What is Star Fruit?
The name “Star fruit” comes from the fact that when cut in half, the pieces resemble charming little stars.
It has a solid, grape-like texture and is sweet with a hint of acidity.
Carambola, also known as star fruit, is a popular fruit due to its high nutrient content and antioxidant levels. This exotic fruit is unquestionably one of the healthiest fruits available. It is also named Carambola fruit or cane apple.
Although it is most common in tropical areas like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, it is found all over the world.
When unripe, it is dark green, but as it ripens, it turns a shiny yellow color. The meaty, crisp, and juicy ripe star fruit has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor. The core of the Carambola fruit is soft and luscious, while the outer layer is crispy and crisp.
Star Fruit Nutrition Fact
Carambola fruit is highly nutritious and it possesses a lot of health-related properties which is consumed and applied worldwide.
Antioxidant compounds including Vitamin C and gallic acid are abundant in star fruits. Magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and -carotene are among the other antioxidants found.
Antioxidants are essential in the battle against oxidative stress (oxidative stress is responsible for the development of various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer).
It includes antioxidants such as iron, and manganese, which help to stimulate the immune system. It contains a lot of fiber, which helps to keep blood glucose levels in check.
They also help to lower cholesterol levels by improving bowel movement elimination of cholesterol, lipids, and bile acid. This contributes to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dietary fiber is found in both soluble and insoluble forms in Carambola fruit. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like material when it dissolves in water.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve but adds bulk to the digestive tract, making it easier for food and waste to pass through.
It is also low in carbs, sugar & calorie. One medium-sized Carambola fruit weighs about 90-100gm. It contains 3 gm of fat, 1 gm protein, and 28kcal.
As discussed earlier Carambola fruit is rich in vitamin C, its value is 52% of the total recommended dietary Intake, folate 3% of the total recommended dietary Intake, copper 6% of the total recommended dietary intake, potassium 3% of the total recommended dietary intake, magnesium 2% of the total recommended dietary intake, 4 gm of fiber and other minerals like selenium & zinc.
What Does Star Fruit Taste Like?
Ripe Carambola fruits have a sweet flavor with a hint of tanginess. However, some, particularly the unripe ones, have an overly sour or even bitter flavor.
The peel is edible, and the flesh has a mild, sour flavor that lends itself to a variety of culinary applications.
Less ripe star fruit is sourer and has a stronger citrus flavor. Unless you prefer eating lemons/limes, unripe star fruit is not a nice taste.
Ripe Carambola fruit is sweet and delightful, not at all sour. The flavor is reminiscent of apple, while the texture is similar to that of a crisp grape.
An excellent Carambola fruit is crisp and juicy, and everyone who appreciates fruit will enjoy it.
10 Health Benefits of Start Fruit
Antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, hypocholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, and anticancer activities are among the nutritional and medicinal qualities of star fruit.
The positive pharmacological qualities of star fruit have been studied, as well as factors influencing a probable safe ingestion limit.
Approximately 60% of cellulose, 27% of hemicelluloses, and 13% of pectin can be found in star fruit.
Saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and pyrogallic steroids were found in abundance in extracts of carambola plant leaves, fruits, and roots, according to phytochemical investigations.
Other phytochemicals derived from star fruit include phenols, anthocyanin and anthocyanidin, chalcones and aurones, leucoanthocyanidins, catechins, and triterpenoids.
Beyond its capacity to make a magnificent nutritious plate, Carambola fruit has a lot to offer. Here are a few of the health benefits of Carambola fruit:-
1. Rich in Vitamin C:- As it is rich in vitamin C, it is highly recommended to individuals who are suffering from vitamin C deficiency like scurvy.
During cold and flu season, It is a fantastic source of immune-boosting vitamin C (approximately 57 percent of the daily intake per serving), which is why you should eat it.
Collagen, a protein that keeps skin, hair, and nails healthy and strong, is also aided by vitamin C. It also fights infections and scavenges disease-causing free radicals. It also assists wound healing.
