. Improves Iron Absorption
Iron is what makes the pigment hemoglobin that 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.
The deficiency is called Anemia, and it comes with symptoms like paleness on the tongue, dark under eye circles, persistent drowsiness, headaches, tiredness and dizziness.
Even with the high amount of iron rich food, you might not be able to get all the benefits because iron needs Vitamin C for effective absorption. (11)
Of all the nutrients, Star fruit has Vitamin C as the most abundant in its composition. By facilitating the absorption of Iron, it indirectly leads to better hemoglobin levels and alleviate Anemia.
7. Aids Digestion
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 that can help in fighting various infections and other gastrointestinal disorders.
8. Boosts Milk Production in Women
Some women, especially the first time mothers sometimes find that they are producing an 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 many natural remedies can help you in increasing and sustaining a 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.
The flushing of toxins also leads to better skin in more than many ways. It controls and arrests the problem of acne that plagues most the teenagers.
Apart from acne, in adults Star fruit can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and delay aging symptoms in general.
The elasticity and tautness lent by Vitamin C in star fruit are sure to add glow of skin and its health. (13)
Plant Compound That Makes It Special
- Quercetin: Quercetin is flavonoid possess anti-cancer property. (14)
- Epicatechin: It boosts heart health and protects from diabetes and cancer (15, 16).
- Gallic acid: Gallic acid has multiple properties like antimutagenic, antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic. It is used in treating diseases like cancer, depression, microbial infection, etc. (17)
- Polyphenols: Polyphenols provides protection from diabetes, cancer, osteporosis, cardiovascualar disease and neurodegenerative disease. (18)
Side Effects You Must Be Careful About
Complete No to People Facing Kidney Problem.
It is recommended not to eat star fruit if you are facing kidney problem in the form of recurrent kidney stones. (19)
Even if you had an incidence of stones, it is recommended that you steer clear of this fruit.
Oxalate is the main content in the composition of star fruit that is responsible for this problem.
Oxalate is the mineral that makes up the 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.
People with renal failure or uremic patient should completely avoid it.
The symptoms of Star fruit intoxication may be hiccups, insomnia, nausea, vomiting and mental confusion.
See also: Health Benefits of Zingy Ginger