Star Fruit: the Good and the Bad

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is beneficial for health, but it can get repetitive. If you’re longing for some variety, try an unusual fruit that’s gradually getting popular- star fruit.

 

What is Star Fruit?

 

Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a sweet and sour fruit that is in the shape of a five-point star. Its skin is edible and the flesh has a mild, sour flavor that makes it popular in a number of dishes.

 

Star fruit is yellow or green in colour. It comes in two main types: a smaller, sour variety and a larger, sweeter one.

 

Bottom line: Star fruit is a sweet and sour fruit that is in the shape of a five-point star. There are several different varieties.

 

Star Fruit Nutrition Facts

 

Star fruit is a decent source of several nutrients, especially fiber and vitamin C. This is the nutrient content of a single medium-sized (91 gram) star fruit:

 

Fiber: 3 grams.

Protein: 1 gram.

Vitamin C: 52% of the RDI.

Vitamin B5: 4% of the RDI.

Folate: 3% of the RDI.

Copper: 6% of the RDI.

Potassium: 3% of the RDI.

Magnesium: 2% of the RDI.

This may not seem like much, but keep in mind that this serving only has 28 calories and 6 grams of carbs. This means that star fruit is very nutritious, calorie for calorie.

 

Bottom line: Star fruit is low in calories, but high in fiber and vitamin C. It is very nutritious considering the low calorie content.

 

Star Fruit is Loaded With Healthy Plant Compounds

 

Star fruit also contains other substances that make it even healthier. It is an excellent source of healthy plant compounds, including quercetin, gallic acid and epicatechin. These compounds all have powerful antioxidant properties and various health benefits.

 

The plant compounds in star fruit have been shown to help prevent fat cell formation, reduce fatty liver and lower cholesterol in lab mice. The plant compounds in star fruit are also being studied for their ability to prevent liver cancer in mice. There is also some evidence from animal studies that the sugars in star fruit can reduce inflammation.

 

All that being said, there are currently no human studies available on star fruit, so take this with a grain of salt.

 

Bottom line: There are many beneficial plant compounds in star fruit. Animal studies have shown that they can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and help prevent fatty liver, to name a few.

 

Safety and Side Effects

 

Unfortunately, star fruit may also have adverse effects on some people. This is mainly due to it being a very rich source of oxalates.

 

Because of this, people with kidney problems should avoid star fruit and its juice, or at least consult with a doctor before trying it. For people with kidney problems, eating star fruit regularly may lead to kidney damage. What’s more, star fruit toxicity can lead to neurological problems in kidney patients, including confusion, seizures and even death.

 

People taking prescription drugs should also proceed with caution. Similarly to a grapefruit, star fruit can alter the way a drug is broken down and used by the body.

 

Bottom line: People with kidney problems or those taking prescription medication should talk to their doctor before consuming star fruit.

 

How to Eat Star Fruit

 

Some people may be reluctant to try star fruit because the preparation may seem complicated.

 

Here’s a simple way to prepare and eat star fruit:

 

Make sure it is ripe.

Rinse it quickly with water.

Cut off the ends.

Slice it.

Remove the seeds.

Eat.

 

There are many ways you can enjoy this fruit. These include:

Slice it and eat.

Add it to salads or other fresh dishes.

Use it as a garnish.

Cook it into pies or puddings.

Add it to Asian- or Indian-style stews and curries.

Cook it with seafood or shellfish dishes.

Prepare it in a jam, jelly or chutney.

Juice it and drink as a beverage.

 

Bottom line: Star fruit is easy to prepare and eat. It can be used in many different dishes and desserts.

 

Take Home Message

 

Star fruit is a delicious fruit. It is low in calories, but packed with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. 

 

 

However, people with kidney problems or those who take prescription drugs should consult with a doctor before eating this fruit. For most people though, star fruit is a healthy and tasty addition to the diet.

 

 

Source: Authority Nutrition

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