It can get boring eating the same fruits and vegetables over and over again if you don't try new ones.
The good news is that you can add variety to your diet with many delicious fruits and vegetables.
This includes star fruit, which is becoming increasingly popular.
We explore the health benefits of star fruit, how to eat it, and some other commonly asked questions about this fruit.
What is Star Fruit?
The star fruit scientific name is “Averrhoa Carambola”. The Averrhoa carambola tree produces this fruit. True to its name, the fruit is shaped like a five-point star. It is dark green when it is raw. However, when the fruit ripens, the colour changes to glossy yellow. You can eat the skin of this fruit. The juicy flesh has a sweet and sour taste. The smaller sized fruits taste more pungent as compared to the larger ones. The larger fruits are sweeter. The star fruit recipes are getting increasingly popular. Star fruit uses include making diabetic-friendly smoothies and lactation-boosting recipes. They are found worldwide but are mainly concentrated in tropical countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.
Star Fruit Scientific Name
The scientific name for Star fruit is Averrhoa carambola. The fruit gets its name from the shape of a five-point star when it's cut.
Star Fruit Nutrition Facts
Here is the star fruit nutrition profile per 90 grams of star fruit:
- Calories - 28 kcal
- Total carbohydrate - 6.2 g
- Dietary fibre - 2.5 g
- Starch - 0.0 g
- Sugar - 3.6 g
- Protein - 0.9 g
- Total fat - 0.3 g
- Saturated fat - 0.1 g
- Monounsaturated fat - 0.0 g
- Polyunsaturated fat - 0.1 g
- Omega-3 fatty acids - 24.6 mg
- Omega-6 fatty acids - 143 mg
- Cholesterol - 0 mg
Star Fruit Benefits
Star fruit benefits range from disease prevention to great skin and hair. In addition, many traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines use the healing benefits of star fruit.
1. Cancer Prevention
Star fruit contains antioxidants and fibre, which lower the toxicity levels in your body. This greatly reduces your risk of developing cancer.
2. Star Fruit Benefits in Pregnancy
Star fruit benefits in pregnancy include improved immunity, better digestion, and reduction in blood pressure.
3. Star Fruit Benefits for Skin
Star fruit benefits for skin can be enjoyed through consumption as well as through external application. The antioxidants in star fruit neutralise free radicals and reduce the effects of oxidative stress. The result is moisturised blemish-free skin. The skin is also protected from wrinkles or fine lines.
4. Star Fruit Benefits for Diabetes
This fibre in this fruit slows down glucose absorption in the blood and maintains blood sugar levels.
Also Read: Is Papaya Good for Diabetes? - Bodywise
5. Increased Immunity
The high vitamin C content in starfruit gives it immunity-boosting benefits. Regular consumption of star fruits is highly recommended in the cold and flu season to derive star fruit benefits.
6. Reducing Inflammation
Star fruit contains flavonoids like gallic acid, quercetin and epicatechin. These compounds neutralise free radicals in your body due to their antioxidant properties. It offers you some protection against inflammatory diseases. The vitamin C in star fruit also contributes to reducing inflammation and swelling of joints.
7. Keeps Heart Healthy
Star fruit keeps the heart healthy by maintaining blood pressure and lowering bad cholesterol. It contains plenty of sodium and potassium, which reduces blood pressure and maintains a healthy blood flow.
8. Improves Lactation
It is given to mothers who are unable to produce sufficient milk for their newborns. It improves breast milk production by boosting hormone secretion.
9. Good for Digestion
Both the flesh and peel of star fruit are used as they contain soluble and insoluble fibre. This fibre regulates bowel health and nourishes the entire gastrointestinal tract. Proper bowel movements result in better digestion. This improves the absorption of nutrients in the body.
10. Good for Respiratory System
Star fruit improves respiratory health by preventing mucous production and increasing saliva secretion.
11. Good for Your Hair
Star fruit benefits for hair come from vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and antioxidants. These nutrients have an essential role to play in the growth and health of your hair.
12. Helpful in Body Detoxification
Star fruit helps in detoxification due to its water content. Star fruit is a diuretic that increases urination. The toxins, excess fats, and salts are flushed out from the body through the urine. It cleans both the kidneys and the liver.
13. Lowers Cholesterol
The fibre in star fruit lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
14. Improves your Sleep
The magnesium in star fruit maintains GABA levels in the nervous system. GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Stable GABA levels promote good sleep. Improved metabolism also contributes to good sleep.
15. Star Fruit Benefits in Weight Loss
Star fruit has very few calories. It can keep you full for longer due to its high-water content. All this makes it ideal for people looking to stay fit.
How to Eat Star Fruit
If you purchase ripe star fruit, you can eat it immediately. If you are wondering how to eat star fruit when it is raw then you will have to wait for it to ripen. The fruit ripens when stored at room temperature. Before consuming the fruit, clean it with water and cut its edges.
How to Grow Star Fruit
1. By Way of Seeds
Put the fruit seeds in the soggy peat moss. As soon as the seeds germinate, the plants should be moved into containers with sandy loam soil. Taking proper care of them will ensure longevity, and the way seeds are distributed can have variable effects. The method may not be the most popular propagation method for business trees, but it might be the best way to grow from locally acquired fruit seeds for home gardeners.
2. By Way of Cuttings
For root propagation, cut off bud-laden branches at an angle and place them in a rooting chemical and soil-covered polythene. Be sure to water the cuttings and let them grow roots over time.
As soon as the grooves in the edges turn yellow and the top turns orange, it is time to begin harvesting. When the harvesting process is completed, the yellow colour of the whole fruit contributes to a lower self-life.
Star fruit side effects
Star fruit side effects on overconsumption include,
- Kidney problems like kidney stones and renal damage
- Upset stomach
- Neurological problems like confusion and seizures
- Death in rare cases
Summing Up on Benefits of Star Fruit
Star fruit is a delicious, nutrient-rich, low-calorie fruit packed with vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants.
Before eating this fruit, people with kidney problems or those taking prescription medications should consult their doctor.
Other than that, we discussed its many benefits and hope you include it in your diet!
Can I Eat Star Fruit every day?
Although there hasn't been much research around the daily consumption of Star fruit, people with kidney problems should avoid it regularly since it may result in kidney damage as well as star fruit toxicity, which can result in neurological problems - such as confusion, seizures.
Why Is Star Fruit So Expensive?
Star fruit is expensive primarily even in the prime season because it's from exotic, far away lands.
Can You Eat Star Fruit Seeds?
Yes, the seeds of Star fruit are edible, although, like apple seeds, they have a slightly tart taste.