2. Promotes Cardiac Health:- The nutrients in it help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Vitamin C protects against oxidative damage, potassium lowers blood pressure, fiber lowers cholesterol, and potassium lowers blood pressure.
A cornerstone tenet of heart-healthy eating is getting enough fruits and vegetables every day, and star fruit can assist you to achieve this goal.
3. Good for Digestive Health:- Carambola fruit can help you achieve your daily fiber requirement of 25 grams. Citrus fruit has 2.3 grams of fiber per 100 g serving.
Furthermore, star fruit contains insoluble dietary fiber, which helps keep us regular by adding bulk to the digestive system.
Dietary fiber reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and obesity by preventing the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the gut mucosa.
4. Aids Anemia:- Anemia is common among young females and pregnant women, according to the World Health Organization.
The most prevalent type of anemia is iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs when the body’s iron stores are depleted.
Iron is required for the formation of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen throughout the body.
The iron content of medium-sized star fruit is merely 0.08 mg, however, vitamin C helps with iron absorption. This causes an increase in blood cell production, which helps to prevent weariness and lightheadedness, which are common anemia symptoms.
5. Possess Anti-Microbial Effect :- Carambola fruit possesses anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal activities due to the presence of phytochemicals such as flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, and steroids.
Green or unripe fruits have a larger inhibitory activity against microorganisms than ripe or mature fruits. Its leaves are effective against both gram-positive bacteria like (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus mutans) and gram-negative bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus mutans) (Klebsiella pneumonia, Proteus Vulgaris, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa).
6. Anti-Diabetic in Nature:- Fresh fruits and vegetables can help you control your diabetes. Fresh, frozen, or dried fruit, particularly star fruit, contains fiber that slows digestion and avoids blood sugar rises.
Furthermore, It is a low-calorie, high-nutrient item that can aid in weight management and the prevention of insulin resistance.
When eaten as part of a balanced diet, star fruit can help lower your risk of diabetes and keep blood sugars in check.
The substantial fiber content of each star fruit contributes to the favorable effects on glucose homeostasis. Insoluble fibers slow the release of glucose from starch by inhibiting the activity of amylase.
7. Good for Allergies:- Allergies to any food are possible, though star fruit is not a very prevalent allergen. Hives, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and even anaphylaxis are all symptoms of food allergies.
Symptoms may emerge shortly after eating the offending meal or up to two hours later. If you feel you have a star fruit allergy, consult an allergist or health professionals for a thorough examination.
8. Boosts Metabolism:- The human body relies on metabolism to perform daily tasks such as breathing, thinking, digesting, and regulating temperature.
Many disorders are caused by a malfunctioning metabolism. Star fruit, which contains high quantities of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), folate, and riboflavin, can alter metabolic processes and make them more efficient.
Everything from nerve coordination and energy metabolism to circulation and cognitive control is aided by these vitamins.
9. Rejuvenate Skin:- Another huge opportunity to consume a lot of carambola fruit. It contains antioxidants like vitamin C, quercetin, gallic acid, and other polyphenolic flavonoids, which may be beneficial to your skin.
Antioxidants protect the skin from the damaging effects of oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals before they cause harm. Because vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen, it can help to prevent or reduce the appearance of wrinkles while also keeping the skin bright and free of blemishes as you get older.
10. Good for Lowering Cholesterol:– Carambola fruit has a hypo-lipidemic action, which means it lowers total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, preventing the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The elimination of cholesterol and bile acids from the body is increased when it is consumed. The ingestion of a star fruit’s water-insoluble portion increased fecal total lipids, cholesterol, and bile acids excretion.
How to Eat Star Fruit?
You can consume Carambola fruit in various ways .you can consume it directly or by cooking it. Below are the mentioned ways to consume star fruit.
1. Consume ripe Carambola fruit:- A mature star fruit should be firm to the touch, bright yellow, and slightly browned on the edges. Clean and wash the Carambola fruit before cutting it into slices and you can enjoy it with sprinkled icing sugar or black salt.
