Star fruit, also known as, Carambola, belongs to the AverrhoaCarambola species. It is commonly used in Southeast Asia, South Pacific, and the Caribbean. The main cultivation area of star fruit is the tropical region. It gets its name from its appearance. The star fruit is having distinctive running ridges down its sides. These are 5 to 6 ridges. When it is cut in cross-section, it gives the shape of a star. Star fruit is edible in its raw form. Some people cook it or make relishes, preserve, garnish and use it for juices.
Origin of Carambola
Carambola or star fruit has been cultivated in Southeast Asia for centuries. Austronesia traders introduced star fruit to the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. Now, star fruit is being cultivated commercially in India, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, and Florida in the United States. Americans grow star fruit too such as Central America, South America, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and some parts of Africa.
The Carambola tree is having a short trunk with a lot of branches. The highest height it can reach is 30 feet. The size of the leaves is 6 to 10 inches long, with 5 to 11 ovate leaflets. These ovate leaflets are medium-green in color. It grows flowers that are in lilac color, with purple streaks.
The skin of star fruit is thin, waxy, orange-yellow, crisp, and juicy when ripe. It is oval with a length of 5 to 15 centimeters. The longitudinal 5 or 6 ridges give it the shape of a star when cut in cross-section. Each fruit consists of 10 to 12 flat, mild brown seeds.
The flavor of Star Fruit
Star fruit comes in two different types; smaller and sour, larger and sweeter. The skin of star fruit is edible and it is of mild, sour flavor. It is used in many popular dishes. The fruity taste of star fruit is in between like ripe green grape or orange. The unripe star fruit is firmer and tarter and tastes like green apple.
The shelf life of Star Fruit
You can store star fruit for 21 to 35 days at 4 to 5°C with a humidity of 90 to 95%. The storage and shelf life of star fruit or any tropical fruit depends on the ripeness of the fruit. The lower the humidity, the more it browns the star fruit. For example, you can store star fruit for 3 to 4 days only at 20°C with 60% humidity.
A serving of 100 grams of star fruit contains the following nutrition.
Star fruit is low in calories but high in vitamin C and fiber.
Other Healthy Compound in Star Fruit
Some of the other compounds other than iron, calcium, protein, making star fruit healthier. It contains quercetin, gallic acid, and epicatechin. There is a powerful antioxidant in these compounds helpful for many health issues.
Safety and Side Effects
A high content of oxalate content in star fruit causes an adverse effect on people having kidney problems. Such people cannot have star fruit or its juice, because it might damage their kidneys. The toxicity of star fruit also causes neurological problems, such as confusion, seizures, and even death. Star fruit contains 50,000 – 95,800 ppm of oxalic acid in 100g serving. Anti-nutrient oxalic acid interferes with nutrient absorption and mineral metabolism, leading to kidney stone formation. People already having kidney stones cannot filter out compounds present in star fruit, leading to the worst condition of kidneys.
Skin, hair, and nails
Star fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C, boosting the immune system. It keeps skin, hair, and nails healthy and strong. It also fights the free radicals and infections caused by different diseases.
Good source of fiber
On average, women should consume about 25g of fiber a day. Star fruit can help to meet the fiber goal. A 100g serving gives almost 2.8g of fiber. It consists of insoluble dietary fiber which adds bulk to the digestive system. It prevents the absorption of LDL Cholesterol in the intestines, reducing coronary heart disease and obesity.
Helps with Anemia
Anemia is common among young children and pregnant women. Anemia is caused due to deficiency of iron. Iron is an essential element in the human body to synthesize red blood cells and to carry oxygen to vital organs. Iron content in star fruit along with vitamin C helps in boosting iron absorption. It increases the production of red blood cells. It helps to wear off fatigue and lightheadedness.
Antioxidants present in star fruit helps to prevent cancer. The peel of the star fruit contains strong anti-cancerous properties. The rich properties of star fruit with fiber cleanses the colon and clears the toxins, lowering the colon cancer risk.
Good for Acne
Zinc present in star fruit helps you to cure acne. People use medications of zinc to cure and combat the causes of acne. Start fruit being tasty, is the best way to cure acne. Acne is caused due to the imbalance of hormones or accumulation of toxins in the blood and lymphatic system. Zing helps to regulate the sebaceous glands of the skin and balances the hormone. Zinc and vitamin A helps to heal wounds, ulcers, and acne. It increases the immune system to fight bacteria in the body, which causes acne.
Acne is caused due to oily skin. Star fruit is acidic and contains a large amount of water. The water present in star fruit can help you to wash out the impurities from the system, and the juice cleanses the oily and dirt from the skin. Antioxidants present in star fruit also help to remove the free radicals caused due to infections.
Good for diabetic patients
Star fruit controls the sugar level in the human body. It sounds good for diabetic patients but in case they are having diabetes nephropathy, they should avoid using star fruit.
Heals canker sores
Canker sores are sometimes confused with cold sores, but in fact, they are common mouth sores occurred in individuals in their 20s or 30s. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious but can be painful. Canker sores can make it difficult to eat. They are caused due to a lack of dietary fibers, sleeplessness, stress, etc. Star fruit is rich in dietary fiber can heal the canker sores effectively.
Star fruit can effectively treat fever, as it is considered, one-stop medicine shop. The dried fruit or the juice extracted from the ripe fruit can be given to the person suffering from fever. In Brazil, star fruit is recommended for eczema.
Traditional fold medicine uses star fruit for different diseases like inflammatory, analgesic, hypotensive, anthelmintic, anti-ulcer, and anti-microbial properties. In Brazil, it is being used as an alternative for cough medicines. The star fruit leaves are being used to treat headaches, upset tummy, and gastroenteritis. The powdered form of star fruit can be used for relieving asthma and colic infections.
If you are looking for options to maintain your weight or lose weight, then star fruit is the best option. It contains little calories per fruit serving. The vitamins and minerals present in star fruit can help you to increase your metabolism, which helps a lot in weight loss.
A high level of vitamin B6, folate, and riboflavin in star fruit effectively improves metabolism. Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in controlling the nervous coordination, energy metabolism, and circulation of blood to vital organs.
Good night’s sleep
If you are having trouble with your sleep and you end up having bags, puffiness, and irritation in the eyes after a nap, then start using star fruit. Magnesium in start fruit is a sleep-promoting mineral. It maintains the levels of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Along with this, star fruit increases metabolism too as mentioned above. Both help you to get a good night’s sleep.
Antioxidants present in star fruit such as epicatechin, gallic acid, and quercetin can help to prevent inflammation. They neutralize harmful free radicals that cause inflammatory disease. Vitamin C helps to cure swelling in joints and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Star fruit is having anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. The green or unripe star fruit has higher action against microbes, rather than ripe or mature fruits. Star fruit works effectively on gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria.
Increases lactation in pregnant women
Lactating women can use star fruit to increase the flow of milk. A decoction of the leaves and roots, when prepared separately or in combination, can help cure headaches, ringworm, and chickenpox. To cure nausea and indigestion, eat half a fruit and repeat the dose after three hours.
Not only the carrot vitamin A is very much in the role of star fruit to protect and nourish the eye as one of the major vital organs. Eating star fruit will also be made to increase the power of vision.
This article is having the information you need to know about Star Fruit or Carambola. Quick facts and health benefits in this article are for diabetic patients, pregnant women, and usual diseases like cold, cough, fever, infections, etc. You can easily start using Star Fruit for your daily health benefits.