If you’re familiar with this title, you know already what fruit we will be featuring today. Star fruit hails from tropical Southeast Asia-boasting a massive widespread and consumption to Southeast Asia, parts of South and East Asia, the South Pacific, Micronesia, and of course the Caribbean.
It has an excellent track record of antioxidant properties, a sweet but sometimes sour taste, and a five-point-shaped star fruit. That’s right, our guest star for this article is star fruit! See what I did there? see Star Fruit Juice.
What Is Starfruit?
The name star fruit is due to the fruit’s shape- where the fruit is oval with five to six ridges along the sides; and when cut horizontally, it forms the shape of a five-point star. The fruit normally has a green color when unfit, which gradually changes when it begins to ripen.
A slightly green with yellow starfruit indicates that the fruit has touched maturity and is ripe. The riper it gets the more the color changes from greenish-yellow to yellow-orange. Some star-fruits however are fit when green, but the green is not bright but rather light almost transitioning to another color.
It usually consists of about 90% of water, hence, it is quite juicy but the flavor varies from sweet or tart/sour or citrusy-and let’s state this off the record, this is a fruit I eat quite often, whenever its season is around, and quite frankly it doesn’t matter if it’s ripe or slightly ripe or green (but fit). The flavor does not depend on the ripeness of the fruit.
What about the texture?
Well, the pulp is slightly crispy/chewy at times but is softer when the fruit is riper.
Eating Star Fruit
In order to enjoy this delectable fruit, it’s quite easy. Just:
- Wash the fruit.
- Cut the tips off, both top and bottom.
- Slice the fruit horizontally, then remove the seeds and discard them. Don’t worry star fruit doesn’t carry many seeds.
- Place in a bowl and bon appétit!
If you’d rather eat it whole than in slices you can! Just be mindful of the seeds.
Star Fruit Uses
Some of the usages of star fruit can be seen/ used in are:
- Cooking- example, seafood dishes.
Under this section, we give you the real deal; the ultimate creme de la creme of the fruit. Too much? But, from the title, you show to be familiar with this section of the article by now.
Drum rolls, please! It’s time to find out what this fruit has packed, in other words, what is star fruit good for. P.s. If you actually did that drum roll, high five! Thanks for being such a good sport, and if you didn’t then you still get a high five. As usual, let’s start off by dissecting its nutritional profile.
Star fruit is quite humble, where it has been neglected a few times due to its exterior or the simplicity of its overall phenotypical properties.
But, its uniqueness overshines that many times, as people are recognizing it to have magnificent health benefits; where this exotic fruit gives other fruits a run for their money. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, star fruit has in:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin A
- (Thiamine)Vitamin B1
- (Riboflavin) Vitamin B2
- (Niacin) Vitamin B3
- (Pantothenic acid) Vitamin B5
- (Pyridoxine) Vitamin B6
- (Folate) Vitamin B9
- Lutein zeaxanthin
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Vitamin E
- Gallic acid
Like I hinted, deserves any bragging right. That’s what you call a plethora of nutrients. But it’s time to see what these nutrients minerals and compounds can do.
15 Health Benefits of Star Fruit (Carambola)
From the aforementioned list of nutrients, we’ll be looking at the first top 3 in detail.
Top 4 Health Benefits of Starfruit
It’s quite amazing that we can harm ourselves by consuming something whether in high or low quantity or just being in an environment exposing ourselves to toxic substances/chemicals; simultaneously our bodies reap the short end of the stick.
Free radicals are no joke and can be triggered by oxidative stress from finished metabolic and chemical processes or by being exposed to UV light, ozone, industrial insolvent, or tobacco/cigarette smoke.
These free radicals are highly reactive and act as activators to dangerous cells for cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. The good news is that antioxidants are like the power off button for free radicals, where this is done by neutralizing the free radicals by donating electrons.
Hence, making the free electron on each free radical to be now paired and unreactive. Quercetin, gallic acid, lutein zeaxanthin, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, manganese, selenium, and epicatechin are all-powerful and phenomenal antioxidants, and the best part is that star fruit contains all of them! Antioxidants also help with muscle degeneration, which has been proven to lead to vision loss.
Starfruit is potent in polyphenols, vitamins (example A, B, and C), minerals, and other compounds that are highly known to reduce inflammation. They also help to reduce swelling and pain that are triggered by inflammation, even assist with type-2 diabetes by increasing insulin as well as mitigates the risk of heart disease.
- Immune System Booster
The numerous components existing in starfruit/ carambola-like; iron, Vitamin A, B6, B9, C, and E, zinc, selenium, and protein- gives a massive boost to your immune system.
Which in return helps to; repair damaged cells, create and activate T ‘killer’ cells that activate other helper cells, helps to create other white blood cells, mitigate and fight against bacteria, viruses, diseases, and other microorganisms.
- Helps to regulate high blood pressure (hypertension)
Components in star fruit like- gallic acid, polyphenols, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and other components are tested and known to be a wonderful assistance in mitigating and regulating hypertension- and even hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) as well.
Amazing right? But, guess what there’s more!
Other Health Benefits
- Lower cholesterol
- Antidiarrheal properties
- Boosts digestion/digestive system
- May prevent anemia
- Energy and mood booster
- Helps with cold and flu
- Fortify teeth, bones, and muscles
- Improves vision
- Improves skin health
- Helps with wound healing
- May help with weight loss
Are you intrigued yet? We hope that you are because you have to admit that there were a lot of health benefits. But, you may be wondering where you can purchase the fruit, how to store it and when is its season right? Don’t worry about that coming right up!
Where can I buy starfruit?
The fruit should be available at your local farmer’s market, online, and some supermarkets. If you live in the Caribbean or Southeast Asia you should see the fruit quite often during its season.
You can find star fruit being harvested around late summer throughout autumn and ends late winter. This means you can start seeing star-fruits from June to February, with a heavy yield during autumn- specifically, October and December.
Like many exotic fruits, star fruit doesn’t have a long shelf life. If the fruit is very ripe it will maybe last around 3 days and sometimes 4 days if refrigerated at around 22 oC.
If sliced then placed in a resealable zipper bag then stored in the freezer it should last for about a week keeping its freshness but 1 ½ week maximum before it loses some of its potency.
Caramboxin is a dangerous toxin that is found in star fruit where studies show that it is a type of neurotoxin. Neurotoxins are known to cause neurological disorders through neurotoxicity (damage to the brain, nerve tissues, or the nervous system by toxic natural or manmade chemicals/substances.
Consuming food with neurotoxins is specifically dangerous to people who are suffering from kidney disease. Star fruit should not be combined with medications- therefore, ask your doctor before consuming the fruit. Some symptoms include limb weakness, cognitive/social/behavioral issues, sexual dysfunction, loss of memory, loss of vision, and more.
Patients who are suffering from chronic kidney failure must avoid consuming or drinking juice with star fruit to prevent harsh intoxication episodes.
The fruit is especially popular in Brazil and there are actually laws there to alert the citizens about the risk.
Despite, the aforementioned, it is still a good fruit to consume but just be mindful of how much you eat because it can be addictive. I’m guilty of that. Until next time be safe and as they say in Chinese- Huítóu jiàn! (In English- see you later!)
Other Exotic Fruits
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