Did you know that star fruit folds its leaves during the night and as response to the vibration of the tree?
The fruit has distinctive ridges running down its sides, usually five but can sometimes vary. When it’s cut in cross-section, it resembles a star, which is where the name comes from.
Also known as carambola, the star fruit is low in calories and rich in dietary fibre, vitamin A, B and C along with minerals like zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, iron and potassium. It has high amounts of antioxidants like polyphenolic compounds, quercetin, gallic acid and epicatechin.
Star fruit has exceptional amounts of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that may prevent skin disorders like dermatitis. The presence of vitamin C also helps in flushing out toxins and maintaining a healthy body.
Rich in sodium and potassium that acts as electrolytes in the body, star fruit helps to maintain blood pressure. These minerals also ensure regular heartbeat rhythm and healthy blood flow in the body.
This fruit has negligible calories to add up to; therefore, it makes for a great evening snack when hunger pangs strike. Moreover, the fibre content in the fruit helps speed up the metabolism that supports your efforts to lose weight. Fibre also helps to keep you fuller for long, lowering the chances of overeating.
The presence of calcium reduces the risk of heart problems like heart attacks and strokes by relieving stress on the blood vessels and arteries. By eliminating the pressure, your heart will be able to relax, making circulation more effective. This way, the fluid balance in your body will be maintained.
Dietary fibre present in the star fruit plays an important role in boosting digestion. It can stimulate the movement of stool through the digestive tract, further relieving symptoms of constipation, bloating and cramping.
The insoluble fibre in the fruit can prevent the release of glucose after eating, which can further help in controlling insulin levels in the body, making it an ideal snack for diabetics or people who are at a risk of developing the condition.
Carambola fruit is rich in folate and riboflavin that helps alter your metabolism in a positive way, ensuring that enzymatic and hormonal processes take place smoothly throughout the body.
The fruit has negligible fat and a high level of dietary fibre that is great for managing cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart attack and other disorders.
With cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, star fruit promotes salivation and inhibits the production of mucus or phlegm. It makes for a great remedy for respiratory infections and overall health, alleviating sore throats and other underlying health problems.
Star fruit is power-packed with antioxidants like quercetin, gallic acid and other polyphenolic compounds that help counter the effects of oxidative stress and inhibit the growth of free radicals that damage body cells, further healing the skin and making it glow. The fruit is also beneficial for hair growth; thanks to the presence of antioxidants, B complex vitamins and vitamin C.
Devour the sweet ripe fruit straight from the tree, or as is popular in the Philippines, eat unripe star fruit dipped in rock salt!