Health Benefits of Starfruit

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Starfruit is an exotic tropical fruit that you can easily grow in your garden with warm weather like Florida. Do not be discouraged if you live in a cooler climate because you can grow a dwarf variety in pots.

One of the wonders of the carom is its productivity. In particular, I get between 9 and 10 annual harvests of my tree. I enjoy its sour and acid taste, which I can describe as a combination of apple, grape, and citrus.

Despite its curious elongated shape, it has endless benefits hidden in its fine waxy shell. Once you understand how beneficial it is to your health, you may want to try it.

What is Starfruit?

Starfruit (carambola), tropical fruit is native to Asia and is commonly found in countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

However, it can also be grown in other parts of the world with warm climates. The fruit was named so because when cut in width it reveals its star shape.

The fruit itself is firm and has a greenish-yellow color. Its outer shell is slightly waxy but fully edible. The pulp is crunchy, without fibers and incredibly juicy, also has a texture similar to that of grapes.

The ripe starfruit is sweet, but they do not become cloying because of their sour and acid taste. They are also known for their oxalic acid odor, which ranges from intense to mild depending on the variety.

Starfruit Nutrition Facts

According to the National Nutrient Database issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, this fruit is low in calories and a good source of vitamin C and B. Likewise, starfruit contains small amounts of important minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as small amounts of iron and zinc.

The fruit along with its waxy shell provides 3 grams (g) of dietary fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion and prevents the absorption of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the intestine.

Vitamin C in starfruit acts as a powerful natural antioxidant and one serving provides 34.4 milligrams (mg), or 57%, of your daily requirement for this vitamin.

Vitamin C also supports your body’s immune system and protects against harmful free radicals that cause inflammation. In addition, starfruit is rich in antioxidant flavonoids such as epicatechin, gallic acid, and quercetin.

The benefits of starfruit

Starfruit has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, especially in developing regions where people are more likely to depend on plant remedies to treat various health problems.

According to a review on the carom presented in the International Journal of Pharma Research & Review in 2013, that fruit has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine.

The authors of the study, representing the BCDA College of Pharmacy & Technology in West Bengal, India, suggest that preparations containing the fruit and its leaves have been used in the treatment of “skin diseases, pruritus (itchy skin), parasitic infestation, diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhoids, intermittent fever, excess perspiration, and general weakness.

Also, countries like India, China, Philippines and Brazil use it in traditional medicine to treat various conditions. ”

Because starfruit is widely available in India and has a long history of medicinal use in that country, the research team was familiar with its usefulness. The experts pointed out the following:

“The phytoconstituents present in the plant are mainly flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins and saponins … Several parts of the plant have been analyzed [and it is suggested that it has] antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial and antiulcer activity. Therefore, from the current revision of the Ayurvedic literature and texts, we can conclude that [starfruit has] a high medicinal value “.

It is believed that its boiled flowers are useful in the treatment of dermatitis, fever, and malaria
According to reports, its ground leaves can be applied superficially to treat chicken pox and ringworm
It has been shown that the juice or starfruit tea prepared from the leaves reduces blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
It is believed that the extract of its leaves provides relief if you suffer from angina and gastritis
It is argued that its roots can be used to relieve a headache and muscle pain, while powdered seeds are considered useful in relieving asthma attacks.
It is believed that the fruit, or a decoction of its ground seeds, increase the production of breast milk in lactating women
The ripe fruit or its juice has possible antidiarrheal effects and is believed to stimulate the appetite

 

In addition, a 2011 study highlighted the anti-inflammatory properties of starfruit for the treatment of skin disorders in laboratory mice. The study authors said their research “supports the popular use of [carom] as an anti-inflammatory agent and opens up new possibilities for its use in skin disorders.”

How to cut and use the starfruit?

Due to its curious elongated shape, its greenish-yellow color and the waxy consistency of its shell, some people do not know for sure how to eat caroms. Actually, its waxy shell is quite thin and fully edible. As demonstrated in the previous video, once you have washed the fruit, cutting it is extremely easy. Follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Use a sharp knife to remove the ends
  2. Cut the immature green border along each side of the fruit
  3. Cut the starfruit transversely into quarter-inch pieces (0.63 cm)

There are many ways to enjoy the starfruit. You can eat it raw, accompany it with mint or use it as an infusion in your drinking water. It is also a nutritious addition to smoothies and smoothies. Due to its sour taste, starfruit is popular in curries, desserts, chopped salads, fruit salads, jams, and savory dishes.

You can also find dried and sweetened starfruit in the form of caramel, which I recommend avoiding due to its extremely high sugar content. Starfruit is also used as an ornament for cocktails.

According to the department of horticulture and landscape architecture at the Purdue University of Indiana, the starfruit has a wide variety of uses worldwide, for example:

In Australia, they cook the sweetest variety of green starfruit as a vegetable
In the Philippines, they use starfruit juice as a condiment
In China, they serve starfruit together with fish and package it in syrup to export
In Hawaii, they use sour starfruit juice to make sorbet when combined with boiling water, gelatin, lemon juice, and sugar
In Jamaica, sometimes the ripe starfruit is dried
In Malaysia, they simmer the starfruit with clove and sugar or combine it with apples
In Thailand, they cut the green starfruit and boil it with shrimp, while the unripe starfruits sauté them and preserve them in vinegar to make marmalade or other preserves

Precautions on the starfruit

Although starfruit is a nutrient-rich fruit and is known for its many benefits, I recommend that you consume it only occasionally like any other fruit. Be sure to keep your total fructose consumption below 25 g per day and this includes the fructose of the whole fruit.

If you have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or insulin resistance, you should limit your daily fructose intake to 15 g until your condition improves.

In addition to monitoring your fructose intake, remember that carom can be harmful and even deadly for certain conditions. The main warnings about this type of fruit are the following:

• Allergies: Although rare, canker allergies do occur, so try only a small amount the first time you eat it. If you experience digestive discomfort, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting after eating it, avoid it in the future.

• Drug Interactions: Starfruit is one of the fruits-like grapefruit, grapefruit and Seville orange-that has been singled out for its potential to interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize certain medications.

Since this inhibitory action can be dangerous, especially if you are taking multiple prescription medications and have doubts about the possible effects related to them, consult your doctor before consuming it.

• Kidney stones: Although generally harmless to most people, the National Kidney Foundation of the United States notes that cannabis cannot be safely processed if you have kidney disease because of its high concentration of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid contributes to the formation of kidney stones.

A study conducted in 2015 indicates that you avoid eating caroms if you have chronic kidney disease or are on dialysis.

The researchers observed that even people with healthy kidneys should be careful not to consume too much because there is a possibility that they may develop kidney problems by consuming it in an excessive or prolonged way.

• Toxicity: It is known that certain compounds in this fruit are dangerous, and even deadly, unless the kidneys process and dispose of them.

If after eating starfruit you experience confusion, headaches, nausea or seizures, you may be suffering from acute toxicity. Since this can be life-threatening, you should seek medical attention immediately.

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