2. Used as garnishing agent:- With its lovely appearance, It is an obvious option for a garnish on the rim of a fun frozen drink. Simply cut a notch in it and stick it on the rim of your cocktail like you would a lemon or lime wedge.
3. Can be consumed as chips:- Cut the Carambola fruit into slices then bake it with some spices to add flavor.
4. Pickled Carambola fruit:- Pickles and chutneys produced from star fruits are popular. These might be used in salads, on top of curries, or anywhere else pickled vegetables are used. This is a great way to use less ripe star fruit.
List of Some tempting recipes you can make out of Carambola fruit.
1. Star Fruit Juice
Step 1:- Take 8-10 star fruit, wash and peel cut it.
Step 2:- Take a juicer, put the cut slices of star fruit into it
Step 3:- Bend it (if you do not like the sour taste too much, you can add 4-6 cubes of apple into it)
Step 4:- Pour it into a serving glass, garnish it with a slice of Carambola fruit and enjoy!
Serving size: 1
2. Carambola Popsicles
Step 1:- Take 8-10 star fruit, wash and peel cut it.
Step 2:- Take a juicer, put the cut slices of star fruit into it
Step 3:- Blend it [if you do not like the sour taste too much, you can add 4-6 cubes of apple into it]
Step 4:- Pour it into a popsicles tray
Step 5:- Sprinkle some icing sugar and black salt onto it
Step 6:- Put the tray in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours
Step 7:- After getting frozen, bring the tray out of the popsicles, de-mold it & enjoy!
3. Carambola Dip/ Star Fruit Chutney
Ingredients:- Star fruit, sugar, jaggery, black salt, green chilies, spices including mustard seeds, black pepper seeds, fenugreek seed, asafoetida, and red chili powder.
Step 1:- Clean the Carambola fruit, separate the edges
Step 2:- Put the peeled fruit in the pressure cooker, cook it for 4-5 minutes with green chilies
Step 3:- In a separate pan, put some jaggery in the water add all the spices into it. Boil it till all the spices get cooked [8-10 minutes]
Step 4:- add salt, sugar, and red chili powder as per taste
Step 5:- Then add boiled star fruit into the jaggery-spiced mixture
Step 6:- Stir it, mix well and keep boiling for 1 min
Step 7:- You can add citric acid or 1 teaspoon of vinegar into it if wanted to store it for a longer duration
Step 8:- Store it in an air-tight container.
Note:- You can enjoy it with chapattis, toasts, dips, or use it as a garnishing agent for salads.
Side Effects of Star Fruit
The Carambola fruit is not for everyone. Even though star fruit has no major negative effects, you should be mindful of the following disadvantages of eating too much of it.
It should be avoided by anyone who has kidney problems.
It contains a neuro-toxic that, if not properly detoxified by the kidneys, can cause brain damage.
The enzymes responsible for the metabolism of certain medicines can likewise be inhibited by star fruit.
Always read your medicine labels to look for potential interactions, and avoid eating star fruit while taking medications.
It is highly recommended to consult a doctor/ dietitian or any other health professional if you’re under any medication regarding the consumption of star fruit.
Symptoms of Carambola fruit toxicity include:
- Mental dizziness
- Abdomen ache
- Neural signaling dysfunction
The star fruit (Averrhoa carambola), a common fruit in many regions of the world, is said to have a variety of nutritional and therapeutic properties.
Salads, drinks, and smoothies can all benefit from the addition of star fruit. It is a healthy tropical fruit that is low in calories and sugar but high in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin C.
Because of their distinctive shape, the slices can also be used as a garnish. Desserts can also be made with star fruit syrup.
Health enthusiasts also like fermented/unfermented star fruit juice, dehydrated slices, jam, and jelly.
Averrhoa is divided into two types: Averrhoa carambola and Averrhoa bilimbi.
In this article, we have discussed averrhoa Carambola. Ingestion of this has also been linked to nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity.
At this time, the specific level of intake at which the positive effects turn harmful has yet to be determined. Still, the toxicity of carambola fruit has been observed and the same has been discussed above.